What is Fringe? If you’re not hip to the world of theater in Hollywood, you may not have heard of it. The website describes it as “an annual, open-access, community-derived event celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community. Each June during the Hollywood Fringe, the arts infiltrate the Hollywood neighborhood: fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other unexpected places host hundreds of productions by local, national, and international arts companies and independent performers.” It goes on to say that it is “completely open and uncensored.” It’s happening in Hollywood for the month of June.
Ultimately, it is a smorgasbord of theater. Take your pick. It’s there. What a great community it is too.
On Father’s Day Sunday I ventured in the Summer Solstice heat to see Showbiz Shorts presented by Scribbler Theater at the Asylum Theater (this theater was and still is hosting several productions for the Fringe run).
It always seems to help knowing someone when you attend theater in LA. I get that sometimes it feels like a risk to go to a play, especially an original piece of work, without knowing anyone involved. But maybe it’s the rapid intense energy that it entails that after the experience of attending one show, you get hooked, and want to see what else is going on.
I went because of Tom Misuraca, one of the playwrights participating in Showbiz Shorts with his comedy Acting of the Clones. This man is on a roll! His play The eBook of Love just closed in Las Vegas, he’ll have another opening next weekend for one play, and yet another the week after that.
Showbiz Shorts director John Fingal O’Donnell called Misuraca prolific and talented. I agree.
Fringe. Bringing community together.
So, back to the festival – these writers, actors, directors, producers, stage managers and stage enthusiasts all work together to bring a play to life for a very short period of time. That in and of itself is impressive. (Showbiz has two different programs about the “biz” – one show was on June 21st, the next will be on June 27th – with a completely different set of writers and cast. Both programs are directed by O’Donnell and produced by Dallas Bancroft.)
part of the Showbiz Shorts, 6/21 cast’s curtain call
Like all live theater, they hope to get an audience. They hope to get recognition. They hope for success. These guys did it all!
In a single word, it was FUN.
So much so, I scoured the Fringe website looking for plays that I might be interested in, and found a few I hope to attend.
Get out, see some inexpensive entertainment, meet some folks and be part of the community. Fringe only happens once a year, and you have about a week left to enjoy it.
Check out www.hollywoodfringe.org.
Pick a card, any card… Fringe shows performing through June 205
The director, actor & writer.
story & photos by Sophia Louisa Lee – 2015