November 30, 2015


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Winnipeg Fringe Festival

Balancing act

HERE’S a list of famous playwrights whose works have been mounted at the Winnipeg fringe (many of them multiple times) over a quarter-century: William Shakespeare, Anton Chekhov, August Strindberg, Henrik Ibsen, Sam Shepard, David Mamet, Peter Shaffer, Harold Pinter, Daniel MacIvor, Edward Albee, Bertolt Brecht, Michel Tremblay, Christopher Durang, Tom Stoppard, Eric Bogosian, Samuel Beckett, George F. Walker, David Hare, Eugene Ionesco, Jean Genet, Oscar Wilde, Luigi Pirandello, Alan Aykbourn, Norm Foster, John Guare, John Patrick Shanley, Morris Panych, Lanford Wilson and Christopher Fry.

Notice they’re all men?

The well of big-name plays for fringe companies to dip into is, even today, overwhelmingly male.

So we’d like to toast all the female Winnipeg playwrights who, in the do-ityourself spirit of the fringe, have written their own shows — some of them year after year. Here’s to you, fabulous fem fringers (with apologies to those we’ve missed), for doing your bit to even out the gender balance: Ellen Peterson, Yvette Nolan, Debbie Patterson, Marnie Cooke, Sharon Bajer, Muriel Hogue, RobYn Slade, Catharine Johannson, Leigh-Anne Kehler, Primrose Madayag Knazan, Vanessa Macrae, Tricia Cooper, Maureen Hunter, Sarah Constible, Talia Pura, Hope McIntyre, Alix Sobler, Shawna Dempsey & Lorri Millan, Columpa Bobb, Brigette DePape, Rea Kavanagh, Ruth Baines, Carolyn Gray, Rachelle Fordyce, Daina Leitold, Eileen Longfield, Sue Proctor, Kim Zeglinski, Celeste Sansregret and Jessy Ardern.

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