Art by Dave Pruden

Almost All Done—It is Friday noon and we have covered it all except 2 shows. So if you have seen ‘Countdown to Babylon’ or ‘Fringe Open Mic!’ send us a review so we can complete the set. The last paper issue hits the Jenny Boxes Friday afternoon. Our job is not quite done though as we still have to write and host an Awards Show.

The Fabulous Jenny Awards—Join us at our fully accessible and licensed venue Across the Board Game Cafe on Sunday night (July 30th) for our wrap party and awards show all rolled into one. Doors open at 9:30 pm and the show will start at 10 pm(ish). How does it work you ask? Well, we make up various categories based on (hopefully fun) random things and assign shows that fit that category (and have been mentioned in the Jenny) to them. Then we get the crowd to decide who should win as determined by crowd noise carefully analyzed by our human sound meters. The winner can make a short acceptance speech and receives one of the highly coveted hand sewn Jenny Awards. I hope to see you there!

Murray Hunter

Lastly, another opinion piece by Ray Yuen.

We’re Losing the War

It’s a war against phone use at public venues and we’ve been losing on every battlefront for many years. It doesn’t matter where you go: concerts, movies, theatre, sports games, even the ballet and symphony–all of them have people in the audience playing with their phones (or worse, video recording) rather than enjoying what’s in front of them.

For the longest time, it seemed that we held the battlelines at the Fringe (and I would argue at the opera too). The audiences at the Fringe have always been a different kind of patron that show more respect for the actors, the process, and their fellow viewers. Occasionally, you’d see a light in the audience, but that was a rarity—or it was until now.

This year, more than any, I’ve seen phones and lights from peoples’ laps speckled through the audience, and at almost every show. It seems people are choosing to ignore the instructions to turn off your phones before the performances. There is also the segment that doesn’t care. Yesterday, I saw two people, seated five chairs away from me, dim their phones just before the show started. Instead of turning them off, they figured that the dimmed background would be enough that no one noticed. I noticed—and it distracted me the entire time. They kept showing each other their phones and whispering. They were too far away for me to whisper to them to shut them off, but not too far from the radius of dozens of seats that saw the glow from their crotches and the whispers that accompanied it.

SHAME ON YOU—to the two blond ladies in the middle of the theatre at Channelle Munroe’s show. You were rude, inconsiderate, selfish and boorish. That goes for everyone else who pays attention to their phones rather than the show. You paid good money to be there—just watch what you came to watch.

I’m hoping that this year was an anomaly but I fear that it’s just the beginning of a new trend. We’ve been losing the war for a long time, but now it seems that we’re losing this battle too. If you’re in the theatre and the person next to you plays with their phone, don’t be afraid to ask them to turn it off. Don’t be rude and don’t start a fight, but just politely remind them that phones are not permitted during the show. If someone is really being a distraction, advise the staff. Everyone just wants to have a good time. The people on your phones—you are impeding on others’ enjoyment and good time.

Ray Yuen

Review Coordinator