Props are due. It needs saying that I recognize the long standing Chicago Festivals, The Rhinoceros Festival (www.rhinofest.com), the Around the Coyote Festival (www.aroundthecoyote.org), and the Abbie Hoffmann Died for Our Sins Festival (http://www.maryarrchie.com/abbie.html) 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!