Thursday, July 19, 2012

Hail to the ... Designers!

Thank you to all who submitted to the CFF Design Contest 2012 and congratulations to the winning design team of Maschell Cha, Andrew Gen & Richard Hibbert!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

CFF Staff Profile: Rachel Staelens

Hello there all you fabulous Fringers!

I’m sure a few of us have chatted, especially if you have been to one of our events or have volunteered on one of the past festivals. For those who don’t know me yet, my name is Rachel Staelens, and I’m the Chicago Fringe Festival production manager and this is my very first blog post EVER.  Don’t you feel special?  I’ll be sticking to the fabulous Mr.Mullaney’s format (first time, remember?) so keep reading if you want to know more about me and what I do with the Fringe.

Who am I?
You can visit the Chicago Fringe website to read my bio.  And here are a few silly little facts about me to keep your interest piqued:

TV shows I can’t stop watching: How I Met Your Mother, True Blood.

Current top-played song on my iTunes: Oh My! by The Grey Kid

Crafty-type work I’m currently creating: 30 day drawing challenge (that’s right, a drawing a day) and a faux archway to separate my office area from my living room area.

Websites currently open on Chrome: Gmail, Facebook, Dropbox, Basecamp, Stumbleupon (how pretty is this?)

What do I do for Fringe?
As the production manager of the Chicago Fringe Festival, I am the logistical mind behind the schedule and the venues, and I manage technical and stage management volunteers and handle equipment allocation.

I create the schedule from scratch once all of the groups have filled out their paperwork.  With 50 groups, this can obviously be a bit of a task but I work to make sure I can meet as many requests as possible.  This year it looks like we’ll be having approximately 212 performances in the 2 weeks the festival is up.  You can say “whoa!” to that … it really is a lot.

I have a wonderful production team to help me get everything done.  Erik Tylkowski (who you will hear from in a post later this year) is our technical director and we work with two other seasonal volunteers (this year they are Maggy Grossbart and Cat Davis) to finalize venues and venue setup.  Erik and Cat work with me on locating and organizing equipment to turn found spaces into awesome Fringe venues.  Some of you might even be receiving an equipment donation request from us in the next week or so!  If you have some equipment we might want to borrow/rent and you can’t wait to offer us your help feel free to send us an email at

Maggy works with me to organize the production-specific volunteers and we can always use more, SO if you are a technician, a stage manager or just someone who has always been interested in trying your hand in theatre production please email and we’ll put you to work!

Other than my Fringe work I’ve been trying to enjoy the summer in spite of the heat!  I hope you will all be able to come out and join us for the Festival!