It’s unclear whether Chris Schwartz’s hat is keeping him cool in this hot weather, but he wears it well. He’s standing on the main deck of the Fort Fringe bar, chatting and enjoying a drink between shows.
“I’m seeing a lot,” he says. “I saw ten shows in the first three days of the festival.”
He’s purchased the all-access pass this year – otherwise he’d likely be volunteering. “This is my third Capital Fringe, he explains. “Before that I did two Fringe festivals in Winnipeg and one in New York City, just going around seeing shows and helping out where I could.”
Unofficially, Chris is also doing everything he can to talk up this summer’s revival of Beertown, dog & pony’s Helen Hayes award-winning show from last season.
“I saw it when they workshopped it, and I saw it when it originally ran,” says Chris. “And I’m telling everyone at the festival that they need to go see it. I’m sort of a super-fan of the company. I love that they’re experimenting with how to integrate an audience into the show.”
Chris lives in Falls Church, and commutes in to work at 10th and G. “I can walk right over to the festival after work. It’s great. I’m just running into random people and having good conversations.”
Does it feel like a different crowd this year? “Well, I Fringed a lot less last year. So, I’m not seeing a lot of people that I know. But I am seeing a lot of performers that I recognize from shows. So I’ve been going up to people a lot and saying, I really enjoyed you in this show last year… Can’t wait to see you in your show this year.”
Among the shows on Chris’s list: Flight of Fancy (A Steampunk Ballet), A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup, and Wild Night: A Burlesque Adventure.
What about during the off-season? “I do community theatre.” Chris has just been cast as Tony in You Can’t Take It With You at the Providence Players in Falls Church. “I’m very excited to be in a show.”