Thursday, April 16, 2009

Rhino Fest, Around the Coyote, Abbie Hoffman

Props are due. It needs saying that I recognize the long standing Chicago Festivals, The Rhinoceros Festival (, the Around the Coyote Festival (, and the Abbie Hoffmann Died for Our Sins Festival ( are important for our theatre community. These are the original Fringes of Chicago. The Chicago Fringe Festival will be another chapter, a companion to these awesome long standing fests. Each event has it's own skill set if you will. Rhino is thoughtfully curated and represents some of the most exciting work in the city. ATC brings together artists from many genres into one festival; Abbie Hoffman is fast-paced, quick, and intense.

What will be the Fringe M.O. in this context? I think there are two key components for distinguishing this festival. The first is the lottery system. We invite a completely open selection. Secondly, I hope that this grows into a space where we invite artists from around the country and the world to participate.

There are other ways that Fringe will grow to distinguish itself...but we can't divulge all our secrets at once!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Oh my oh my. We had our field trip in Pilsen this past weekend to scout it out as a possible location for Fringe. I for one am head over heels in love. A few selling points: I saw a risky and exhilarating show at the Dream Theatre called SEQUESTERED. They produce all originals, and I assure you that I will be back for more. Check them out at I also saw another theater that I was henceforth not aware was located around there: EP Theater. I plan on catching their next show, COYDOG, opening April 29th. ( In addition to that, I passed so many drop dead gorgeous empty galleries that just scream to have all original fringe theatre happen in them that my head was spinning. Topping even that: there is this sweet hollowed out church that has been transformed into a community park. I don't know the whole story there, but having a performance happen in there would be just...just...exhilarating. There was also inspiring visit to the National Museum of Mexican Art ( There's also a performance space in there.

Let me qualify all with willy-nilly dreaming with the fact that I have not yet had any contact with any of the aforementioned organizations. Time will tell of any of this pans out. One thing remains clear in the afterglow of yesterday afternoon: this project approaches, terrifying and exciting, necessary and impossible.