Friday, February 26, 2010

Lottery Party is THIS SUNDAY!

The Lottery is here: this Sunday, February 28, 2010! We are bouncing off the walls with anticipation! Every single name will be pulled - from the 40 participants, to the exact order of the waiting list. A part of our vision, as with the spirit of Fringe Festivals everywhere, is complete transparency.

We have a full night planned starting at 6pm CST that won't stop until we all run out of gas. For those of you who may be scattered about the country and world, not to worry! You can sit back in the comforts of your own home and watch the event streamed LIVE. At 7pm CST, log into our Chicago Fringe Festival Channel at For the Twitter fans, we will be doing a LIVE Twitter stream as well. Just go to our page at and watch our tweets roll by, tagged #CFFLottery.

Please keep reading for a run down of the night's events, from start to finish.

Hot Cocoa Donor's Reception:
Got $10? We've got a cup of cocoa with your name on it!
Supporting the Fringe is easy when there's delicious cocoa, great company, and live music involved!

Please join us for our Hot Cocoa Donor's Reception from 6-7pm on February 28, prior to the Chicago Fringe Festival Lottery Party! Held at the Temple Gallery directly before the night's lottery festivities begin, this casual reception will give you the chance to hear some great live music, get to know CFF artists, staff, and programs a little better, and enjoy a warm cup of cocoa.

Yes, it's THAT easy (and tasty!) to become a donor. Simply bring a suggested donation of $10 (cash only, please) to the door and take a seat alongside other committed fringe enthusiasts! Your contribution to Chicago Fringe Festival will be acknowledged in various electronic and print materials.

The Lottery:

On Sunday February 28th The CFF invades the Temple Gallery -1749 S Halsted Street- in the Pilsen Neighborhood. Over a 150 National and International artists submitted to the 2010 Fringe Festival and will be selected in a massive interactive Lottery for one of forty spots at this year's festival. The Lottery Party is hosted by Chicago's own Tony B with special performances by Miss Vallery Dolls and the Ben Keeler Trio. You can also get your hands on some Chicago Fringe prizes just by exercising your brain with our quiz questions.

And how much does a night of this fantabulous entertainment cost you? Nothing! The lottery is FREE!

Lottery After Party:

Join us for the Lottery After Party at fabulous Simone's Bar for delicious and thoughtful food and drink. There's nothing like some after hours libations and lunacy to celebrate our winners and wait-listers! Fringers, performers and fans alike will head over to Simone's after the last waiting list name has been read.

After Party - Simone's Bar
960 W 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608
9PM - ???

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Drumroll Please: 155 Applications!

Dear me. We are elated and overwhelmed to have seen such a response from our applicants. In our very first year, we received 155 applications. Wow. While I like to think of that as faith in the work we are doing, I know that it's really a testament to the amazing work that the other regional and US fringes have done over the last several years. People love Fringe. They were hungry for a Fringe here in Chicago. We are working diligently at every available moment, in every possible way to make this the Fringe that Chicago wants and needs. Please never hesitate to contact us and tell us what you would like to see at Fringe this September!

Here is the breakdown of the applications:
Chicagoland: 85
National: 66
International: 4

I'm touched that all of these groups, including four from outside the United States, had enough faith in us to give this a shot, to take a risk on something in its inaugural year.

This project has come to feel like a freight train - we started the engines, but now it's charging forth with its own inertia. We're hanging on to the rails, enjoying the ride.

Watch out for a blog post soon with more details about the lottery Sunday, including how to watch it broadcast from the web!

Friday, February 12, 2010


It's a truth of human nature that no matter how clearly, or how many times you state a deadline, people will always procrastinate, in some cases, missing the deadline altogether. So I'll throw my voice into the void once again in case you need reminding:

The deadline to apply to perform at the Chicago Fringe Festival in 2010 is FEBRUARY 15, 2010.

So that's MONDAY.

Everything you need is on our website,

It's ok if you don't know exactly what you want to do - you are allowed to gloss over the description, or say that your title is tentative. We can work that out later. By April 1st, anyways. Happy applying and flooding our inbox!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meet Your Fringe Staff: Rachel Staelens

I am the Production Manager for Chicago Fringe which means that I will be scheduling techs, organizing technical staff and volunteers, helping to select space placement and solidifying show order for each group, locating equipment, and basically making sure that the technical and scheduling aspects of the Chicago Fringe run smoothly and efficiently. I have never been to or participated in a Fringe Festival before. I have a huge interest in festivals of every kind and have wanted to participate in a Fringe for a long time so, when I heard about Chicago Fringe, I had to get on board. I am originally from Peoria, IL and will have been a Chicago resident for 5 years officially during the week of Chicago Fringe (Sept. 1-5, 2010.) I decided to come to Chicago to finish my BFA upon graduating from Illinois Central College. What's exciting me most about Chicago Fringe is the opportunity to meet and organize such a large group of artists. Arts organization is such a challenging task and I'm really looking forward to testing my abilities and helping to produce what I think will be an amazing festival. Please feel free to shoot a line to volunteers(at) if you are interested in helping with the technical aspects of Fringe. We need everything from MEs to FOH Managers to Board Ops.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Meet Your Fringe Staff: AMANDA DODGE

Amanda Dodge is the Secretary / Database Manager, which entails recording minutes from the staff and board meetings, managing the data for the Chicago Fringe Festival, maintaining the mailing list.

I started performing in plays when I was in high school in Lafayette, Louisiana. I also competed in Speech tournaments throughout Louisiana and Texas. Performing on stage or through competitions just stuck with me because I loved playing other characters: inventing accents and postures for them, and analyzing them. When I attended college at the University of Louisiana, I started out as a Secondary Speech Education Major, but after my first play freshman year, I quickly changed it to Performing Arts. I went on to perform for the college as well as different theatres throughout the city. On top of theatre, I started performing stand up in Lafayette and Baton Rouge. I also performed in an improv group in Lafayette called Hubbub! After college, I wanted to move somewhere large that had a theatre scene, but not as big as New York. I landed on Chicago because I had originally planned on attending Second City...after 5 years of living here, I haven't quite gotten around to it. After 2 weeks of living in Chicago, I started working as a production assistant for Raven Theatre (on Clark & Granville). They were 2 blocks away from where I lived at the time, so I thought I would start somewhere. I've been closely tied with them for the past 5 years doing different jobs for them.

I just recently attended my very first fringe festival while in New Orleans. It was one of the most amazing experiences. I saw so many wonderful shows that made me laugh, cry and ponder. You know it's a good show when you think about it weeks later and the thoughts and images still have an impact on you.
I'm excited that this is my and several others' first Chicago Fringe festival. I'm excited that one of my very dear and closest friends, Sarah Mikayla Brown, asked me to be a part of this. I'm excited about highlighting different Chicago neighborhoods every year and that will give everyone a chance to get to know this city. I'm excited and eager to see what talented performers will be here. On a completely different and realistic side note, I also want to see where our errors will lie come our first year. I'm not trying to be negative; I just try to look at everything from every single angle. So, I want to know what our flaws will be, so in years to come we can polish it, tune it and seriously make Chicago one of the greatest American fringe stops ever.

I am hoping that the CFF will bring performing artists in who want to put on their shows in a totally different environment and on a totally different level. I am hoping that by showcasing different neighborhoods, it will bring the communities together. I'm also hoping that it makes me seem more important than I am... just kidding.

If you haven't joined the mailing list yet, you should. Because if you don't... it hurts my feelings and it makes Jesus cry.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Lottery Party Deets!

Expect more exciting information soon, but our lottery party is booked and stamped for Sunday, February 28th, 2010. This is where we, in a highly public manner, will pull the names of the lucky applicants who will be performing in the 2010 Chicago Fringe Festival!

Chicago Fringe Festival Lottery
February 28, 2010

Temple Gallery
1749 S. Halsted Ave. 1F
Chicago, IL 60608
7-9 pm
All Ages

After party:
Simone's Bar

960 West 18th Street
Chicago, IL 60608

Monday, February 1, 2010

Meet Your Fringe Staff: ADRIENNE GULDIN

Adrienne Guldin is the International Recruiting Coordinator. This includes contacting and meeting people outside the US and talking about Fringe.
Thus far I've made contacts in England, Ireland, Belgium, Germany and New Zealand. My theatre background is pretty varied but mainly involved being on the technical side. I'm originally from Chicago and did a lot of freelance work within the city. I was on the board of directors of a small independent theatre company which dissolved in early 2009. And now I'm in London and doing lots of traveling and meeting with people.
In the past, I helped send a show to the New York and Minnesota Fringe Festivals and I attended the 2009 United States Association of Fringe Festivals Conference. Now, I'm excited to show my hometown off to the rest of the world and show the rest of the world off to my hometown.
Chicago Fringe Festival is different from other fringe festivals because CFF has set some really lofty goals in terms of spotlighting different neighborhoods and that can be a real challenge and a real benefit. I'm looking forward to learning more about the city I grew up in and the areas I didn't get to see. I hope that anyone in Chicago will know the Fringe Festival as well as they know the Taste.
If you are outside the US and would like to ask any questions or set up a meeting, please contact me at or +44 779 5515 763.