1

FEB 2021

Dearest Fringe Family, 

As we embrace 2021 with cautious optimism, we couldn’t be more thrilled to begin sharing our plans for the 11th annual Hollywood Fringe Festival. 

Over the last year we have watched creativity blossom throughout our community in ways we didn’t know were possible. From Zoom theatre to socially-distant immersive experiences, you have shown that artists will find a way to create theatre even in a pandemic, and it is this creativity that will make the 2021 Fringe season possible. Throughout its past, the Fringe community has proven, time and time again, the impact that an annual, grassroots gathering of artists provides its community. The camaraderie, creativity, and connections we witness in the lead-up to the festival mirrors the resilience this moment requires.

In concert with our venue partners, we have rescheduled the festival to August 12-22, 2021. By pushing back our timeline this year, it gives us the greatest assurance that we can gather for a digitally-driven, community-focused Hollywood Fringe Festival. 

We are actively working in conjunction with local, city and state health officials in planning a safe and successful festival. While digital shows will certainly make up the bulk of Fringe this year, the postponement allows for the increased possibility of safely presenting in-person shows according to public health guidelines. We’re hopeful that the delay will allow more time for the public to be vaccinated and restrictions to be loosened.

To ensure that we have the most up-to-date safety and health regulations in mind when we start our Fringe season, we are also delaying the opening of registration to May 1, 2021.

We remain committed to providing excellent resources to our stakeholders, and encourage our community to reach out with thoughts, questions, and concerns to [email protected]

 

PLEASE COMPLETE OUR SURVEY 

The Hollywood Fringe exists to serve our community, please help us provide the best support possible by filling out this survey. We are listening.  
 

FRINGE FROM HOME

Though we may not be able to meet in person right now, we will be continuing our digital community space, Fringe From Home, beginning in March.
 

WE WANT TO HELP 

We know that the pandemic’s economic impact has affected our community deeply. Our artists have lost work over the past year and our artistic homes are hurting: from the theaters we perform in, to the watering holes we grab a drink in post-show. 

To help offset the cost of participating in the 2021 Fringe, we are proud to announce that we are creating an artist fund with the proceeds from our upcoming annual fundraiser. More information on how to participate and donate coming soon.
 

With love and support,

The Hollywood Fringe Festival

14

DEC 2020

Dear Fringers, 

What a year it has been. 

While COVID-19 is still a rapidly developing health crisis, we are all beginning to see an end to the days of dark theatres. Just like you, The Hollywood Fringe team is looking to the future and planning with caution, creativity, and hope. 

With the health and safety of patrons and Fringers in mind, we are working towards a digitally-driven 2021 Hollywood Fringe. Expect an announcement in the new year with the full details of our 2021 festival. Until then, we will continue to work in concert with our venues, health department and city. In a safe and perhaps more fringey way than ever, the show(s) will go on! 

We will keep you informed as we take steps towards planning next year’s fringe; we look forward to including you on our journey.

We have been so inspired by the HFF community this year. In hard times you have created art, provoked thought, and brought joy to a darkened world. You continued to push forward when the world seemed to pause. We see you, we commend you, and we look forward to your contribution to our 2021 festival.

We remain committed to providing excellent resources to our stakeholders and encourage our community to reach out with thoughts, questions, and concerns to [email protected].

Fringe On!

The Hollywood Fringe Team

30

AUG 2020

Meet Jonathan Cho, a HFF19 scholarship recipient (and recipient of the 2019 Freak Award for Best Solo Show) representing The Hollywood Fringe Festival as a part of Sydney Fringe’s brand new program: Global Fringe

 

What is your show about?

Mr. Yunioshi is a solo show that follows Mickey Rooney as he develops his infamous character for the film Breakfast at Tiffany’s. The show is written for an Asian actor to perform.

 

What inspired you to write this story? 

I first had the idea for the show when I was doing theatre in Tampa. I’m so grateful to have been a part of the theatre community there and I still consider Tampa my hometown in a lot of ways. That being said, I was one of maybe three Asian performers that I knew of that were auditioning and getting stage time. At the time, there was this one sort of problematic director that had directed a show featuring a pretty rough caricature of a Chinese person by a performer that was not Asian. There was a facebook thread where the director defended his choice calling it “satire.” So a friend of mine posted a picture of Mickey Rooney as Mr. Yunioshi with the caption “SATIRE,” and as a joke I wrote that I would be doing a one man show as Mickey Rooney showing his process in developing that character. The response was largely, “you know that’s not a bad idea.” 

 

What do you think the most important takeaway from your show is? 

My hope is that the show gets people fired up to more actively support Asian artists. I tried to make the point that Hollywood likes to cast “household” names so it sure would help if more people were talking about Asian performers in their houses (or in their virtual houses! on their virtual walls!). Coming from a close-knit and supportive theatre community, I learned how uplifting and helpful the act of championing your fellow artists can be. One thing that’s blown my mind about being in Los Angeles is how instead of only plugging plays, I’m now celebrating friends in movies, TV shows, and video games. If you feel so inclined, please check out and support these Asian artists: Joy Regullano (Supportive White Parents), Brandon Raman (I Can’t Indian Good), Paul Yen (EWP’s Vietgone), Olivia Cheng (Warrior), Jake Choi (Single Parents), Anzu Lawson (Dear Yoko), Feodor Chin (Bulge Bracket), Leonard Wu (Ghosts of Tsushima), and I always feel bad about starting one of these lists because I start to think about who else I could have mentioned.. Oh! There’s also an all-Asian comedy team named Miss Golightly at UCB that I found out about during the run of this show!

 

Tell us about the journey you have been on with this show? 

After I had the initial idea, I didn’t actually start writing until right around the time they revealed the first picture of Scarlett Johannson in Ghost in the Shell. I saw a lot of people calling for a boycott of the movie (which I can certainly understand people wanting to do), but I also felt the problem was bigger than Scar Jo and I started writing the show as a way to unpack my feelings and opinions about the subject. I finished the first version just in time for the New York Fringe Festival.    I was happy with the version that I did in New York, but for the Hollywood Fringe I had grown a bit and was better able to articulate my thoughts. I also had a terrific comedy director named Joe Wagner who helped me talk through a lot of the jokes I was hesitant to make. And a huge thank you to the Hollywood Fringe Diversity Scholarship for helping me on the production side of things! I was very wrapped up with writing and performing and it was nice having a team of people checking in to see if I needed any help (and I did!). I suppose the next step of the journey is figuring out a way for other Asian actors to be able to do the show in their communities. I hope the show can be a showcase for actors like me when I was starting out, a way of saying “Hello! I’m here! Look what I can do!” 

 

What are you most excited about in sharing your show with a global audience? 

I’m honestly really hoping I get to hear the response to the show and whether this is a topic and subject matter that resonates with an international audience. I’m rather keenly aware of the conversations being had about whitewashing and yellowface here in the U.S. and from friends in the U.K. and I’m curious whether this is a conversation that people everywhere want to be having. I think this show does a good job of introducing and dissecting those issues while disguised as a comedy. I just don’t know if people will think the show is as clever and/or funny as I think it is. I sincerely hope so. But I’m mostly just excited for people to see the show and hopefully enjoy it!

 

Do you have a favorite HFF memory? 

I have to say that winning an award with my Mom sitting next to me in the audience was a very lovely experience! That would be my favorite memory followed closely by a thousand smaller memories of meeting so many talented artists and being welcomed so warmly by the Hollywood Fringe community.

 

Check our Mr. Yunioshi and so many more amazing shows from around the world in Sydney’s Global Fringe !

26

JUN 2020

We are so excited to announce the members of the 2020 Hollywood Fringe ACCESS Committee. These Fringers will work directly with the Hollywood Fringe staff to assess and identify successful approaches and actions to increase equity across the festival, and identify areas of inequity that need addressing by leadership. The list of our ACCESS representatives and their accolades are below.

Also a reminder that tomorrow, Saturday, June 27 from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm, we will host our first Listening Session and Roundtable with the Hollywood Fringe ACCESS Committee. We look forward to this being the first of many workshops and conversations led by our committee members, as we identify ways to institute change in the Hollywood Fringe and the LA Theatre community at large. If you would like to attend, please reserve a spot on our website. If you are unable to attend, but have a question, comment or discussion topic suggestion, please fill out this form. 

-—-

The Hollywood Fringe Festival ACCESS Committee Members

Ella Turenne is a native New Yorker who has been in Los Angeles for 10 years. She has narrated books such as A Good Neighborhood and Remembrance and has performed her award winning one woman show Love, Locs & Liberation internationally at festivals such as the Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Downtown Urban Arts Festival and the United Solo Festival. She also is an activist working on mass incarceration and racial justice issues. A perpetual student, Ella recently went back to school to get her PhD in visual studies.

Matthew Robinson is a writer, director and producer who has put on various theatre shows over the last four years of the Fringe. Works include “Olivia Wilde Does Not Survive The Apocalypse”, “BlackBalled” and “Mary’s Medicine.” Matthew has also participated the past three years in the diversity scholarship program for the Fringe. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram @robinsonishyde 

Michelle Roshanzamir is a consultant and producer based in Los Angeles. She works with creatives and leaders to bring their dream projects and initiatives to life.  Started MVR Creative after seeing how many creatives struggle with the business and management side of what they’re working on and turning their ideas into an actionable, results driven plan.  Through individualized support, she helps them develop a rock-solid strategy, determine their next steps, and explore funding options so they can make their vision a reality and reach their goals in a deeply fulfilling and financially rewarding way.  Check more out at www.mvrcreativela.com

Natasha Lewin is a former LA elected official, touring musician and managing editor of High Times. She’s a four-time published author, award-winning playwright and screenwriter as well as a top podcast showrunner. In 2017, Natasha won the Hollywood Fringe Diversity Scholarship for her dark comedy, CHATTER. In 2019, Natasha wrote and directed CHATTER as a short film. It became a 92nd Academy Awards qualifier in 2020. 

Peerada Meemalayath is a first-generation Asian American. She is an actor, activist, and overall artist. She strongly believes in adopting theater as a catalyst for social change and devising narratives that focuses on finding a voice for the voiceless.

Royce Shockley is an accomplished producer, writer, and performer originally from New Jersey. He has been a mentor for the Diversity Scholarship program, and is also the leader of the Inclusivity Board at the Pack Theater. He is passionate about diversity and inclusion and is excited for everything that the ACCESS committee plans to accomplish.

Rufino Romero was born and raised in Los Angeles. He has worked on many projects,  from independent films like “In Echo Park,” world premier plays like “Always Running,” based off of a best seller book. And the latest powerful black and brown digital series “East of La Brea,” created by Paul Feig and Sameer Gardazi. 

Spencer Frankeberger is an actor/director/improviser and board-certified music therapist (MT-BC) as well as an enrichment instructor and teacher.  He is a Hollywood Fringe vet, award-winning producer and director, as well as a Hollywood Encore judge.  For a fun fact, he is a huge theme park enthusiast — including working at a theme park, having annual passes to multiple theme parks, teaching an amusement park science class for kids, and currently creating a theme park podcast.

22

JUN 2020

In light of cancellation, we have scheduled the following events to come together as a community.

Hollywood Fringe Office Hours “All About Cancellation”
Wednesday, June 24 | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Discord/Zoom

Join us for a Hollywood Fringe Office Hours all about cancelling the 2020 festival. Hollywood Fringe staff will be available in this open forum to discuss any issues, answer questions and provide support to you, our community.

Joining in is easy:
1. Head over to the Hollywood Fringe Discord Server (https://discordapp.com/invite/q7yeQUe)
2. You’ll be prompted to log in or register
3. Join in on the chat

Hollywood Fringe Town Hall “All About Cancellation”
Thursday, June 25 | 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm | Zoom

Join Festival Director Ben Hill & the Hollywood Fringe staff for a Town Hall all about the cancellation of the 2020 festival on Zoom. To receive the link for the event, please reserve a ticket for the event on the event page and a link will be emailed 30 minutes before the event.

 

This event will also be live-streamed on our Facebook and posted to Youtube post-event.

If you would like to submit your questions before the event, you can send them to us via this form: https://forms.gle/5Z18wk8GnifmNE3A7

Additionally, we are still holding these events to address racial inequity in our community. Please check this blog post to learn more about Hollywood Fringe’s stance and action plan. These events are the first of many to come as we work together as a community to combat these systemic issues.

Listening Session & Roundtable with the Hollywood Fringe ACCESS Committee
Saturday, June 27 | 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Zoom/Youtube

An open, brave and receptive discussion organized, moderated and led by the Hollywood Fringe ACCESS committee to identify ways to institute change in the Hollywood Fringe and the LA Theatre community at large. This discussion will be on Zoom, pre-register for a spot on our project page. The chat will also be live-streamed on YouTube.

If you are not able to attend, but have a question, comment or discussion topic suggestion, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/eoqXfG7ZVQ5KU63V6

Virtual Office Hours Open Forum Discussion on Inclusion & Equity
Wednesday, July 1st | 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm | Discord/Zoom

During these Virtual Office Hours, we encourage artists to come in ready to discuss the structural inequities in our community. There will be separate breakout sessions to address any issues you have witnessed directly with Fringe staff. If you are unable to attend this meeting, please feel free to email [email protected] with any questions, comments, or concerns you would like to see the Hollywood Fringe staff address.

Joining in is easy:
1. Head over to the Hollywood Fringe Discord Server (https://discordapp.com/invite/q7yeQUe)
2. You’ll be prompted to log in or register
3. Join in on the chat