SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon theatre company is holding a physically distanced and digital alternative to the Saskatoon Fringe Festival this year. 

Fringe was cancelled in April due to COVID-19.

“Saskatoon has a really vibrant theatre scene and we didn’t want to not be able to showcase that because of COVID,” said Megan McDonald, executive assistant of 25th Street Theatre. 

This is NOT That Festival is taking its place this year and offers a variety of live digital theatre performances and collaborative workshops. 

They are being streamed on 25th Street Theatre’s website and Facebook page and are available for viewing after they’ve aired.

“We really wanted to make sure that we could still feature great local artists as well as artists across North America. Just because we can’t do it in person doesn’t mean we can’t all come together around this shared experience of theatre,” McDonald said. 

She added that it was very important to the theatre company to still be able to showcase local artists and give them a platform to share their stories. 

Some physical distanced events are also taking place on Broadway throughout the festival, including an interactive art installation that shows videos of people’s experiences during quarantine, McDonald said. 

This is NOT That Festival began on July 30 and runs until August 8, with various digital and in-person events taking place each day. 

McDonald said the turnout has been good so far and that she looks forward to seeing what the rest of the festival brings.