NOV 2007

Community & The Fringe

At the Hollywood Fringe, our community is central to everything we do.

We are big fans of Hollywood. To the rest of the world, Hollywood is an idea. It is a capital of the world, a place of legend. It’s the spiritual core of the entertainment industry and a symbol of possibility and opportunity. People come here to “make it”. Dreams are big and ambition is high.

That’s Hollywood “the idea”. The Hollywood in which we live is a little different than the sum of the world’s imagination and ambitions. So much more than buildings and concrete, it is the fascinating array of personalities that provide its character. Personal style and expression are the norm. Conformity and conservatism are not.

When I moved here from Iowa (I was born and raised in DC), it was the vast array of personalities and styles that immediately caught my eye and imagination. In many places on this earth, communities rally around a style and vie to conform to it. Here it is just the opposite – style is an independent expression of individual personality, culture, and taste.

And then there is the theatre. In recent years, Hollywood has undergone a renaissance of the arts. You can barely skip out your door without landing yourself outside a potential venue. The expansive “Theatre Row” stretches across Santa Monica Ave with dozens of professional theatre venues and companies. Somewhat ironically, Hollywood is a theatre neighbourhood.

The counterculturism and natural expressiveness of this neighbourhood combined with the plethora of theatre venues and companies create a fantastic opportunity to host a world-class fringe festival. We hope to combine these divergent elements into a living, theatrical organism. Fringe is independent, expressive, bold, experimental. It is the pursuit of an idea because that idea seems worth doing. It provides a safe, supportive environment for artists to take risks.

As we plan Hollywood’s first Fringe, we are very aware that the community is the spiritual core from which this festival springs. Our inspiration, our ideas, and our support come from this place. As a result, the Hollywood Fringe will be unique. As atmosphere and water provide flavour to ageing whiskey, so to will Hollywood provide our festival’s flavour.

We are proud to develop a project that breathes this air and walks these streets every day. Ok, maybe not the air, but you get the idea…