Sunday, March 31, 2013

Now That's Connection

Last blog post, Adrienne talked about giving birth to a Fringe baby. Well, if this baby was just born, the little bugger is sure growing up fast.

Why so fast, I thought to myself today? Why do things feel like they are coming to fruition faster and more furious this year than ever before?

It's a good question, and I think it comes down to the concept of CONNECTION.

I have not hid the fact that the last 6 months I have treated Fringe as a second job. I've been hightailing it everywhere to get things done. And, unlike, say, coding a new computer program, or generating pages of manuscript, most of my "things done" have to do with meeting and talking with people: staff at the Alderman's office, friends and acquaintances in Jefferson Park, artistic associates, potential board members, my professional mentor, independent contractors, new staff....I'm not even sure that list is exhaustive, were I to give it more thought.

See, connecting people is not only something I've worked hard at over the past 6 months, but also something that just, well, happens. It's natural. I guess I could say I'm good at it. It may just been my only real gift :) For more on connectors and their importance in the world, see Malcolm Gladwell's complete treatment on the topic: I recommend most of his writing.

Now, I know I am often connecting. But the enormity of it--and the speed at which things are now happening--is something that does not always occur to me. But that's exactly what happened just over this weekend when I met with Fringe's board president, Justin. Now, our board of directors does not officially meet more than quarterly, and so I typically see the Board less than I even see the staff (which is not nearly enough). This meeting was supposed to be with a potential recruit for the board, and unfortunately Justin and I got stood up. So what do two fine gentlemen do when they get stood up? They have tea, of course. And as we began catching up, something funny happened. My mind started to race telling Justin about the things I had been doing over the last 6 months. Interestingly, though, it was racing not because it was just a lot for me, but because I began to see what it meant for him. I started making connections. Connections everywhere! I had so many introductions to make--so many meetings that had happened and information that needed communicating. I had this feeling that I was simultaneously ahead of schedule and far behind! I had to take those connections apart one by one and decide which were important to share with Justin and which could be left out.

It was an enlightening experience for me, reflecting back. Like the plot line of a movie that starts in disparate places but ultimately ties together, I was starting to see (or maybe better stated: oversee) how all of these pieces that I've set into motion are coming to a head.

I've said before and I will say again that Fringe's tremendous power is made possible by our ability to work together. I'm really proud of who we are in that regard. I'd never be able to set things into motion if I didn't have capable folks within Fringe that I could trust to take the reigns. I connect outside of the Fringe circle, loop those connections into our board and staff, and hope the connection takes on a life of its own.

Connection, connection. It all starts with connection.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I have three babies.  Two of them are flesh and blood people with definite personalities.  The other is this Fringe Festival that I helped found.  I love all three.  I worry about all three.  I care about how all three are growing up.  I want all three to be in the best hands at all times.

Now the Chicago Fringe Festival is moving to Jefferson Park.  Every year right around the time of the lottery, it feels like taking a pregnancy test (when you’re trying to have a baby, not when you had a drunken one-night-stand with that guy you only met the one time at the dive bar).  There’s the anticipation, nervousness, fear, excitement.  And then you see that plus sign and the fun really begins.  Each year is a different experience.  A different pregnancy, a different birth and a different baby.  And this year, Jefferson Park is our midwife.  When I tell people that I had midwives deliver my kids, 90% of the time I’m asked if I had a home birth.  My answer is usually a variation on this: No, I had both kids in hospitals; midwife care really means just having more options.  Home birth can be one of those options, but there are so many others.  A midwife is a partner with the family.  She provides guidance and a nurturing environment.  She acts as cheerleader, tour guide and mentor and ultimately, she gives the mother a list of choices and lets the mother decide how she would like the birth to be.  Midwives work to ensure that the mother has the best possible birth experience and the happiest, healthiest baby possible. 

So, when I say that Jefferson Park is our midwife, that’s not something to be taken lightly.  We have placed our unborn fourth year in the hands of a new neighborhood.  We are trusting in the guidance provided by this community.  We are looking to them for our options.  And we are excited that we have them in our corner, cheering us on.  We fully anticipate that this year will be an easy delivery based on the encouragement we’re already getting from them.  And on August 29, when the fourth Chicago Fringe Festival opens, we know we will have had an easy labor and a perfect baby.  

With a mother's love,
Adrienne Guldin
Business Manager and Staffer most likely to answer when calling for "Mommy"

Monday, March 4, 2013

Quick and Dirty Lottery Results!

Local Artists*:

  1.  (re)discover theatre
  2. The League of Miscreants
  3. Jonathan Baude
  4. Jennifer Olson
  5. HartLife NFP
  6. Blueshift Theatre Company
  7. Sea Beast Puppet Company
  8. Spartan Theatre Company
  9. Troupe Strozzi
  10. Jonathan Kitt
  11. Lynn Royale
  12. Jason P. kelleher
  13. Teatro Luna
  14. Abraham Werewolf
  15. Rebecca Kling
  16. Genesis Ensemble
  17. Christine Hands Choreography
  18. Stephanie Weber
  19. Lee Benjamin Huttner
  20. Cock and Bull Theatre
  21. Laura Force
  22. Adam Seidel/ Lone Wolf
  23. William Goblirsch Jr.
  24. Kristin Davis
Non Local Artists:

  1. Robert Chionis/ Daniel Wolfsbauer Productions
  2. Smart Comedy
  3. MamLuft&Co. Dance
  4. Spoken Life Productions
  5. Neelima Raju
  6. Schedule C Productions
  7. NOCO, fresNO dance COllective
  8. Randy Noojin
  9. DaVida Chanel Productions
  10. Barbara K. Asare-Bediako/Keoni Gurrl Productions
  11. The Neverland Players
  12. The Adventures of Les Kurkendaal
  13. In Bocca Al Lupo Productions
  14. Schex & Galeetz
  15. Circadelix
  16. Nell Weatherwax
  18. Judy Lombardo
  19. Rati Gupta
  20. Nobody's Sweetheart Productions
  21. Astonishing Productions
  22. R. Jim Stahl
  23. Valerie Hager
  24. The Theatre Elusive
  25. Howard Timms
*There is a local entry that is under review