The State of Theatre in LA

There is this somewhat ridiculous notion that theatre (and by extension all non-filmed arts) is scarce in the city of angels. This is a misconception we have fought since planning began for the Hollywood Fringe. Fair enough, I suppose: No one can deny that the multi-billion dollar film industry is the giant poka-dotted elephant in the room.

What many don’t know is that theatre and other performed and exhibited arts are thriving in LA; one might even claim we are on the verge of a golden age.

Check out this wonderful article by LA Times critic Charles McNulty. He makes an amazing case for the vitality of the arts in our city.

Little does the rest of the world know that LA is a hidden gem of the arts. This is just one of the many reasons a Fringe Festival in LA is such a great fit. By barring no one from participation, we have the opportunity to showcase the reality of our culture here.

Read more about the arts in Los Angeles in the Culture Monster blog in the LA Times.

Still haven’t registered? Create a Project now!

Ben


Latest Fringe Venue: ComedySportz

We are thrilled to have the good folks at ComedySportz with us for Hollywood Fringe’s first year.

We met up with James Thomas Bailey months ago in a BID meeting and immediately hit it off. For those of you unfamiliar with the venue, it boasts two lovely spaces in addition to a spacious courtyard. It also provides something that’s just golden in Hollywood: Lots and lots of available street parking.

With over 20 years under its belt, CSZ is the oldest running stage show in Los Angeles. Participants interested in performing at CSZ need only create a project then apply to ComedySportz through their venue page.

You can learn more about ComedySportz on their website.

Keep those projects rolling in!

Ben


New Website Feature: Offers

By now, I hope many of you have had the chance to check out our website.

While mulling over our festival model, we obviously needed to make some decisions. One decision was to embrace the original spirit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, enabling venues to act independently to provide participants with maximum flexibility when choosing a home for their project. Obviously, this model has pluses and minuses, one of the biggest minuses being the extra effort required to find a venue for your project. We have taken special efforts to make this process as easy and fun as possible.

The initial release of the website last week included a feature to “apply to venues” that have already signed on with the Fringe. Today, we released a new website feature to enable communication the other way: From venues to projects.

Venues can now make offers on your Fringe projects and include details on rental prices, box office splits, and more. Projects can then weigh their options and choose a venue that best fits their goals – artistically and financially.

If you are a project owner, kick-off the process by applying to venues that look interesting to you. Pay attention to venue capacity, pictures, videos, location, and anything else relevant to the production of your project. Over time offers will start coming in. When you are ready, contact the venues that have sent you offers, and if interested, sign a contract with them. Note that many venues won’t start making decisions on programming for a couple months; stay patient, stay vigilant.

Once you have a signed contract (highly recommended), come back to the Fringe website and accept the offer. This will kick-off the final stage of registration: Registering with the festival itself. This will provide you with all the benefits of participation.

Still haven’t created a project? Do so here and join the fun – it’s free and without obligation.

Remember: The Fringe charges $200 for registration – this does NOT include the money you might need to spend on your venue deal. This can range from $0 to $150+ per performance depending on the venue and the offer you accept. Expect an article soon detailing your costs as a participant so you can plan accordingly.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].

Thanks to all you wonderful people that have registered thus far…this is going to be an exciting experience for all.

Regards,

Ben


Press Release: Registration Open

THE HOLLYWOOD FRINGE ANNOUNCES
THE OPENING OF FESTIVAL REGISTRATION
to coincide with the launch of the Festival’s website

Hollywood, CA- Registration for the Hollywood Fringe Festival opens November 16, 2009 to coincide with the launch of the festival’s new website at www.hollywoodfringe.org. Registration can be completed on the website by anyone who contracts a venue. There are no restrictions regarding art form, content, length, or ticket pricing for the festival; specifics will be left to participants and venues to determine. Registration is $200 for a project with multiple performances and $125 for participants producing free or single-performance shows. Registration fees pay for a listing in the Fringe Guide, artist services and discounts, online ticket sales, and festival assistance. Registration closes April 1, 2010. The Festival takes place June 17-27, 2010.

THE MODEL
The Hollywood Fringe team has adopted a model similar to Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the first event of this type. In this model, any artist can join if they find a venue and pay the registration fee. This model allows artists and venues to seek out compatible relationships and make decisions about a myriad of production questions (such as ticket price, show length, and artist compensation) independent of a centralized Fringe organization. Says Ben Hill, the Festival Director: “In a city already flourishing with artists, we’d like everyone to participate on their own terms.” The company feels that a system wherein any artist can join promotes entrepreneurship in the arts and helps the festival grow organically.

THE WEBSITE
The Festival’s online presence assists participants with some of the unique challenge facing this model, particularly finding and maintaining relationships with venues. Starting November 16, artists can create pages for potential Fringe projects. These pages can include information about length, content, and venue requirements as well as relevant photos and videos. Venues also have pages that include information on the spaces, open slots, and current state of programming. The Fringe organization is compiling video tours and ground plans for each venue.

Participants can apply to any venue with an open slot; once they are accepted to a venue, they are prompted to pay their festival registration fee. Decisions like ticket pricing and box office splits will be made between the participant and venue. Like a social networking website, both artists and venues can be proactive about communicating with each other and finding a good match. If an artist struggles to find a venue, they still have a forum in which to create and test-drive their projects.

Venues are encouraged to accept local, national, and international artistic projects as well as showcase the work of their resident artistic companies. Aside from artist and venue services, the website will contain information about anything and everything Fringe. Ben Hill, the Festival Director, is also in charge of technology for the festival and the website is his conception. Gavin Worth developed all original artwork for the site.

The first official Fringe venues include: Second City, The Paul G. Gleason Theatre, iO West, Theatre Asylum, Art|Works, The Lounge Theatre, Comedy Sportz, Theatre of NOTE, and the Stella Adler Acting Studio. These venues (with many more in the coming weeks) will begin accepting applications immediately.

ABOUT HOLLYWOOD FRINGE
The Hollywood Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of the emerging arts.

Environments for the Fringe include both traditional and unorthodox venues; fully equipped theatres, 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.

The Hollywood Fringe seeks to build an immersive festival worthy of the neighborhood’s reputation. The company is currently establishing partnerships with arts companies, community organizations, and other local businesses in the Hollywood area to host and participate in the festival.

Key Festival Facts
Dates: June 17 – June 27, 2010 (annual)
Artistic Companies: 100 (projected)
Number of Performances: 500 paid (projected)
Location: Hollywood, CA

Participants seeking more information can contact the festival at [email protected] or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org.


Participant Registration Open

Participant registration for the Hollywood Fringe Festival is now open. We welcome artists and producers around the world to join the Fringe in Los Angeles.

Registering for the Fringe is a three step process: Create a Project, Find a Venue, Register with the Festival.

Do you have a project you’d like to bring to the Fringe? Create a project on our newly-launched website now. Creating a project costs no money and carries no obligation. Projects include plays, art pieces, special events, bands, films – the Fringe welcomes all disciplines and expressions. We provide online tools to articulate and promote your vision including picture/video sharing, collaboration, and team building.

Lacking resources to produce a show by yourself? Post your ideas anyway, you never know who might be interested in helping you.

We’ve already assembled nine top-notch Hollywood venues interested in Fringe programming. There are more coming including homes for film and visual art projects. Having created a project, registrants can apply online to any of these venues. If none of them fulfill your needs, you can bring your own. All venues need to be located in Hollywood and conform to basic safety standards.

Once a venue is secured, there’s one last step: Registering with the festival itself. This one-time fee of $200 entitles you to all the benefits of registration.

Need help navigating through the registration process? That’s why we are here. Send an email to [email protected] and our participant support team will guide you along your journey. You can also refer to our website for more information about participating in the Fringe.

The festival runs June 17-June 27, 2010 in Hollywood, CA, USA. Registration closes April 1, 2010.

We look forward to seeing you in Hollywood this Summer!

Ben Hill
Festival Director


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Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.Advertising with the Hollywood Fringe Festival is an excellent way to promote your project, organization, brand, or cause. Buy an advertisement now on our website or printed guide.

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