Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Notes from the Meet N Greet Last Night

Had another great Meet N Greet last night - the turn out was smaller, just four folks aside from the Fringe folks, but they were mighty. We had a representative of Sideshow Theatre present. We ended up talking quite a bit about fundraising - which didn't hurt any!

We now officially have an International Coordinator. So now I am feeling much more confident that we'll be able to attempt having folks outside of North America perform at the Fringe. I wasn't sure that we'd be able to pull it off the first year, but it's looking optimistic.

As before, I will send the full notes to anyone who asks - but for the sake of this post, I will abridge the full notes. Keep in mind we are going to do one more of these this year - On October 20th. Still working out a venue at present, but it'll likely be in Pilsen.

9/28/09 Meet N Greet

Board members: Mikayla, Vinnie, Amanda, Adrienne

Others present: 4

Introductions: Mikayla: brief bio and reason for doing this, Amanda, Adrienne, Vinnie

Stephanie: knows Vinnie, majored in theatre then retired, spent lots of time with Dublin Fringe

Karie: education/outreach for Sideshow Theatre and point person for Fringe interests, seeing what Fringe is about, looking to perform in as well as support Fringe

Jason: formerly lived in Orlando, surprised Chicago didn't have theatre festival like Fringe, friend became fan on FB and J saw it

Danielle: likes volunteering for cool stuff, volunteer coordinator for soup kitchen/homeless shelter

Background:

- Distinguishing characteristics: moving the festival each year (first year in Pilsen), first week in September 2010 (9/1-9/5), enthusiastic venues in Pilsen, 30-35 shows, show selection by lottery system for equanimity, looking for both national and international flavor, multiple shows during time frame, each show is in same venue but slot changes, times: 4-11 W-F, 12-11 S-S, possibility for midnight shows, run times less than 1 hour, minimize improv 80% scripted or planned, looking to avoid censorship, sketch shows can be theatrical, giving 100% of ticket sales back to performer (contingent on fundraising success), looking for event planner/development coordinator

Questions/Comments/Concerns:

- copyrighted material: performers have to secure rights

- number of shows each company can submit to the lottery? question to be answered at some point in the future, limit number of applications, company can submit 3 to lottery but only perform 1? lottery pulls company/artist name rather than show and company/artist name has to provide show, onus of company to ensure everyone who can perform will be available to do so

- everyone on fan page on FB, can select to have all your friends made fans, mailinglist@chicagofringe.org, encourage friends, neighbors, colleagues

- fundraising event soon (end of Oct/early Nov), comment: fundraising on the north side if everyone you know is there and start moving as buzz gets built

- canvas underserved neighborhoods: standing on street corners and talking to people, putting theatre in places that aren't theatres,

- shutting down street involves a shitload of money

- busking? Fringe cafe idea - an ongoing open mic of sorts in a casual setting

- at least one outdoor venue

- Other fundraising ideas: Quick and dirty: how to make money, give them an experience, $20 at door gives them drinking for two hours plus other stuff, make it an event; dancing/dance marathon? what is in the spirit of Fringe?; costume displays of previous shows as part of a larger event; need an energetic and fun emcee; theatre companies can donate tickets, performers, arm wrestlers

- time commitment for staff positions: at least 3 hours per week, mostly email, staff meetings once per month

- we've given and continue to give lots of thought towards what Chicago needs and how to find the niche



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