Last year’s first Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF) carved out a space in the LA arts calendar with the intention of becoming an annual celebration of the emerging arts and a theatrical extravaganza.
Report by Pauline Adamek
Well, happily the Fringe is back for 2011, running from June 16-26, 2011.
Staged by Executive Director Ben Hill, and his dedicated team, and modeled along the same lines as the highly successful Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Hollywood Fringe Festival aims for an inclusive atmosphere rather than a curated one. In other words, no artist has been rejected from participation.
Last year Hill stated that the intention of the Fringe was to unite the disparate art communities throughout Los Angeles. Once again events and shows will be held in over thirty venues, most of which are in and around Hollywood. (Most Fringe events are staged in theaters and open areas within the Franklin/Melrose, La Brea/Gower area.)
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is now the largest uncensored arts festival in the United States, and this year will present over 200 productions of theater, dance, comedy, music, visual art, cabaret, film, workshops, and events at over 35 performance spaces in central Hollywood from June 16-26. There will be close to 1,000 performances in total, including a number of free and pay-what-you-can shows. The central Fringe organization adds to the atmosphere by hosting an abundance of festivities including late night parties, jams, open mics, and more.
With this staggering lineup of productions and events, you have a mere ten days to cram in as much live theater experience as possible. Shows range from solo and ensemble theater and comedy to musical, opera and live music performances. The Festival attracts audiences and artists from all over Los Angeles and abroad.
Since its inaugural festival in 2010, the Hollywood Fringe has made some big changes to increase the scope of artistic opportunity for producers and audience alike, including a slew of new programs and a brand new venue for Fringe Central.
- Fringe Central has moved to Theater Row! The Fringe’s new hub and central box office will be hosted at ArtWorks Theater & Studios (6569 Santa Monica Blvd). The new space includes four indoor stages, a cabaret stage, and the Fringe Beer Tent (also serving the Fringe’s signature sangria and daily specialty cocktails).
- Fringe Family, a program meant to help families find age-appropriate programming for their children, will introduce young people to the joys of live performance and encourage new works for all ages. Check out the Fringe Family lineup.
- Fringe Cabaret, taking place on June 20 & 21 in the Fringe Central tent, will be a place to see preview performances that cover the full range of what you might experience at the Fringe. Come in for a mix of selected segments of Fringe shows, including theater, comedy, dance, variety, cabaret and music. All presented in fun, fast-paced shows that showcase just what Fringe is all about. Check out a list of shows performing at Fringe Cabaret.
- Fringe [Film] features eclectic, experimental, and bold works from both established and emerging filmmakers that push the envelope of the film medium. Several features as well as four collections of shorts will be shown June 16-26 at Fringe Central.
- Fringe Buttons, a badge to identify Fringe “citizens”, are available for a $5 suggested donation. Buttons provide discounts to over thirty local businesses taking part in the Fringe HotSpot program (see all participating businesses) access to the Fringe Central Tent and entry to Fringe-sponsored events (including jams, panels, parties, and workshops). Buttons can be purchased at Fringe Central or from any member of Fringe’s Street Team, a group of volunteers stationed in the busiest Fringe zones to help people navigate the Fringe-iverse.
- Fringe Disco is a groovy dance party happening late-night at Fringe Central from June 15-26. There is no admission fee, but a button must be presented to enter.
ABOUT THE HOLLYWOOD FRINGE.
The 2011 Hollywood Fringe Guide can be seen online.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of the emerging arts. In June 2010, over 175 different artistic groups representing all genres of performing and visual art participated in the inaugural Hollywood Fringe Festival, filling 17,000 seats in 30 different venues throughout central Hollywood. The event was called “an artful feast” by the LA Times, “a roaring success” by Backstage, and “a triumph” by LA Weekly.
Environments for the Fringe include both traditional and unorthodox venues; fully equipped theaters, street corners, clubs, bars, and places unexpected. Performances are self-produced by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers. In the spirit of most Fringes, participation is open and uncensored.
KEY FESTIVAL DATES:
June 9-14: Fringe Previews
June 15: Opening Night Party
June 16-26: Hollywood Fringe Festival
June 26: Award Ceremony & Closing Night Party
Those seeking more information can contact the festival here.