NOW What episode 32: How the Fringe festival went virtual

NOW's Glenn Sumi, Fringe executive director Lucy Eveleigh and playwright Nam Nguyen discuss the challenge of translating theatre to streaming video


The Fringe festival is one of the cornerstones of Toronto’s theatre scene, and one of the largest performing arts festivals in Ontario. It’s fun, it’s chaotic and sometimes it launches its artists into the mainstream. The Drowsy Chaperone came out of the Fringe. So did Kim’s Convenience and Da Kink in My Hair and My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, from David Hein and Irene Sankoff, who went on to create Come From Away. And this year, obviously, the Fringe went online just like every other festival.

But the Fringe isn’t like every other festival. It’s a uniquely live experience, and translating a stage show to a streaming video platform is something none of the more than 50 companies presenting work at the festival was expecting to have to do. For this episode, I’m joined by NOW associate entertainment editor Glenn Sumi, Fringe executive director Lucy Eveleigh and playwright Nam Nguyen, who had to create a home version of his musical A Perfect Bowl of Pho.

NOW What is a twice-weekly podcast that explores the ways Torontonians are coping with life in the time of coronavirus. New episodes of NOW What will be released every Tuesday and Friday. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, listen on Spotify or just play it below. And remember, we’re all in this together.

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