Go Deeper Happy Hour on the Fringe: Ed Wagner

Happy Hour on the Fringe: Ed Wagner

Posted March 19th, 2021
With FringeArts’ 25th Anniversary on the horizon, Raina sits down with longtime friend of the Fringe Ed Wagner to take a look into the most notable moments from Fringemas past, present, and future. So sit back, spike that iced tea with a bit of water, and listen in on the Philly arts scene’s long and weird history.

Raina Searles: Hello and welcome to Happy Hour on the Fringe. I’m Raina Searles, Marketing Manager here at FringeArts, and I invite you to grab a drink and listen in on our conversations with some of the most imaginative people in today’s art scene. Joining me today, I have Ed Wagner, a long time Producers Circle member at FringeArts and currently the IT manager at the William Penn Foundation. Ed, welcome!

Ed Wagner: Thank you.

Raina: So our first question for all of our guests here at Happy Hour on the Fringe is always “What are you drinking today?”

Ed: At the moment, very weak iced tea and mostly seltzer water. 

Raina: Oh, iced tea, like, mixed together? Are there two separate cups?

Ed: Well I usually make iced tea every morning, and then I have lunch, and as I go through the afternoon I add seltzer water to it. I have a seltzer maker. And so it starts out pretty much iced tea, and by about now it ends up pretty much sparkling water. 

Raina: Oh yeah, that’s a full day transition process.

Ed: Well they say you’re supposed to drink a lot of liquid during the day. 

Raina: It definitely sounds like you have that covered. I am, for I think the first time in a while since we’ve been recording, actually having a little bit of a spritzer today. It’s a summer red. 

Ed: Nice. 

Raina: You know, we’re not giving out sponsorships until people want to pay for them but it is fizzy and light wine, so I am enjoying that for happy hour today. But, Ed, just to kind of jump in and, you know, get our listeners to learn a little bit more about you, can you just tell us how long have you been connected with Fringe, whether as a patron or whether you started off as a volunteer? How long have you been involved with Fringe? 

Ed: Since the beginning actually. My wife and I talked off and on for years about going to the Edinburgh Fringe. I had been there a couple times in the winter, never during the festival, and it seemed kind of a daunting endeavor to go there with a booklet the size of a phone book and thousands (or tens of thousands) of other people. And one day my wife Anne said, “Hey, it looks like Philadelphia is gonna have a Fringe.” And so the first year, I think we saw eight productions—I believe it was a week, maybe the weekend—and saw a bunch and was hooked. And then I think it was that year, or the year after, Nick had an off-season kind of rap session with different groups of people to get ideas for moving forward with the Fringe, and then that got me really really excited. So I felt a lot of connection with the Fringe, and next year probably went to maybe 15 shows. And a little while later they started the all-access pass where, for one price, you could see every show you could possibly fit in which, to me, being a planning person, was a challenge. 

Raina: Yes.

Ed: And it ended up as…I think my top year is like 45-50 shows, and I would see like five a night and would just be running around, mostly Old City at that point. 

Raina: Yeah.

Ed: It was great and they…like Bookbinders had a show at noon, when they used to be open. And it was quite thrilling, and it was…I mean, it still is, but, like, the early days were kind of wild and woolly, and it was wonderful to see that something like that in Philadelphia. 

Raina: Yeah, no, it’s so curious because, you know, I’ve heard Nick, the founder of FringeArts, talk about how Philly, when the Fringe Festival was founded, was ripe with talent that wanted to be seen and, you know, people who wanted to see that art. And so it’s cool talking to you and hearing a little bit more about how you knew of Edinburgh and, like, had that in your mind already, so this just kind of felt like, “It’s here. Of course I’m gonna go. 

Ed: Yes. In fact I would tell my family, after a few years, just to not expect me to do anything during the period of the Fringe Festival. So, you know, don’t come for a visit. Don’t book anything during that weekend, any of the weekends. And, you know, I would see them in October. 

Raina: I tell my family the same thing, but, from the marketing side, I always try to get them to come to shows with me. But I’m like, “Unless you’re coming to see a show with me, you probably will not see me for the month of September.” 

Ed: Yeah, I would buy two all access passes, and my wife would see some shows, but she had a much lower tolerance, so it compelled me to find other people to take to shows. I’d say I got a free ticket, I already paid for it, and I’m just looking for someone. So I would publish my schedule, and then I eventually had to move to an Excel spreadsheet to figure out who was seeing what show with me and how much time it would take to travel from one venue to the other and was there somehow time to eat or drink in between. And in the early years, what I used to joke is ‘Fringe Time’, because the shows almost never started on time. 

Raina: Yes. 

Ed: Whatever was in the booklet was sort of an estimation, usually low, on how long the show was. So I’d be looking at my watch, going, “Okay. We need the show to end, because I have to run to West Philly to see some New Paradise show at a church or whatever. 

Raina: Yeah, no, I think that’s definitely a very real thing, you know. I know that shows always try to start within that, like, sweet spot of 5-10 minutes after start, but I’ve definitely been at shows where I’ve had that same feeling of like, “I want to be engaged, but we’re like 30 minutes over the end time and…” 

Ed: It has gotten a lot better, I would have to say. I’m not sure how long you’ve been doing the festival, but the last five or so years, it’s been pretty tight. But the first—I don’t know—close to 10 years it was wild and woolly on timing. 

Raina: Yeah. So I’ve been at FringeArts since 2017, and I’ll definitely say that I think the later the show starts the longer they feel free to, like, stretch the limits. So, you know, like the 8:00 PM/the 7:00 PM shows are usually pretty timely, but then once you get to like the show starting at 10:00 PM, yeah, they just assume they can go all night to an extent. And especially, like, once you get to cabarets and everything, like, those can go for a decent amount of time. 

Ed: And I live up in the burbs, so I would take the train home, and my last train to get me home is 12:40, so that was my drop dead time. Yeah, seeing shows that started after 11:00, we get a little dicey, because of course you’d have to get to the train station and just hope that the exterior doors are shut at that point so…part of the Fringe.

Raina: Yeah, do you happen to have or know what your earliest Fringe memory might be? Like, on or off stage, whether it was something that you remember about waiting in line or, like, one of the first shows you saw? 

Ed: Well I think it was the first year.I always looked at my top shows throughout the festival, and one of the top ones was called Lewis and Dave, and it was out of Edmonton, Alberta. And they had a car that they had borrowed, parked in front of…I think it was the Cory Street Cafe. And it was a four-person show; and the audience sat in the backseat of the car, and the two performers sat in the front seat. And they would put your bags and all into the trunk, so that was their luggage storage. It was a 20-minute show, and it took place in the car. And at certain points, they pretended like they were driving, so they’d be screaming out the window. And if they were screaming out the window to the right, that’s where the cafe was and, you know, there’d always be people wandering by. And, all of a sudden, this guy would stick his head out and scream something, and it was really interesting to see the look on people’s faces, because the ones walking by had no idea that there was a show going on. Some of them tried to sort of walk towards it until they realized it was a show, because they thought they were being yelled at. 

Raina: Right. 

Ed: I think that was the first year. Brian Sanders—I’m not even sure if he was called JUNK at that point—he did his first iteration, or incarnation, of Patio Plastico

Raina: Okay.

Ed: And it was the vacant lot, which I think is now that big building at 2nd and Race, across from the cafe. That was just a vacant lot, and we’re sitting there, and all of a sudden you hear this kind of weird sound coming and slowly getting louder and louder. And all of the performers, they had cut two liter bottles of soda in half and were wearing them as shoes, and they did this sort of—I don’t know if it’s called ‘soft shoe’—but they did this syncopated dance routine, kind of marching down the street, and it was just amazing. And you just would hear this, and you had no idea what it was, and then you learned what soda bottles cut in half sounded like. I think that was the first year, so I had been to different, you know, kind of classic theater and some somewhat experimental, but the stuff that the Fringe were pulling out…and these were all local artists, except Theatre Scam, but it was just so different. It was, you know, quite magical, and that’s what I thought the Fringe would be like, and it proved to be very true. 

Raina: Yeah. Well, so one thing I’m curious about, because you said that you were already kind of looking at going to a Fringe Festival elsewhere, have you always felt very interested in the arts? Is that something that you had made a part of your life heavily before Fringe?

Ed: Somewhat. I was mostly a big moviegoer, went to a lot of films. I made some amateur stuff myself—did very little theatre—but I created a couple murder mysteries I ran for friends. As a sidelight, I do scavenger hunts for fun and treasure hunts, and so I liked the idea of kind of being immersed as a participant in something. And I didn’t think about it as ‘theatre’ but as like a ‘treasure run’ experience, where you’re following clues and you might meet people there. Used to be a treasure hunt at Temple Ambler, and they had different characters, and you would go and you would beat them, and they would give you they would give you these poems which had clues embedded in them. And so it was sort of a very primitive theatre, but the idea was you were immersed within this environment, and I found as I look back on the shows I liked the most from the Fringe, they all had that kind of component where you were immersed. In almost every case you weren’t a typical audience watching the show. You were-

Raina: Right.

Ed: -in some cases, sitting in the back of a car. We saw one show, which was in the men’s room of Fork, where we all crowded around the edge and it took place in the middle of the…there was a two-player thing, and or two person, and they came in, and you’re thinking, “Well hopefully no one needs to use the bathroom, because it’s gonna be tied up for like 20-30 minutes.” As an audience member, you’re put in a very unusual position, so I think I always liked that but I never associated that with theatre. Because theatre was usually…you were seated, you know, in a theater setting, and neat rows across or on the sides. And the Fringe, with that, I was like, “Oh, I really like this type of non-traditional but immersive experience.” 

Raina: Yeah! I think, that definition, that’s very characteristic of—I think—‘Fringe’ art. And even in the past couple years, like, we actually had immersive headquarters for the Fringe in 2019, which was really cool to see that there were shows that were really not just creating theatre that was immersive but really, like, leaning into this as its own genre of storytelling and involving audience members. And then I know we’ve also seen some really cool integrations with technology and how people can be, you know, worked into a piece using tech or using this, like, new character method. And that does actually lead me to another question: so as part of our producer circle, our producers always get to kind of choose a show that they would like to sponsor, and I know that last year, in 2020, you chose Being/With by Nichole Canuso and, in 2019, you had chosen Pursuit of Happiness by the Nature Theater of Oklahoma, and I’m curious—just thinking about some of those—are you usually looking for that show that feels really immersive and feels like it drops you into, you know, a little bit more of a in-depth world?

Ed: Yes, definitely! I actually met Nichole at some other show, years before, and I needed to get to the train, as I had mentioned a while ago. So she gave me a ride to the train station, and I was like, “Well that’s great!” So then, the next year, she was being one of the featured shows, and it might have been my first year as a producer—I forget—but I picked it because she had given me a ride. That was really nice, but I didn’t know a lot of what she did, and now that’s grown, you know, we have a really good relationship. And I would say that I’ve had that with a lot of people I’ve sort of met accidentally within the Fringe, and you become really bonded, within the Fringe or beyond the Fringe. So whenever Nichole’s show comes up, I always choose that. And then I saw No Dice which, the year before…I could never remember their name, but they had done probably five or six years before it, down at the ACME up at like 43rd or so and just under Walnut, and so I really like their work. But I would say, yeah, if I didn’t have a background, I would choose a show that I thought was the most unusual and immersive that way rather than a show that I consider more traditional. And I feel there’s other, you know, honorary producers that gravitate towards that, so it’s nice to have your little niche.

Raina: Awesome. So, just thinking a little bit more broadly about the Philly art scene, you mentioned that, you know, you’ve been really into films and have kind of taken on your own adventures, and I’m just kind of curious, you know, where do you see Fringe within the Philly art scene? Like what role would you say that Fringe is playing? 

Ed:I like it as sort of an organizing structure for productions. For instance, like, I’m a member of the Opera Subscriber which is somewhat recent, actually more recent than the Fringe, and the orchestra which is slightly more recent than the Fringe. And I didn’t do a lot of other festivals in Philly, and so I feel like I throw myself into the Fringe. You know, that’s my two, now three or four weeks, of hardcore theatre. But then you find groups like Exile and other ones, where I pick up their subscription, so I met them through the Fringe and then you go out. So I’d like to think, for Philly theatre goers, that the Fringe allows them to kind of see a lot of shows in a limited time, and then if they pick up on a group that they really like their work and they’re local, then hopefully they go out, or like the IRC, the ‘Idiosynchronatic Ridicula Consortium’…whatever they are.

Raina: We’ll link the official one. I believe it’s like ‘Idiopathic Ridiculo… 

[Editor’s Note: It’s the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium]

Ed: That’s it. 

Raina: We’re not going to butcher that anymore, but yes. 

Ed: I have slight dyslexia, so it just sort of spins around in my mind. But, like, groups like that, where I don’t think I would have ever thought to see a production by them or even heard of one and, through the Fringe, they’re on my roadmap now. So when they have shows, I go to see it. I look at the Fringe as sort of—and hopefully for other people—that’s a way to say, “Okay, let’s see a bunch of different groups, you know, some of them local.” And, as I said, when you find something you like, well, go to see them in May or, you know, off Fringe, and follow them. And, you know, you build some really good relationships that way, just as a subscriber. So I think that’s what I really like about the Fringe. You know, there’s a lot of groups that just plan a show to be in the Fringe with, I think, the same hope that worked on me. So hopefully, you know, it works on a lot of other festival goers. 

Raina: Yeah, for sure. So, diving a little bit more into your personal life, can you tell us about Club Ed?

Ed: Well it’s actually Club Edventures. It was originally Club Ed, which was sort of a loose knit social group. I guess I’m sort of a planner by desire, so I would just plan things, and then someone else actually came up with the name Club Ed. And the web started, and they had domains; the Club Ed was taken, and then I came up with Edventures, and then that was taken—that was an educational group. So Club Edventures was available, so I chose that, but it’s Club Ed for short, and that’s where I do my scavenger hunts and treasure hunts. And then I do a few trips; I’m a big canoer, so we have some canoeing trips. But the scavenger hunts, which we do in town…actually the one which is called the Full Moon Rallye, so it’s done twice a year, whenever a full moon’s on a weekend, and that actually benefits the IRC, which I won’t say the full name of. And it was all built, it was all started through the Fringe relationship. So they advertise to their subscribers and provide people, and then whatever funds I make, beyond just covering my costs, are then donated to the IRC. And then I do one in October called The Hunt for the Red October Lobster, and that actually benefits the Nichole Canuso Dance Company and, again, that’s because I met them at the Fringe Festival years ago. So I do these different fun activities as basically, well, as fundraisers, but also it allows me to kind of get my creativity out in making scavenger hunts and treasure hunts. 

Raina: Awesome.

Ed: I actually did one for the Fringe Festival. 

Raina: Oh yeah?

Ed: Years ago. Yeah, Isaiah Zagar at the Magic Garden was having…well, there was an article in the Inquirer that he was having issues. He needed to purchase the actual property. He didn’t own it. So for two years, somewhere in the middle of the Fringe, I did a walking tour of his installations, which at that point I think were about 30 different installations. And so we did a map, and then at each one you had to answer a question. And at the end, if you answered the questions, put your name on, we had a drawing for some artwork by Isaiah. And then, the first and second year, we had a little kind of party at the Magic Garden, so that was a lot of fun. The downside was, by sitting there—because we gave them out at the Painted Bride—that I wasn’t able to see shows that day. So I was sort of like, you know, ‘good news, bad news’. 

Raina: But you’ve seen it from the perspective of an artist as well. 

Ed: Oh yeah! Yeah, it’s because we had the sandwich board sign…but it wasn’t a show, but it was an experience at the Fringe, so I was in the catalog for a couple of years. 

Raina: Yeah, no, I did not know that, so that’s actually really cool to hear. I think, like, it’s also so cool now, because I think we’ve had a lot more things like that, where you get these kind of walking performances, particularly in 2020, where, you know, theatre is always on a little bit on the fringe in our festival, but it’s also like, “Okay, now we can’t even be in, like, a normal theater setup.” So walking and touring has been one of the methods that actually really—I think—flourished during the 2020 Fringe Festival.

Ed: Oh, it was great. I did the Encounter with Death, when we walked down Broad Street. It’s in the Top 10, and I’m not sure how much higher it is, but it was a really trippy experience and it was like quintessential Fringe, of doing crazy stuff and realizing that nobody else even noticed what you’re doing. You always feel like everyone’s watching, and you’re like, “No one’s watching.” In fact, at one point, Death sat down across right at the hotel Lorraine, and so I sat down right there at…I guess that’s Ridge, coming in. And it’s sitting on on the curb, and this car next to me pulls up and goes, “Are you okay,” and I said, “I’m in a show,” and the guy’s like, “Oh, okay,” and just drove off. 

Raina: Oh no! 

Ed: It’s just, “Sure, he’s in the show.” I mean, what a great line. He just drove off.

Raina: He was like, “Yeah yeah, okay…uh…” 

Ed: And then there was a show, out by the Drexel and Powelton area that was self-guided, with different little vignettes of phone conversations…

Raina: Yes! 

Ed: …and you kind of walked around. So I tried to do everything that was in-person; I actually thought some of those, well, I thought most of those, if not all of those, was an interesting direction for the Fringe Festival, and I hope that some of those artists, you know, continue with that once we return to in-person performances. That stuff, The Telelibrary, there were all sorts of remote shows that really worked well. I mean, some of them, most of the Zoom stuff, was a substitute for an in-person show, but there were quite a few artists that did stuff that was really groundbreaking that…I think I was talking to Jennifer or somebody and said, “You know, I know you have a digital arts festival in the spring, but to look at that as part of the Fringe is really an augmented reality type thing, where it’s going to cross over.” And it also follows with the whole ‘immersive theater’, but to look at pushing a little more electronics or technology but still keeping it as live theater. So, you know, it was not a good time for the artist, obviously, financially or for the Fringe, but I think there were a lot of valuable lessons learned that, hopefully, as I said, hopefully people try to replicate going forward. 

Raina: Yeah, I think it’s going to be really important to see that, because obviously we’re hoping that, as the vaccine continues to roll out and hopefully things improve in our country, that we will be able to have more of the traditional art that we’ve see, not just in theaters but also like, you know, in warehouses and backyards and everywhere else that we’re used to kind of ending up during September. But I do think that, as you said, these alternate experiences are so valuable because they can be done solo or with a partner. I actually did the one around Powelton Village [Editor’s Note: Field Calls] with my partner because we were like, well…it was kind of funny, because we didn’t have headphones together, so we would press play at the same time so that we could, like, both be listening on our phones and try and kind of coordinate it. But, yeah, there’s such really creative ways to just, like, get to know a neighborhood as well, get to know a new area. But also, like, I love that I was getting exercise during the festival. I think I normally am, you know, either driving, or biking and walking to an extent, but then I’m usually sitting for, like, so long most days that it felt nice that half the shows I saw were, like, out and about in some way.

Ed: Yeah. There was a show Megan did down somewhere in South Philly. They were in a three-person show and they were inside a…I think it was a beauty salon or something, and so the audience was outside. And so you’re just kind of milling around the street. It was—I think—on Passyunk or 9th, somewhere down there.

Raina: Yes.

Ed:  And it was kind of weird because you’re standing there, and cars are driving by, because half the audience is on the other side of the road and everyone’s, you know, remaining socially distant. But it was so bizarre as an audience member, because you’re a pedestrian but you’re an audience member, and there’s pedestrians and cars going by, and you’re watching a show, and they’re totally oblivious. So it was so interesting because, generally, in the theater there’s no distractions, and here it was, like, all distractions, but you’re still watching the show. 

Raina: Right. 

Ed: And I just thought, yeah, it’s a very unfortunate situation, but I think it brought out some really creative solutions that it’s, you know, a tribute to the local artists.

Raina: Yeah, and I think it definitely takes a, you know, a huge level of skill as the artist to be able to maintain your composure, just with everything going on when you do an outdoor or otherwise public type show. Because, yes, there’s going to be traffic, there’s going to be random honking, there’s going to be people having their conversations that are totally separate, but yeah, we’ve seen some artists do some really amazing things. And I always love to see it when artists, like, incorporate that into the show somehow, like they’re anticipating that things are going to be a little crazy, and then they can play off of that and, you know, turn it into something else. So, yeah, I think we’ve seen a ton of that, and I’m very excited to see what we have in store coming up. But I think, just on that note, you know, this is our 25th Fringe Festival, this September 2021

Ed: Crazy. 

Raina: You know, I’ve been here…this will be my fifth Festival coming up, but obviously, like, you’ve been here since the beginning, and so I’m curious, “What are your thoughts on both how Fringe has changed in the past years and also, you know, where where do you think we’re going, or where do you think we should go, you know, even the next five or ten years?” 

Ed: Well, yeah. I mean, it was so interesting. Until you got the location there, your permanent home, every year the box office moved around; the lounge, or the after hour show, moved around; and you kind of had all this anticipation and excitement about, “Where is Fringe gonna be centered this year?” You know, it just always felt like a seat-of-the-pants and very exciting but kind of chaotic, and I’m sure, you know, for the staff it was super chaotic, trying to find venues. And now you have this location, so you feel like it’s settled. And even, there were some years where it seemed like you weren’t sure what might happen next year, whether it would continue on, and now you really feel, even with this past year, that it’s firmly established and it’s a part of Philly for the foreseeable future. So I think that was a big change; it was less anxiety—I think—from the back end and even from the audience side over what would happen next year. So it was a fun ride, but I don’t know if Nick and crew would want to do it again. But going forward, I don’t know. I like a little technology. I don’t like a lot of technology in shows, and I think the Fringe has kept true to that. I think this past year, I think they can start to expand, you know, seeing stuff that’s not Zoom that really adds to the shows. And you just see so much innovation, like Thaddeus Phillips, all these people innovating. So, the next five years, I just think that the local artists, you know, will continue to amaze people. And it’s always nice to see these international artists, most of whom I’ve never heard of before, most of them have these polished shows that are just amazing. You know, each year has been totally different, so I guess that’s the consistency of Fringe is every year is totally different. And so it’s sort of like when you were little and you—well, when I was little—and you get the Sears Wish Book, and you’d see what the toys were for Christmas. 

Raina: Right.

Ed: And now, with the Fringe, it’s like, “What are these toys,” because the local artists, you know them but you don’t know what they’re gonna do, and the international artists, for the most part—at least for myself—you don’t know what they’re going to do, but you’re like, “It’s going to be really good!” And I feel like I’m getting pretty good at reading the program; and with my friends, I’m like, “Well if you want something really edgy, you can see this, but if you’re much more of a mainstream person, these are the safer bets.” And it’s just a great mix, and I think that’s what the future is; it’s just a whole potpourri of the full spectrum, from some classic stuff to some very edgy stuff, and it’s a surprise. It’s like opening the Sears Wish Book and seeing what these things you’ve never seen before, you know, that are going to be here for two or three or four weeks in September. 

Raina: Yeah, I completely agree with that. And so our last question, which I am including purely because of our podcast intern Ari, he is dying to know. On your website, your camping/floating trip album shows a black bear making themselves at home on your table. 

Ed: Yes.

Raina: Do you want to share that story with us?

Ed: Yes, certainly. So I’ve been going up since, I think college, above the water gap. So if you go where New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York meet, so if you keep going up there the Delaware is much thinner and there’s a fair amount of white water. It’s not tricky and it’s great for rafting and canoeing. And for the most part, we just sort of sit there and lounge and drink beer or suntan. So I used to call it a rafting trip, but when people hear ‘rafting trip’ they figure, like, you’re wearing a helmet, you’re going down the Youghiogheny or something. Like, no, you’re really just floating. So we camp at this campsite which is on the New York side, against the hills—I wouldn’t call mountains, but certainly big hills—and, you know, there’s critters out there. I mean, there’s lots of black bears in PA, but we’ve never seen one. And so apparently the one night, one of the…it wasn’t myself. Someone else got up to go to use the facilities, and we have our little…that’s our party table there, so we have a lantern and we got a little ‘Party Here’ sign. And by the end of several hours of drinking you tend to leave all your snacks out; you know, some of them will be put away, but most you don’t. And he wakes up, and there’s the bear on the table, eating the food. And so apparently he took the photo with his phone and then he went back to bed. That was it. He didn’t scream or didn’t say anything. And then, the next day, he goes, “Oh, yeah, there was a bear in the campsite,” and we’re like, “Uh huh,” and then he shows us the photo. I’m like, “Oh my God!” 

Raina: I cannot imagine being that calm. 

Ed: Yeah! He said, “Oh yeah I just saw it…” Black bears generally will not attack people, you know, unless you get aggressive towards them, so it was just there, eating the food. And I’ve  been doing this for decades, and I’ve never seen a bear up there. I know they’re there, but I’ve  never seen it. But yeah, apparently my tent was probably fifteen feet from that bear so… 

Raina: Oh wow. Yeah, I like to think that I’d keep it together, but in all likelihood I would wake up, you know, walk outside and scream a little, and then try to keep it together, but hopefully the scream wouldn’t, like, instigate anything I can’t handle.

Ed: Yeah, because you don’t really want to draw attention. I’m not sure if the bear would… the bear will probably go away from you, but you really don’t want to find out so… 

Raina: No…

Ed: So yeah so apparently we have bears, and I haven’t heard from anyone who says they don’t want to come because there are bears there, but you never can tell. I mean, I’m right up near Jenkintown area, and we have foxes that are running through our backyard. Actually, one—I think—got a chipmunk today, so the wildlife is very close by. It’s just usually you don’t notice it because you’re inside your house. 

Raina: Yes, these days more so than usually. But Ed, thank you so much for joining us and thank you for, you know, sharing your memories and your stories. It’s so great to hear. 

Ed: It’s been wonderful. Yeah, it’s stunning that it’s 25 years because things like Lewis and Dave and the Patio Plastico, they seem like they were  just a few years ago, and then you’re like, “Oh, that was 25 years ago. Regardless of what we’re able to pull off in September, it’s been a great 25 years. Looking forward to another great 25. 

Raina: Absolutely. Well, to all of our listeners, thank you for tuning in and make sure you follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and download the FringeArts app. And you can learn more about joining the producer circle at Thank you!