Stop 4: The Backstage Theatre
The Backstage Theatre at the north end of the Bus Barns has been around for a number of years. You may know it by its original name: Storage Space! Yes indeed. Eleven months out of the year it was the repository for chairs and risers and flats and all things backstage. Once a year it would be trotted out as a theatre space for Fringe. And that seemed to be that. Or so everybody thought.
It’s 2015. The Varscona Theatre(original home to the Fringe) requires a massive facelift. A financial campaign is launched to fund much needed renovations which include expanding the lobby and providing more space for the theatre. But where to present their season during the renos? The Varscona makes a proposal: to move into the Fringe’s warehouse storage space for their upcoming season. An agreement is struck and construction begins on a 150 seat theatre.
Cut to 124 Street. The historic Roxy Theatre, home to Theatre Network, is destroyed by fire. While trying to figure out what the future holds for Network, they decide to move across town (temporarily) into the Fringe’s warehouse storage space, apparently now a port in the storm for wayward theatre companies. Shows are presented, seasons are completed and The Backstage Theatre becomes a year-round programmable space.
VOICE: Howdy Fringer. How are you holding up? It’s time to carry on. Wander west down the alleyway here towards Knox Church, that beautiful brick building down the way. Perhaps linger by the big green doors where the train cars sleep at night. Now, onto the newest addition to the Fringe Theatre family, The Fringe Theatre Cafe. Head left around the corner of the ATB Financial Arts Barns towards the main Westbury lobby entrance. Press play on Part five.