For Artists

Want to Play the Fool with us? Here’s some stuff you should know.

Are you a filmmaker? Check out the Play the Fool International Short Film Festival page.

The Play the Fool live theatre festival is held annually the last weekend of September.

If you’re new to us, please read our mandate.

The 2021 Theatre Festival

In non-COVID times, the application for MainStage artists usually opens in January, and the Rookie Cabaret program application opens in April.

Planning for an in-person Play the Fool theatre festival is exceptionally challenging in these times. In a normal year, we would be running four very packed days, Sept 23-26th. However, with arts funding restructuring, travel and vaccine distribution uncertainty, we anticipate programming fewer (if any) in-person events this year.

All our programming timelines and decisions will be made with an abundance of caution, will depend on vaccine availability, and health & travel recommendations.

This is what we expect as of now:

  • If there is in-person, live programming, there will be fewer shows.
  • There will be some online programming.
  • We will program Albertan, and possibly only Edmonton/Amiskwaciwâskahikan-based artists for in-person events. This is because of tight timelines, travel restriction uncertainty, and the impossibility of offering home hospitality to travelling artists in a COVID year.
  • We hope to make decisions about the number and type of in-person events in June, including if we can go ahead with some version of our beloved Rookie Cabaret Mentorship Program.
  • Questions? Contact

We recommend you signup for our newsletter to keep up-to-date about calls for acts and 2021 programming plans.

Past live festivals have served as a scouting ground for Cirque de Soleil, and have featured performances by; Mump & Smoot (Michael Kennard & John Turner); Deanna Fleysher (Butt Kapinski); Candace Roberts (LARRY); Iman Lizarazu; Jesse Buck; Jed Tomlinson & Jacqueline Russell (Sizzle & Spark); Pratik Motwani, James Peck & Sarah Peters (Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre); Amelia Van Brunt, Hercienda Arts Collective, Adam Keefe, Rebecca Merkely, Jake Tkaczyk, Alex Dawkins, Christine Lesiak, Allan Turner (Mullet), Chris Ross & Travis Bernhardt, Aytahn Ross (The Great Balanzo), The Grand Salto Theatre, and dozens of other professional and emerging performers.