Efron read­ies for Fringe fu­ture


The Georgia Straight - - Fringe Festival -

Laura Efron is pre­par­ing for her first, full-on ex­pe­ri­ence as the new ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor of the Van­cou­ver Fringe Fes­ti­val—and she’s stock­ing up.

“I have been get­ting tips: to bring in a cou­ple dif­fer­ent pairs of shoes, a cou­ple dif­fer­ent changes of clothes, coats for dif­fer­ent weather, and food sup­plies,” she tells the Straight over the phone on a brief break from the frenzy.

The long-time Van­cou­ver arts ad­min­is­tra­tor knows a bit about what she’s in for. Af­ter all, she got her start here as a vol­un­teer at the Fringe in 1997—a gig she cred­its with lead­ing to her nine-year stint at the Arts Club Theatre Com­pany in mul­ti­ple roles, and var­i­ous cul­tural jobs since.

How­ever, she says she’s gain­ing a new per­spec­tive on the theatre ex­trav­a­ganza that takes over Granville Is­land and other sites across the city for 11 days.

“It’s just a lot of mov­ing pieces and it’s in­ter­est­ing to see the de­tails from the in­side, and which shows get put into which venues,” she says.

Efron has taken the reins at the Fringe at a time when it’s wrap­ping up its last three-year strate­gic plan and pre­par­ing to plot out its next phase. Efron wants to get through the full cy­cle of plan­ning and car­ry­ing out this Fringe—in De­cem­ber she will have been at the fest for a full year—be­fore she starts to make her mark on it, though.

“I am def­i­nitely shap­ing a vi­sion over time,” she ex­plains, and of­fers some hints at her ar­eas of in­ter­est. “One thing I’ve learned work­ing at the Fringe is we have quite a de­mand from peo­ple want­ing to take part that can’t. We see 250 to 300 ap­pli­ca­tions, but 100 shows. How can we en­gage all these peo­ple in our com­mu­nity?”

She also wants to move the fest strongly to­ward more di­ver­sity,

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