Toronto Fringe 2017

What's summer without the Toronto Fringe?


Year after year, the Toronto Fringe Festival is the event I look forward to most each summer. With 160 shows to choose from this year, it's set to be an amazing event From July 5-16, 2017.

This marks a new era for the Fringe with a brand new location for the Fringe tent (at Scadding Court at Bathurst & Dundas) and some new venues (including the Theatre Centre). It will be very strange to not be in the alley at Honest Ed's but the new venue is close to home and I'm sure we'll all transition nicely to the new space.


As always, there is some great pre-coverage popping up (including lists from Derrick Chua and Steve Fisher, whose opinions I trust!) and I'm starting to mark up my own program and make a game plan for my Fringe itinerary. I'm not in any shows this year, but I have been helping to do PR and social media for one. As someone who loves theatre and the Fringe, it's been great to be immersed in the press releases and all the buzz surrounding this year's shows.

About a week away, here's what I'm looking forward to:

Pineapple Club Toronto Fringe 2017
Katherine Fogler Photography
Pineapple Club (Factory Theatre Mainspace) - In getting ready to write this post, I pulled up my Fringe posts from the last couple of years, and lo and behold Dance Animal was at the very top of my 2016 list (and I loved it!) I started working with the team doing PR and social media a couple of months ago. In this time, I've gotten to see a behind-the-scenes peek into Dance Animal Director / Choreographer Robin Henderson's process as she's worked with Paul Barnes, Jonathan Shaboo and Pascale Yensen to create this brand new show. It's part comedic dance, part sketch comedy and part social commentary -- which is such a great mix. This team is incredibly talented and I can't wait to see this show come into fruition.

Not Enough (Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace) - Another name that has popped up on my Fringe lists over the years has been Megan Phillips. We connected years ago through a message board, and I'm so glad that she makes the journey to Toronto each year to be a part of the Fringe. I got to see this show last year when she was previewing it here before taking it across Canada, and it's a funny, candid take on change, forgiveness and becoming enough.

Soaring in Liquid Skies (Theatre Pass Muraille Backspace) - I've had the chance to see Franco Nguyen do sketch and standup a few times recently, and he is a fantastic, charismatic performer with a unique point of view of the world.

Maddie's Karaoke Birthday Party (The Monarch Tavern) - Add some of my favourite performers in the city with one of my favourite pastimes and that's a show that's right up my alley.

James & Jamesy in the Dark (Al Green Theatre) - I got to have tea onstage with James & Jamesy a few years ago at Fringe, and nearly peed myself from laughing. I'm pumped to see them back and this new show, set entirely in the dark, sounds like it's going to be something completely unique, hilarious and magical.

Other shows I'm looking forward to: Bendy Sign Tavern - Sex T-Rex is another Fringe favourite of mine and I'm excited to see them jump into a rom-com with puppets in a bar, Weaksauce - Sam Mullins is one of my favourite storytellers and this show was charming when I saw it a few years ago, Contagious - love this premise and another solid creative team, True North Mixtape - I was obsessed with Summerland 2 years ago, so this is absolutely on my list, Jay and Shilo's Sibling Revelry - while it's made for kids, the story sounds adorable and I'm a huge Jeni Walls and Justin Bott fan, and Ten Creative Ways to Dispose of Your Cremains - which I had no idea about until I saw it on every list under the sun and it has caught my attention!

As word of mouth starts to spread my list will be constantly changing and evolving, but I can't wait to dive into 10 days of talent, frolicking from theatre to theatre and seeing all of my theatre friends (and random people I know) in the Fringe tent.

If you'd like to follow along with my adventures, I'll be tweeting away @ashleydtl (I think Fringe is one of the only reasons I keep my Twitter going...) and posting on my Instagram story (also @ashleydtl)


Grab yourself a Fringe program and take the time to see a show (or 4!) from July 5 - 16. All ticket sales go back to the artists involved and be sure to take a moment to tip the Fringe.

What are you looking forward to this Fringe?


Shift Shop with Chris Downing


I am thrilled to share the details of Beachbody's newest workout program, Shift Shop, with trainer Chris Downing!

My first introduction to Chris was a team call with him a few weeks ago, and after hearing his story and inspiration for this program, I knew it was going to be a game-changer. I got to try the first Ship Shop workout last week and it has me counting down the days until July to get started.

Here's the scoop on Shift Shop:

  • 3 week program, 6 workouts per week
  • 8 workouts in total ranging from 25-45 minutes in length
  • awesome meal plan focusing on whole foods with a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and fat
  • clear, comprehensive instructions for every move
  • modifier for every move
  • minimal equipment needed except for agility markers 
The program starts off slowly with 25 minute cardio and strength workouts and an easy-to-follow meal plan. In week 2 the workouts increase to 35 minutes and your protein intake increases to ensure that you're fuelling your body. For week 3, the workouts are 45 minutes each, higher in intensity and you really dial in your nutrition.

Not only that, but Chris is all about motivation in a very different way than any other trainer I've seen. In the first workout, the motto is "Try before you modify", which is such an important thing to remember. So often in workouts (and life!!) we try to modify or take a short cut even before we give it our best shot. Give it a solid try first and you may surprise yourself. This nugget along with so many more are waiting at the Shift Shop.

This program is for you if:
  • you want to see results quickly
  • you're getting started in your fitness journey -- this will be your perfect on-ramp to guide you
  • you've done other programs and you want to kick things up a notch
  • you've done the whole health and fitness thing before and you need to get back into the swing of things
On Monday July 17th, I'll be kicking off my Shift Shop Accountability Group for those who are looking to commit to 21 days of this program with me. I will take you through meal planning, establishing a great mindset, modifications and be working out alongside you for daily accountability and support. The weekend before we start, I'll be hosting a kick off call for everyone participating to help you get set up for success and connect with the group.

This is your shift. The one you’ve been talking about. You can do this.



If you want to be a part of this motivating and game-changing group, fill in the application below to save your spot. We're getting started on Monday July 17 -- are you ready to make the shift?

Have a question before you commit? Feel free to send me an email - let's talk!

I can't wait to get started with this program and hope that you'll jump in with me.