Orlando Fringe Festival Returns for 30th Anniversary – Central Florida News – Intersection
Lindsay Taylor (top left), theater producer for Orlando Fringe, Alauna Friskics (top right), managing director of Orlando Fringe and Lena Feliciano (bottom), artistic director of Celebration Theater Co. Photo: Clarissa Moon
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The Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The 14-day festival with hundreds of theatrical performances was canceled last year due to COVID-19. There’s a personal festival at Loch Haven Park this May and a brand new online festival DigiFringe in June.
Alauna Friskics, CEO of Fringe, Lindsay Taylor, the festival’s theater producer, and Lena Feliciano, Artistic Director of Celebration Theater Co. overlap to discuss how the festival is adapting to the pandemic, expanding its diversity and inclusion efforts, and celebrating 30 years of Fringe.
Patrons and performers participating in the Personal Festival must have their temperature checked, wear face masks, and be 6 feet away. The festival also reduced the seating capacity at each venue.
“We worked through the details at every angle with security in mind,” says Friskics.
Feliciano says it was challenging to stage her show based on the safety guidelines.
“It’s definitely a challenge for any director to suddenly just change how you stage a scene. How will two characters in love interact when wearing masks? “, she says. “It was fun to adapt and I think we took on the challenge.”
A 14-day digital festival will take place in Fringe from June 4th to 18th. Taylor said the digital festival will feature artists from around the world who did not make it to the festival in person, artists who have never been to Orlando Fringe, and artists attending the in-person festival.
“So there’s a lot of mix between people you love, people you miss, and people you’ve never met before,” she says.
Friskics says she looks forward to bringing people together and bringing artists back on stage. She says that creating order in what is usually a chaotic festival will prove that the arts can thrive in a pandemic.
“Usually there are so many people in so many different places all the time,” she says. “We just explode all over Loch Haven Park and we’re just everywhere. So if I figure out how to bring a little order, I believe it will prove that we can do it and that the art scene can thrive in this pandemic. “
According to Taylor, this year the festival has stepped up its efforts on diversity and accessibility. 30 percent of the artists selected from the lottery to participate in the festival come from the Amplified Voices Lottery, which includes people from marginalized and underrepresented communities. The festival also features more shows with audio description and ASL interpretation.
“We’re just getting started, which we hope will be a huge project in the years to come,” says Taylor.
According to Friskics, both audiences and artists have grown over the festival’s 30th anniversary.
“I think one of the most exciting things to see is that not only do we improve the audience experience, but the artists too,” she says. “I’m really proud of that. I see us as an initial pipeline for artists in central Florida to test new art and cut their teeth on new artistic endeavors, whether it’s production, drama, or lighting. ”
Taylor says that being someone who was not previously involved in the theater, Fringe opened up a realm of opportunity for her.
“It really inspired me to get involved more and write my own shows, tour my own shows and now produce the festival,” she says. “It’s really exciting and Fringe really does it for people. It inspires people and lets you confidently dive into your work and learn new things, which I think is the most valuable part of everything. ”
Feliciano says this is her first time participating in the Fringe Festival as an artist.
“It was a very challenging, but extremely fun and exciting experience,” she says.
According to Friskics, Orlando Fringe has won the contract to host the World Fringe Congress in 2022, an event that brings together producers from over 300 fringe festivals around the world.
“It’s really exciting to raise the Orlando Fringe to make this global impact and to stay even more connected to the global fringe community,” she says.
Friskics hopes Fringe will continue to grow and expand.
“Orlando Fringe will last for many, many years.”