Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fringe Binge - Coming Sunday November 15th!

Come one, come all to the Fringe Binge at the Viaduct!

- Wander around a spell at our game booths, where you can play to win fabulous prizes. Prizes include drink tickets, yummy baked goods, Fringe merchandise and more. The more you play, the more you win! Play like you did when you were a kid...only this time with booze!
- Shake your booty to tunes from our D.J.!
- Settle down to watch short performances from local acts!
- Buy a ticket to our raffle for your chance to win big money!
- Participate in the Ugly Pumpkin contest for your chance to win a 10 performance ticket package to the 2010 Chicago Fringe Festival! Simply decorate the
fugliest pumpkin you can find and display it with pride!
- Check out the Viaduct's bar for pocket friendly $2

Spin the wheel to determine your ticket price - $12-$15 dollars at the door (cash only). Don't want to leave it to fate? Pay your way early through
PayPal for the early bird discount of $12. Simply go on to our website ( and select the Donate button on our Get Involved tab. From there make a $12 donation through your PayPal account, making sure to leave an instruction note with your name.

Your ticket entitles you to your first
PBR or Soda for free.

Our party is 17 +.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

What's New to Know Right Now

There have a been a number of decisions made in the recent weeks. Our website will soon be expanded with full flourish to include this information, but here is some new stuff that should interest folks. I can see that you are hungry for it! We will do an official press release soon, but for those of you in the know, here's what's new to know right now.

Upcoming Events:

Meet N Greet # 3 - Skylark Bar, Cermak and Halsted, Oct. 20, 7pm. *21 and over only. An additional event will be planned for younger folks in the future.

Indoor County Fair - Viaduct Theatre, Western and Belmont, Nov. 15, 7-10 pm. More details about this fun event will be following soon! Right now we are casting short acts for performance and theatre companies to run fun fair booths.

New Info About the Chicago Fringe Festival, 2010:

When: September 1-5, 2010

Where: Pilsen neighborhood, centering around Halsted and 18th street in Chicago, IL

Who: Approximately 40 performance companies; each with five staggered performances each.

How Chosen: Selected by Lottery and sub lottery to ensure diversity.

What gives: $400 dollar participation fee for chosen companies. Artists will keep 100 percent of ticket sales.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Why We Are Making a Fringe For Chicago

The argument can be made that a Fringe is unnecessary in Chicago. After all, aren't there plenty performance opportunities? Isn't the viable audience for theatre bombarded with opportunities to see a plethora of fringe companies? Isn't a Fringe just another example of over saturation? Hasn't Chicago tried to have a so titled "Fringe" festival before and failed?

These are questions we wrestle with. In coming up with a vision for the Chicago Fringe Festival, it was absolutely crucial that we answer these questions not only for the community but for ourselves. After all, why torture ourselves trying to produce something that isn't needed? That we don't truly want?

I believe that the key component of our vision that makes this festival necessary is the idea of facilitating a dialogue between diverse groups of performers and patrons. The diversity of the festival will be a multi-faceted affair. We will have geographic diversity by encouraging travelling artists from the U.S. and the world to perform in Chicago. Perhaps more importantly, we will encourage diverse artists from around Chicago itself to participate - the full array of race, of gender, of geography, of ability, of language. It is vital that we engage a full plumage of different artists within our city. It is essential that we break the traditional boundaries and engage with each other's work, despite which bus it takes to get there. Fear of the unknown has haunted our community for far too long. The Fringe movement defies that fear. The Fringe movement defies that fear as laziness.

This leads into my second point. Fringe will be a targeted set of days that are dedicated to the sheer voluminous production of a mass amount of diverse material. Hundreds of performance artists will converge in the Pilsen neighborhood from September 1 - 5th, 2010. Some will meet new friends. Some will be profoundly affected by a piece they see. Some will come to view a friend's show and end up seeing four other companies they'd have rare opportunities to catch, in part because they are so busy producing their own work. Additionally, some theatre patrons will take a chance on a company they've never heard of in traditional media. The Chicago Fringe Festival will be an opportunity to take a targeted risk. It easy enough to come to the conclusion as an artist or a patron that you'd like to engage with diverse performances. It's another thing entirely to try to balance that desire with modern life - a job, kids, commuting, desperately trying to hawk your own show, etc. Fringe provides the opportunity to spend a day wandering a few city blocks and take in as much performance as you can stand.

Our commitment to annually rotate the festival into an underrepresented neighborhood also serves a need. A large part of the theatre produced in Chicago takes place in the Loop and on the Northside. Awareness must be spread to the artists working on the West and South sides. We are producing the 2010 festival in the Pilsen neighborhood around 18th and Halsted streets to high light the work being done there and also to bring foot traffic to a truly exciting Arts District.

We continually meet new people who challenge us and ask important questions. Please - talk to us. Comment here. Write me at mikayla{at} Tweet us - Facebook us. We are producing Chicago Fringe for Chicago and need your thoughts. Nothing great was ever born without dissent.

To that end, please consider joining us at the Skylark Bar at 2149 S. Halsted on Tuesday, October 20th at 7 p.m. for our third Meet N Greet. As with the other meetings, we will have a conversation that answers existing questions about the festival, and also poses new ones that must be addressed.

Spread the word - Chicago Fringe is coming to Pilsen in September 2010.