Additional Programs Raise FringeNYC Profile

Additional Programs Raise FringeNYC Profile

By Doug Strassler

August 7, 2012


While the main focus of the New York International Fringe Festival lies in the shows it debuts every summer, FringeNYC also offers quite a bit more. Such additional programs as FringeCLUB, FringeJR, and FringeHIGH create a greater sense of community and provide additional volunteer opportunities for children and families, adding to the reason why it bills itself as “New York’s Best Staycation.”

“At FringeNYC, we try to respond to what our community of artists and our audience need,” said Elena K. Holy, FringeNYC producing artistic director. “What we felt like was missing in the downtown theatre scene was a chance to gather, a sense of community, and the opportunity to share resources.”

FringeCLUB was created as a place for artists, staff, volunteers, and audience members to relax, and network, according to venue director Sammy Kanter. “FringeCLUB is intended for anyone ‘experiencing’ FringeNYC throughout the day,” Kanter says. “It works the best when audience members and artists can discuss pieces they've seen, or when artists and volunteers meet and strike up an idea for a new project. One of the greatest parts of a FringeNYC is the community created, and FringeCLUB allows people to create relationships or have discussions with people they might not meet in the daily, fast-paced flow of the festival.”

“FringeCLUB also provides a promotional opportunity for festival productions in a relaxed, talk-show style setting called ‘Variety Power Hour,’” Kanter says. “VPH is a podcast that is available on Fringenyc.org. Also, East Village bar Jimmy's No. 43 offers $2 off draft beer and wine with a FringeNYC badge on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights of the festival.

“One of the greatest parts of a FringeNYC is the community created,” Kanter continued, “and FringeCLUB allows people to create relationships or have discussions with people they might not meet in the daily, fast-paced flow of the festival.”

FringeJR was created to ensure that the festival, which includes many shows featuring adult humor and content, could also appeal to families with young children. “We include youngsters (ages five to twelve) in the fun!” said Garret Lambert, Fringe Central Director. FringeJR will feature four productions targeted at younger children, and will also host Fort FringeJR, which will include sample performances of the shows, theater workshops, and other activities to engage younger children. Occasionally, shows will even feature young children in the cast.

Additionally, FringeJR publishes a newspaper every summer with information regarding FringeJR shows, as well as games and activities that the shows have created. FringeNYC distributes this newsletter around the city. “FringeJR is the only program at the festival that produces a newsletter and a community event,” Lambert acknowledged. “The scope and variety that makes this festival great is a lot to take in. It's wonderful when FringeNYC's little brother, FringeJR, gets recognized for bringing another element of diversity to the table.”

There is also a middle sibling to FringeJR as well: FringeHIGH. FringeHIGH aims to reach out to teen audience with boundary-stretching plays chosen from the FringeNYC roster that offer new perspectives particularly-suited the age group. The shows, listed on the FringeNYC website, address such topics as the drug wars, race, sexual preference, and women’s rights. Beyond that, they represent a versatile mix of storytelling techniques, including multimedia, dance, and even a rock and roll update of Shakespeare.

“We very much want to help grow the audience of our future,” Holy said.

Holy agreed with Kanter that the opportunities these FringeNYC programs offer increase audience interest and establish new relationships. “I strongly believe our FringeJR program introduces a lot of young theatregoers (and their parents) to more adventurous work,” she added. “And FringeHIGH shows are the only ones that feature a talkback following one performance – just to be in that room for some of those discussions with teens is an amazing opportunity. Often we'll receive applications for FringeNYC that are from a director and a playwright that met at FringeCLUB, and I love that.”

More information about FringeNYC can be found at www.fringenyc.org.


Additional Programs Raise FringeNYC Profile

By Doug Strassler

August 7, 2012


While the main focus of the New York International Fringe Festival lies in the shows it debuts every summer, FringeNYC also offers quite a bit more. Such additional programs as FringeCLUB, FringeJR, and FringeHIGH create a greater sense of community and provide additional volunteer opportunities for children and families, adding to the reason why it bills itself as “New York’s Best Staycation.”

“At FringeNYC, we try to respond to what our community of artists and our audience need,” said Elena K. Holy, FringeNYC producing artistic director. “What we felt like was missing in the downtown theatre scene was a chance to gather, a sense of community, and the opportunity to share resources.”

FringeCLUB was created as a place for artists, staff, volunteers, and audience members to relax, and network, according to venue director Sammy Kanter. “FringeCLUB is intended for anyone ‘experiencing’ FringeNYC throughout the day,” Kanter says. “It works the best when audience members and artists can discuss pieces they've seen, or when artists and volunteers meet and strike up an idea for a new project. One of the greatest parts of a FringeNYC is the community created, and FringeCLUB allows people to create relationships or have discussions with people they might not meet in the daily, fast-paced flow of the festival.”

“FringeCLUB also provides a promotional opportunity for festival productions in a relaxed, talk-show style setting called ‘Variety Power Hour,’” Kanter says. “VPH is a podcast that is available on Fringenyc.org. Also, East Village bar Jimmy's No. 43 offers $2 off draft beer and wine with a FringeNYC badge on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights of the festival.

“One of the greatest parts of a FringeNYC is the community created,” Kanter continued, “and FringeCLUB allows people to create relationships or have discussions with people they might not meet in the daily, fast-paced flow of the festival.”

FringeJR was created to ensure that the festival, which includes many shows featuring adult humor and content, could also appeal to families with young children. “We include youngsters (ages five to twelve) in the fun!” said Garret Lambert, Fringe Central Director. FringeJR will feature four productions targeted at younger children, and will also host Fort FringeJR, which will include sample performances of the shows, theater workshops, and other activities to engage younger children. Occasionally, shows will even feature young children in the cast.

Additionally, FringeJR publishes a newspaper every summer with information regarding FringeJR shows, as well as games and activities that the shows have created. FringeNYC distributes this newsletter around the city. “FringeJR is the only program at the festival that produces a newsletter and a community event,” Lambert acknowledged. “The scope and variety that makes this festival great is a lot to take in. It's wonderful when FringeNYC's little brother, FringeJR, gets recognized for bringing another element of diversity to the table.”

There is also a middle sibling to FringeJR as well: FringeHIGH. FringeHIGH aims to reach out to teen audience with boundary-stretching plays chosen from the FringeNYC roster that offer new perspectives particularly-suited the age group. The shows, listed on the FringeNYC website, address such topics as the drug wars, race, sexual preference, and women’s rights. Beyond that, they represent a versatile mix of storytelling techniques, including multimedia, dance, and even a rock and roll update of Shakespeare.

“We very much want to help grow the audience of our future,” Holy said.

Holy agreed with Kanter that the opportunities these FringeNYC programs offer increase audience interest and establish new relationships. “I strongly believe our FringeJR program introduces a lot of young theatregoers (and their parents) to more adventurous work,” she added. “And FringeHIGH shows are the only ones that feature a talkback following one performance – just to be in that room for some of those discussions with teens is an amazing opportunity. Often we'll receive applications for FringeNYC that are from a director and a playwright that met at FringeCLUB, and I love that.”

More information about FringeNYC can be found at www.fringenyc.org.
 
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