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Helloooo FRINGE! We're back and better than ever!

Updated: Jul 20, 2021

In 2016, I joined the cast of SExT: Sex Education By Theatre unsure of what a Fringe show was and what exactly I was meant to do. We were a bunch of high school students from Flemingdon and Thorncliffe Park (repping Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute) sharing our stories and truths, while also singing songs about periods and playing anthropomorphized STIs from Swashbuckling Syphilis to CrossFit Chlamydia.

SExT started out as an educational program, Dr. Shira Taylor’s PhD thesis, with a few performances at local libraries and the Science Centre, but now we were being given the opportunity to perform in a real theatre! I remember making so many good memories during our stint at the Annex Theatre: giving out condoms outside, freaking out when cast members arrived 5 minutes before the show was set to begin, and of course, talking to audience members after each performance.

Looking back, our Fringe performances were the beginning of our journey. From Fringe, we were able to perform for Kathleen Wynne, then-Premier of Ontario, and then we began to tour schools. Eventually, in partnership with the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (CANFAR), we’ve been able to tour all over Canada, all the way up to the Arctic Ocean! Of course, our touring plans were cancelled due to the pandemic, and as a cast we’ve faced a multitude of challenges from mental and physical health issues, financial stresses, and of course, doing SExT on a virtual platform. But we’ve found ways to support each other and work together, from meetings beginning at 10pm to driving equipment around Toronto.

Charmaine & Lauren performing virtually for students at Bramalea Secondary School

A few months ago, the opportunity to perform in Toronto's Digital Fringe Festival came up, and we leaped at the chance! What better opportunity during these uncertain times than going back to our roots! As the restrictions are slowly being eased, we wanted to remind people that there are other viruses that require us to be masked down there (if you get my drift). Over the pandemic, we’ve had much success performing our STI scene virtually, interacting with students over Zoom and Google Meet as our STI characters. We revisited one of our favourite SExT scenes, one that we performed at our first Fringe, and we’ve revitalized it for our current COVID reality! Over 12 hour days, we’ve rearranged our rooms to set up green screens and put together a show fully filmed and directed in isolation—a true culmination of the hard work that our team has undertaken over the pandemic. We are so excited to show you how we’ve transformed, creating new characters including Soviet Syphilis and Shah Rukh Chlamydia. It’s time for Fringe to see how we’ve revolutionized sex education.

Check out "Captain Condom & The COVID-19 Conundrum!" online at the Digital Toronto Fringe Festival, July 21st-31st, 2021. Tickets at

- Lauren Chang is a SExT Cast Member and Dramaturg of "Captain Condom & The COVID-19 Conundrum"

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