June 17, 2010, is not only the start of the 2010 Ottawa Fringe Festival but will also mark my 1 year anniversary as a theatre critic in Ottawa. This is how it began:
A friend of mine from Grad. School (Kevin) was editing an online publication and was looking for writers. Naturally, he tried to recruit me several times to write for it; however, I had no desire to write anything academic and wasn’t really sure what else I could offer. Then the Fringe came along. I hadn’t been to this festival in quite a few years and thought it would be a fun to see how much the festival had changed. I bought a 10 show pass and planned to write a blog post about the experience. Kevin suggested that I write a couple reviews for them. Seeing an opportunity to fund my activities at the beer tent, I accepted the assignment. I had a blast and when Fringe ended I decided to pursue reviewing more seriously. Over the year, I’ve reviewed community theatre, University theatre, independents (like MiCasa, Evolution, Vision) and established professionals like the Great Canadian Theatre Company and the National Arts Centre. I’ve written 21 reviews for (Cult)ure, 2 for the Wellington Oracle, and 4 more for this blog.
As you know, I am producing and directing my own Fringe show for this year’s Fringe, but I’m proud to say I will still be covering the festival for (Cult)ure. It’s going to be interesting to see what it’s like to be wearing two hats (critic, artist). It should make for some intriguing blog posts at least. Don’t you think?