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Volunteer Opportunity (Edmonton): Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Participant Study

Volunteer Opportunity (Edmonton): Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival Participant Study

Fringers at a Toronto Fringe Festival Poster Wall


Having acted in and produced plays at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival since 1998, I’m fascinated by how Fringers choose plays to attend. With thousands of audience members interacting over a short period, regarding hundreds of diverse, non-juried performances, the festival feels chaotic, with little knowledge of the productions’ content or quality. Inevitably, a handful of shows gain momentum, selling out performances. To explore this phenomenon further, I am looking for participants for a research project, “The Show-Selection Process at the Edmonton Fringe Festival.” The research is part of my Master of Arts in Professional Communication at Royal Roads University.

How do Fringers choose the plays they see? Do they use promotional materials, like flyers, posters, and programs? Do they read reviews and watch previews on TV? Do they talk to friends to get show recommendations? Do they follow their favourite artists? Or, is it all of the above?

From August 16th to 26th, during the 2018 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, I’ll be using participant observation and one-on-one interviews to understand how promotional infrastructure (flyers, poster, programs, etc.) and social interactions on Fringe Festival grounds affect how Fringers choose the plays they attend.

I’m looking for 8 to 10 participants who fit the following criteria:

  • 19 years-old or older;
  • A Fringe Festival attendee at the 2018 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival;
  • Considered a “Frequent Fringer” by Edmonton Fringe Festival standards – typically attending ten or more plays during the ten days of the festival each year; and
  • Willing to take part in a maximum of 4 hours of participant observation during the 2018 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival, as well as a follow-up one-on-one interview.

With no administrative influence on the production, curation, and promotion of theatrical productions at the Edmonton Fringe, the Festival depends on Fringers to gather information about the multitude of non-juried, uncensored shows in the annual program. Through this research project, I aim to support the unique Edmonton Fringe Festival model by looking at how the festival environment impacts festival attendees in their choice of which plays to attend.

If you’d like to find out more information on how to participate, please contact Clarice Eckford at 780-884-0169 or Please contact me no later than Wednesday, August 15th.

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