Victoria Fringe festival has guest producer

The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival has a new producer.

But don’t worry, the old boss isn’t leaving.

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This season, Rose Jang will produce Victoria’s largest annual theatre festival, running Aug. 21 to 31. However, former producer Janet Munsil continues as artistic director of Intrepid Theatre, which stages the Fringe festival as well as other theatre festivals and events.

Munsil said the appointment of Jang, 23, launches a new mentorship program in which different guest producers will produce the Fringe festival each year. Intrepid decided to do this because — as the company has grown — it has become too much work for one person to oversee the Fringe and all the other festivals Intrepid produces. These include Winterlab, Uno Fest and The You Show, as well as one-off performances.

Last summer, the Victoria Fringe hosted more than 300 performances of 56 shows. The Fringe, operating on a $300,000 budget, uses more than 200 volunteers and attracts an audience of up to 28,000.

A Victoria native, Jang served as a front-of-house manager for the Fringe last year. She is a founder of the Winnipeg Spoken Word Festival.

Munsil said part of the impetus for hiring various Fringe producers is to give young people the chance to run such a festival.

“Rose is 23, so she’s like the same age I was when I started,” said Munsil, who has overseen the Fringe for 22 years.

“For me, she was the inspiration for this idea. I thought, ‘Here’s somebody who really wants to know how to produce festivals.’ ”

The annual Fringe producer positions will last four to five months.

“We’re calling it ‘guest producer’ because it’s not going to be an ongoing position,” Munsil said.

achamberlain@timescolonist.com

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