August 13, 2014 3:17 pm

Are you ready to get groovy? Edmonton’s 2014 Fringe Festival kicks off on Thursday

Local artist Gerry Rasmussen created the official artwork for Edmonton's 2014 International Fringe Theatre Festival.

Fringe Theatre

EDMONTON – Get ready to channel the 70s, as the 33rd annual Edmonton International Fringe Festival takes you on a 11-day trip starting Thursday.

This year’s theme is “Fringed and Confused,” which the program director says is “a bit of a ‘Throw Back Thursday’ inspiration.”

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“I have spent a lot of time learning the grassroots history of the festival — how themes came to be, and what is different now from then…I thought, ‘what better time to do a throw back to that grassroots spirit,’ which really started in the 70s,” said Murray Utas.

“The 70s to me were about innocence, sunshine, happiness, community and gathering — just like the Fringe.”

The Performers Parade will get things underway Thursday night at 7:30. The parade starts on 83 Avenue, just south of the Old Strathcona Farmer’s Market. From there, it will wind its way through the streets of Old Strathcona, ending up at the ATB Financial Outdoor Stage, where the live entertainment will begin.

Thursday night entertainment includes the band ‘The Noble Thiefs.’

There will be 1,600 live theatre performances to choose from at 50-plus venues at the summer festival.

“We do not jury or censor the artists’ work, and all performances were selected already in November via lottery,” said Fringe Theatre’s Executive Director, Jill Roszell. “We literally pull the acts out of a hat.”

The Fringe Theatre Adventures app should make sifting through all the shows a little easier.

“This app searches all productions allowing Fringe-goers to plan their schedules, purchase tickets and much much more,” said Marc Carnes, president of Fringe Theatre Adventures.

“You can even take a picture with a custom photo-frame in the app and upload your picture to social media using the hashtag #FringedandConfused to take part in our photo contest.”

The festival, which is North America’s largest and longest-running Fringe, goes from August 14 to 24 this year.

*Editor’s note: This story was originally published May 14, 2014 and was updated August 13.

© Shaw Media, 2014

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