Producers and directors for this years Orlando Fringe Festival piled into the circular Patron's Room at the Shakespeare Theater to get a crash course overview of what they could expect from this year's festival. The meeting lasted for several hours. My ears perked up when Beth Marshall started to discuss the issue of Bloggers. It seems everyone and their mother is a blogger these days. Last year some bloggers wrote scathing reviews and members of the cast wrote back equally scathing comments in return. It seems these "Flame Wars" only manage to discourage people from going to see the show. She instead suggested that producers put a positive spin on any review.
Beth pointed out that Fringe is always a "Fun, lively, hot mess." This year, Pepe will be promoting shows at the outdoor stage. Brian Feldman will be offering awards picked lottery style. TheDailyCity.com will again have its Audience Choice Awards, and then there are the "Fabies" awarded on the final day of the festival. A show titled "Fringe Abridged" will recap all of what happened, highlighting shows in a break neck spoof. She advised producers to comp fellow artists into the shows as word of mouth will quickly spread if the show is a runaway hit. The second best way to attract an audience is through Facebook. Beth went on in detail about how the city of Orlando would not tolerate any posters or fliers taped on light poles, trees or any form of municipal property. It seems this had been a problem in the past and it resulted in fines.
The 20th Annual Orlando International Fringe Festival will be happening between May 19th and 30th in Lock Haven Park. The Festival is 100% uncensored, 100% Unjuried, 100% accessible, and 1OO%o of ticket sales goes to the artists. I had the best time sketching and experiencing the Fringe with friends last year. It truly highlights the best of what Orlando has to offer.