Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Fringe 2005 - Fear of a Lily-White Fringe

Fear not. Well, don't fear much.

A funny thing happened at the Fringe lottery. They did a number of special drawings (international, kids, teens, 90 minute slots, showcases, artists of color, even one for the Southern Theater for those groups interested in doing aerial work) prior to the larger general drawing. For the most part, leftovers from each of the initial lotteries went back into the spinning cage for the general lottery so they'd get a second chance.

But after drawing ten slots for artists of color, they realized they had enough slots for the 11th and final candidate as well. So like the international pull, going through the drawing of ping pong balls really wasn't necessary. Whoops. But we did get to hear about each of the candidates that way at least.

I'm not sure whether it's a good thing or a bad thing that there was plenty of room. On the one hand - great, there were at least 11 slots set aside so everyone got in. On the other hand, like the international artists, it means there weren't more than enough artists applying so that actual choices needed to be made. In many ways, it would be nice to have that problem.

I wonder why more artists of color don't apply to the Fringe. Do they just not know it's there? Do they not feel interested, or feel they wouldn't be welcome? Do they feel the financial burden is too great?

On that last count, the Fringe really does bend over backward to make the money a non-issue. There's a process by which you can defer your application fee, to have it taken out of your profits on the back end. And when they consider who to give these deferments to, a main consideration is, "Would any of the categories this artist falls into be underrepresented in the Fringe if they weren't a part of it?" In other words, what do we need more of? The producer of my show last year, Dandelion Snow, didn't get a deferment in part because, let's face it, theater by gay white people is hardly underrepresented in the Fringe.

So while I'm excited that we do have as many artists of color as we do on this year's schedule, it'd be great to have more next year, so a lottery among them is actually necessary.

And if I know the Fringe staff, they're already working on making that a reality. One of the many things I love about the Fringe, the tent just keeps getting bigger.

This year's artists of color are:

Aniccha Arts
Fragile Lines
Survivor stories from the tsunami in SE Asia. AN interactive performance with movement, video and sound.

Asian Media Access
Shanghai Extravaganza
Combning song, dance, mime to illustrate the 1930's shanghai.

B Entertainment

The Color of You're Skeyes Prod.
Highly abstract, with use of sound and lighting, linear in story form.

Samantha Dean, Primary Actres
I'm Naked and I'm Ready
A series of one woman dialogues detailing the crazy adventures of young, mixed, heterosexual girl single in the city.

Hermit Arts
Jamillah Hollyman
Jamaica Me Crazy
Two sisters embark upon an exciting winter get-away to sunny Jamaica, but quickly find themselves wanting to get away from each other.

Protest Productions
Civil Catastrophe
A play based on a true story of a muslim woman's struggle to seek equality and justice in a post 9/11 workplace.

Marcie Rendon
What's an Indian Woman To Do?
A young American Indian woman confesses her struggles of being "herself" in an era of new age wannabees.

Teatro del Pueblo
Miss Margarida's Way
A one woman show involving the audience as a class while Miss Margarida's teaching style entertains, offends and educates her "students".

Traveling Kurkendaal Productions
Color Me Naked Vol 2: Big Black and Sassy
This is the sequal to the 2001 hit show, Color Me Naked.

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