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They said it...

"I think Edmonton will be No. 1 for a long time," Chuck McEwen said in 2001 when he was executive producer of the Toronto Fringe Festival. Three years later, Winnipeg surpassed Edmonton in ticket sales.

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They said it...

"I was expecting this. It was the first Monday of the first fringe festival in Winnipeg," said director Vickie Dyck of Saskatchewan's Shalom Players, which did not sell one ticket to a performance of A Tide of Voices.

They said it...

"It was becoming an ordeal. I could see people look at me onstage, wondering, 'What are you doing?'" said actor David Gillies, who quit the show Black Holes Don't Always Suck mid-run in 1989.

They said it...

"I'm all fringed out. I don't think you can see too much theatre, but you can see too much bad theatre." -- U of W student Dennis Trochin, who saw 30 of the 45 shows in 1988.

They said it...

"I'm surprised because we did Erections, Ejaculations, Exhibitions last year and we had no trouble."-- Theatre provocateur Michael Wener, reacting to the 1993 furor over the poster of his latest production The F Machine.

They said it...

"Two dollars. It was supposed to be free. We couldn't charge money for this. We'll have to give the $22 back to someone," says an actor following a performance of Searching For Godot in 1988.

They said it...

"It's what a triple cheeseburger with sauerkraut to go at the Hinton (Alta.) truckstop is called," says company member Cathleen Rootsaert, explaining the name Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie.

They said it...

"We've entered a holding pattern where we more or less will be the same size as last year. Perhaps the festival is too large," says fringe festival executive producer Craig Walls in 1992, when tickets sales were 50,000 less than they are today.

They said it...

"It must have been 35 C and I was sweating like a greased hog. The whole audience was fanning themselves with the program and when I saw someone stop, I'd look to make sure they hadn't passed out," says Frank Holden, who performed Judge Prowse Presiding in 1988 wearing a wool suit, wool socks, a cotton shirt made out of flour bags and First World War army boots.

They said it...

"I'm not the type to go into MTC. When I used to go, there seemed to be an elite clique, not like here. I like the easygoing atmosphere here," says Sigmar Paulmason, a Garrick Hotel regular, who hadn't been to theatre in five years before seeing two shows at the 1988 fest.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 19, 2012 E8

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