Fringe Comments- By Joel Markowitz Musical Podcaster/Theatre Schmoozer
My hats off to all the volunteers and the administration who pulled the Fringe Festival off. Alot of people worked very hard to make this a success. It will be interesting to see what the final ticket sales were, but most of the shows I attended were near capacity. A special thanks to the box office workers who had enormous patience.
Another special thanks to all the playwrights, actors, directors, techies, etc. who invited me to see their shows and gave me those wonderful comps. I was treated very well by all of you, and I thank you for your generosity. It was a personal pleasure to schmooze with many of the artists during the happy hours and parties before and during the festival, and at DCTR’s podcast recording sessions at The Warehouse. Your spirit and dedication was and still is infectious.
And a special thank you to the muffin maker at Warehouse. Your muffins are the best, especially the vegan ones. I’ve worked very hard on the treadmill this weekend trying to burn off those muffins I devoured.
The only two suggestions I have for the next Fringe Festival, is to hold it in the fall when it’s cooler, and to allow people who are waiting in line to get into a “sold out show.”
Sell standing room ticket(s), at a reduced rate, for all the shows, and if there are empty seats because of no-shows, the standees can then fill up the empty seats. I’ve been running a social group for 16 years, and my first obligation is to fill up the empty seats and to ensure that the cast is performing to a full house. I hated seeing people standing out in the sweltering heat, and not being allowed to fill up those empty seats.
Again, congrats to a job well done. My life is richer because of my Fringe experiences.
I was lucky enough to see 26 shows at the Fringe, only two of which I thought were of "poor quality". The majority of the productions were interesting, well-performed, quirky or non-mainstream, and very original. I would hate to see this become a competitive event, at it would if the entrants were juried. But if that does need to happen, I’d hope that the panel of adjudicators would be large and covering a wide range of theatre interests. Applause all around to the organizers and implementors of this first festival.
You may have a point Ronnie… I wonder though what the history of other Fringe Festivals are and what their experiences have been respective to juried shows. Do they have juried shows, did they always have juried shows, if they didn’t always have juried shows and now do have juried shows – at what point did they start jurying the shows.
Not sure I like the idea of a jury… at least until Capital Fringe has a track record. The artists had to jump through enough hoops as it was and I am not sure you can jury the shows when you are still trying to build the number of shows.
While I know that there were many shows of good quality however, a large number of people also complain about the very poor quality of other shows. I would suggest that in the future shows be juried in order to participate in the Fringe.
Here here! I was so sad to see people turned away from shows only to then see empty seats! Fill ‘er up!
Edward Daniels says
Joel! We all appreciate you taking the time to cover so many of our shows. It was an adventure for us and, I’m sure, even more so for you. As regards to the ‘sold out’ shows and such…I was told by a festival organizer that it was wrong and even unlawful to re-sell seats that were already purchased, even when the ticket holder didn’t show up by curtain of a show that didn’t allow late seating. As the show I was producing proved to be popular and in demand I, logically, allowed as many of my ‘wait-listers’ crowding the streets with cash in hand to enter, in order to ensure that our ‘sold out’ show was indeed SOLD OUT. Nonetheless, Fringe was exactly what the DC arts community needed and I hope that the scene here can only grow and prosper from this grassroots inaugural event.