That’s a wrap! While the 2009 Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival only concluded yesterday, organizers are already looking towards next year and the potential to literally take the show on the road.

“We’re looking to take things to the next level,” said Fringe Theatre Adventures program director Thomas Scott. “We’re going to really start developing our programming department and improving artist services by inviting more regional, national and international producers to see our works. We want our artists to get the level of exposure and potential for development they deserve.”

Of course, for many, the local theatre arts festival success story is no secret. Edmonton’s Fringe is recognized as North America’s oldest and, depending on who you talk to, the world’s best — with all due respect to the equally renowned Edinburgh Fringe Fest.

While final numbers are still being tabulated, the Edmonton Fringe is pleased to report that this year’s festival attendance numbers are definitely ahead of 2008.

Mostly, noted Scott, the storied Fringe story is really a credit to Edmonton’s arts-savvy community.

“Edmonton is so lucky to have such informed theatre patrons,” said Scott, who moved here from Toronto a few years ago. “Some people tend to differentiate it from 'real theatre,’ but it’s a great way to see new work.”