The 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival is now over (official numbers to be announced next week!), which means it’s time for us to start planning for next year. We rely heavily on feedback from our community and humbly ask for you help evaluating how we did during this festival.
First, please take a few minutes to fill out our HFF17 Survey, which you can find at www.hollywoodfringe.org/survey.
Second, please attend our Post-Fringe Town Hall, which will be happening Monday, July 24th at Sacred Fools from 8-10pm. Festival Director Ben Hill will moderate a discussion about how we can work together to further build, strengthen and improve our community. Reserve a seat by visiting the link above.
Embracing the Fringe
I have never been the cool kid or the popular one – the girl that everyone wants to be like and hang out with. Don’t get me wrong. I’m super rad awesome (do people say “rad” anymore?) – but in a geeky, loner, chicken wings and beer kind of way.
Google says that Fringe means “not part of the mainstream; unconventional, peripheral, or extreme.” That’s pretty much me – minus the extreme. I’m not extreme at all.
The noun form of Fringe means “an ornamental border of threads left loose or formed into tassels or twists, used to edge clothing or material.” Yeah, that’s me too; a frayed edge; dangling decoration, hanging out on the borders of all that is mainstream and #basic. I like that.
I know now, that I am Fringe and that you – the one reading this, is also Fringe. Fringe is a state of being – of existing. Fringe is determination, passion, and hard-work. Just look at the amazing staff, interns and volunteers that put on the Hollywood Fringe Festival. These amazing people – my friends – constantly put in 110% to make this festival happen. And they do this because they believe in it’s importance. They believe in its ability to positively impact the community and artists and local businesses. They come up with radical programs and strategies and welcome diverse voices and faces to the table.
This is what Fringe is. Fringe is acceptance and love; friendship and commitments and most importantly – it welcomes the unconventional, peripheral, and extreme. It embraces the differences and then gives it a platform to show itself to the world.
As I wrap up my two years of being the Publicity Manager of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and pass this honor to someone new – I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all of my dear Hollywood Fringers – staff, interns, producers, actors, writers, designers, and spectators. Thank you for teaching me so much and allowing me to make the mistakes that I’ve learned from. Thank you for so much support and encouragement. Thank you for all the hugs and the laughs. Thank you for sharing your profound and inspiring art with me. Thank you for giving me a home away from home – a place to roll around in my awkward geekiness and feel safe. I am so proud to have been on the Hollywood Fringe staff and look forward to continuing to being part of the Fringe community.
Cheers to all you frayed edges, dangling on the borders and making the world a better and more beautiful place.
Peace and Blessings,
…And the lights have come down on our 8th Hollywood Fringe Festival.
It has been such an amazing journey to see this festival grow into the force of nature it has become in Los Angeles. Every June, for the past 8 years, thousands of artists have performed for tens of thousands of audience members. We had incredible, record setting numbers this year (exact audience numbers to be revealed soon) and we are growing every year. 375 shows! 2000 performances! Over $2 million back to participants since our inception in 2010!
Those are amazing numbers. I love those numbers! And I am proud of them.
But what I can’t quantify is the way it feels to walk into Fringe Central and see this unbelievable community we’ve helped build. To see the camaraderie, the enthusiasm, new friendships, old ones, deep conversations, laughter… Our Fringe community is about more than numbers. It’s about support, collaboration, friendship. I think I’m most proud of that.
This will be my last year as a member of the Hollywood Fringe staff. Don’t worry! I’m not done with the festival completely — but I will be taking a step back from activities day to day. At the end of this year, I’m excited to be moving into more of a leadership role, on the festival’s Board of Directors.
Thirty years from now, when June rolls around, I want to be able to walk into Fringe Central, saddle up to the bar, look around, and still see our incredible Fringe community thriving and celebrating. And I’m going to do everything I can to ensure that future happens.
There are too many people to thank for their support over the years. But this festival wouldn’t happen without the shared vision that Ben, David, Stacy and I had over 10 years ago. And we couldn’t have done it year to year without the hard work of Meghan, Lois, Stina, Vanessa, Bella & the rest of the amazing staff who put their everything into the festival.
I love this festival and I love the family that I’ve found within it. Thank you, everyone.
The first nickname I ever had at Fringe Central was “Pagan Meghan”. I’d driven up from San Diego to produce a show with my best friends, an original devised work called Pagan Play that made little sense but was full of heart. I was lucky the moniker rhymed, because it made it easier for people to remember my name.
The Hollywood Fringe Festival happened to me very quickly. I met Ben Hill after a Town Hall at Theatre of Note. I met Stacy Jones (now Hill) onstage in the back room at Three Clubs, during a pre-Fringe fundraiser. We both loved dancing to Beyoncé. I had graduated from UCSD, with a degree in theatre and a desire to find a good community filled with good people. Los Angeles was not on the list of cities I’d hoped to move to, but I did it because of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Kan Mattoo interviewed me on the porch of Ben and Stacy’s old house, cans of beer in hand. Dave McKeever was there too, tossing the ball for Cattleman the dog.
The rest is history. We became family. We lost loved ones and fell in love again. We hung up Christmas decorations, ate thousands of food truck meals, made theater, drank too much, and never stopped dancing to Beyoncé.
I’ve been fortunate to create and launch some of Hollywood Fringe’s most important programs—I was a co-founder of the internship program (now expertly managed by Stina Pederson), brought Fringe theater to local high schools through Student Fringe, and developed Fringe Scholarships with Ellen Den Herder, the initiative of which I am most proud. I’ve hosted hundreds of Office Hours and moderated dozens of Fringe Workshops. The Fringe community thrives when participation is enthusiastic and diverse, and much of my responsibility is keeping it that way.
Thank you all for buying me drinks, and I’m sorry I couldn’t always come to see your show. Thank you for raising your hands to ask questions, and I’m sorry I often cut you off before you finished your sentence.
Thank you for wearing a name tag every time I asked you to.
Thank you for winking at me across Bryan’s Bar, for dancing with me at the prom, for protecting me when I couldn’t do it myself.
Thank you for creating this community of weirdos where we can all finally be at home.
Thank you for trusting me, and trusting us, with your stories and your art.
My greatest calling in life is engaging diverse communities of people for the arts, and the Hollywood Fringe was the first place I started learning that.
It’s where I learned to lead, to love, to subsist on so very little sleep, and to dedicate myself to a truly worthy cause. You are the great love of my twenties, Hollywood Fringe, and I will miss you dearly.
We are happy to share with you this year’s Award Winners – announced just moments ago at the 2017 Award Ceremony, held at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre! Thank you all for joining us at the ceremony. Congratulations to all the winners!.
Fringe Freaks (Community-Voted Awards)
Top of the Fringe: Shakeslesque: (To Thine Own Cherry Be True)
International: Ladies in Waiting: The Judgement of Henry VIII
Fringe First (World Premiere): Turbulence!
Cabaret & Variety: Shakeslesque: (To Thine Own Cherry Be True)
Comedy: Easy Targets
Dance & Physical Theatre: Definition of A Man
Ensemble Theatre: The Motherf**ker in the Hat
Immersive Theatre: Apartment 8
Musicals and Operas: Turbulence!
Solo Performance: Under the Jello Mold
ShoWorks Don’t Wait. Create! Award: Chimpskin
The Screamiest: A(partment 8)
The Spirit of the Fringe, Never in a Box Award: TOYS
The Duende Distinction: Christina Evans – Choreography - TOYS
Tip Your 2Cents Award for Distinctive Voices: Chimpskin
The Ripest Show: Definition of Man
A Little New Music Award for Outstanding Songwriting: Turbulence!
Larry Cornwall Award: Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)
Rogue Machine’s “Premiere” Award: Urban Unrest – Urban Theatre Movement
Beyond Bechtel-Wallace Award: Thanksgiving
Diversity in American Theatre Award: In the Valley of The Shadow
Soaring Solo Artist Award: Magic 8 Ball (My Life with Asperger’s)
The Inkwell Playwright’s Promise Award: In the Valley of The Shadow
Short and Sweet Award: CHATTER
O-Face Award for Orgasmic Achievement (Most Orgasmic Performance): Yozmit Walker - Do You: Migration of the Monarchs –
Best Fringe Flyer: An Evening With John Wilkes Booth
The Unleashed Award: Thanksgiving
The LAFPI Most Wanted Award:
Actors Company, Art of Acting Studio, Assistance League Playhouse, Epiphany Space, Complex Theatres, Hudson Theatres, Los Angeles LGBT Center, Rogue Machine @ MET Theatre, studio/stage, The Loft, Theatre of NOTE, Three Clubs, Thymele Arts, Urban Social House, The New Collective
The Encore! Producers Award:
Complex Theatres – Video Games, Narcissus and Echo, Trixie: The Musical, Human Hothouse: The Aftershow, 13th Grade, Desert Warrior, Claim Jumper, Even If It’s Wrong, Toys, Confessions of an Arab Woman, Incantessimo, Mistero Buffo, Too Many Hitlers, Ripley’s Dystopia, Broke and Ugly, Mary’s Medicine, Under the Jello Mold, Slashed, An Evening with John Wilkes Booth, Do You. Migration of the Monarchs
Lounge Theatre – Bitch Brow, I’m Too Fat For This Show, Just Like Life, NICAEA, Sapo Cancionero: Live Your Heart Out, Thanksgiving, The Girl Who Jumped Off The Hollywood Sign, Transmission – A One Tran Show
Sacred Fools Theatre – Quantum Entanglement, Bono & the Edge Waiting for Godomino’s, Easy Targets, Definition of Man, Divorce: The Hip Hop Musical, The Joe & Joshua Show!, Why We Become Witches, Kinsherf’s Coat, A Harmony Boy’s Christmas, Charlie Moose Makes His Move, 12 Bars, Urban Theatre Movement presents: Urban Unrest, The King’s Language, High Rise, Orange Mango Cabaret
Three Clubs – Buffy Kills Edward, Shakespeare and Chill, Hot Dates, Legends of the Hidden Three Clubs, Psychosical, Nights at the Algonquin Round Table,
Studio/Stage – Blamed: An Established Fiction, Nothing Bad: A Werewolf Rock Musical, Here Comes, Rutherford, Herpes: A Love Story, The Tempest: All Women Cast, So You Want to be a Vampire, The Spidey Project, Three Can Keep A Secret, MEXISTANI! Growing up Mexican and Pakistani in America, Gamers
The New Collective – Just Sayin, Got A Minute, I Do … Do You?, Life, Death and … Entertainment
Actors Company – A Void, Bravo 25, Dead Boys, Dying City, mismatch, Pagliaccis, Songs of the Fall, The Complete History of Drag in a Few Mo-mo, Trump in Space
Asylum – 6 Figures, 86’d, Andy: The Red Nosed Warhola, CHATTER, Cheek (and other stories), Chemo Barbie, CringeFest: An Uncomfortable Anthology, Devadasi, A Story of Sex, Power and Devotion, Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead, Hello Again! The Songs of Allan Sherman, Homebody/ The Anxiety Cure, Just Old Woman from Old Country, Save Me a Spot!, Scarlet Pimpernel, SECRET IDENTITY CRISIS, Secure Storage, SNATCHED…Stories From Down There, Solomon: King Poet &, Lover – A Tale of One Man & 700 Wives, Space Play or The Number of Nothing, Terror on The High Seas, The Amitycode, The Brick – A One Man Musical, The Motherfucker With The Hat, The Rise and Fall of Dracula, The Sacred Beasts, The Second Coming of Klaus Kinski, This Our Now, Two Motherfuckers on a Ledge, Willy’s Lil Virgin Queen
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