The Woes (and Joys) of a Fringe Tour
by Estelle Rosen
Andrew Wade brings The Hatter to the Toronto and then Saskatoon Fringe Festivals before summer ends. A graduate of the University of Victoria (BA – Writing, BFA – Acting) and the National Voice Intensive, he splits his time as an actor, stage manager, writer, science facilitator, and heritage interpreter.
there was far less downtime to this whole 'performing in Fringe Festivals' thing than I had previously anticipated
That being the first time I had presented the material, during my time in London I was also feeling out the character of The Hatter and his personal arc. Some of the aforementioned accidental scene switch-ups, I decided I liked, so I have since implemented them. I also found a slew of other lines which I didn't really need to say, managed to re-introduce an old scene, and occasionally enjoyed my on-the-spot paraphrasings so much that I've edited them into the play. So everything onstage evolved rapidly in London.
By now, with only a few days left in Ottawa, I think I am finally adopting the necessary mindset towards socializing while touring – something I'd been missing in London. Ordinarily at the back of my mind with every conversation I'm having is a radar scanning along, looking for hooks, ways to continue the relationship between myself and the other person. How can this association, this friendship, this relationship, be maintained, continued into the future? But that doesn't work so well when you know you're leaving town in a week's time, and aren't sure you're ever coming back.
As to the show itself, adapting it from a tiny room to a church auditorium had its share of surprising elements. I still find myself occasionally waiting for lighting cues which existed in London, but couldn't be done in Ottawa, and due to the resonating echoes of the room, I actually need to perform more quietly in the auditorium than I ever did in London.
Read also Andrew Wade's first-person piece on preparation for the tour