FESTIVAL RESPONDS TO FRINGE SHOW CONTENT CONCERNS
WINNIPEG, July 20, 2013 – Last night, concerns were brought forward by a CBC Reviewer about a show at the Winnipeg Fringe. The Fringe took her concerns seriously and contacted the producing company. Today, we heard back from Ian Mozdzen of Hollywood Hen Pit, who confirmed “the caricatured fellatio scene [in his show] is simulated. The show is, however, extreme in ways.”
“We don’t tolerate anything illegal on stage, or anything that puts the audience at risk,” Fringe Executive Producer Chuck McEwen says. “When it comes to the content of a show, one of the principles of Fringe Festivals across the country is that artists have artistic control to create and present their work on stage. Whether or not a show has artistic merit is left up to the audience, who choose whether or not to attend.”
Beyond hearing from the CBC reviewer, the Fringe has not received any complaints from patrons who have seen the show. The show is recommended for mature audiences and has a warning for subject matter, language and nudity. Performing companies write their own play descriptions and set their own restrictions, since they are responsible for the content of their shows.
“As new information has come to light about the content in this particular show, the producing company and the Fringe made the decision to add a specific age restriction of under 18 not admitted,” McEwen says. “We inform Fringers that companies classify their own shows, so it’s a good reminder to read the program listing and the reviews and determine for yourself whether a show is appropriate for you.”
“This is one of 169 shows in the festival and audiences have always celebrated the variety and diversity of shows,” McEwen says. “There is work for everyone to enjoy, ranging from comedies, dramas, sketch and improv, dance and so much more. Many of the shows are appropriate for general audiences and suitable for all ages. We invite all Winnipeggers to come out to the Festival, see a show and support the hundreds of artists that make the festival possible.”