My 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival Picks

I’ve enjoyed attending the Hollywood Fringe Festival since it started, and always searched for more ways to let audiences in on the fun. Now living in a new city, I understand even more how it’s hard to just jump into a Fringe Festival, even if you’re really into it.

These are the shows that I would put on my #HFF16 Dance Card during this first week of previews and through opening, if I were in town. Click the title to find the show on the Fringe website.

Enjoy!

Cindy Marie Jenkins, Founder & Consultant of See It or Skip It LA

From Reputation

Neva  “People are dying of hunger in the streets and you want to put on a play?” I saw this NEVAplay (different production) at CalArts REDCAT in 2011 and was thrilled to see Diana Wyenn directing it now.

Patriot Act is written and performed by Michael Schlitt, whose show Jesus Ride I adored a few years ago at Fringe. He is incredibly sharp, funny and theatrical. I would not miss this if I were in town.

Thug Tunnel by Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party. They had a great show last year and this one doesn’t look like it will disappoint: In the not-so-distant-future, greed, pollution, and The Ancient Fire of Death and Despair have made Earth’s surface uninhabitable, forcing the human race to survive underground in a criminal society known as THUG TUNNEL.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) with an all female cast who are incredibly funny.

Simon Coronel: Alien of Extraordinary Ability. That’s how he’s designated by the U.S. Department of Immigration. An Australian Illusionist who often frequents the Hollywood Fringe, Simon always entertains. Sometimes, he throws his knowledge of Mandarin in there, too.

All the Best Killers are Librarians. I mean, the title. Then I learn it is from Serial Killers, the late night serial competition at Sacred Fools, and I’m hooked.

Bull and Smoke are both by Rogue Machine, who never seem to disappoint with new plays.

 

Just Because I Dig This Kind of Thing

Troy Before I knew it was a Fountain Theatre production (looks like part of a development series), this is a rare instance of the play description gripping me. (It should be noted that I am a Greek geek to the extreme.)

Photojournalist and war correspondent, Arthur Hess, has made his living taking photos of some of the world’s most violent places. But when his eldest daughter is publicly murdered, it is the photo he takes of her corpse that threatens to destroy both his family and his name. Inspired by The Oresteia, TROY is a play about the perplexity of grief in a war that is happening both far away and in our living rooms.  

Fairy Tales Against Humanity Like children’s theatre gone horribly wrong, “Fairy Tales Against Humanity” is a new half-scripted/half-improvised show. This is one of those big Fringe #ChanceIt shows. It could be horrendous but it could be hilarious. I’d probably #DrinkBeforeIt.

Here There Be Dragons: A Journey from Fear to Freedom with Ukrainian Dog and Shredded Cheesedid you read that title? Taking chances on shows like this are why Fringe Festivals exist, in my opinion.

50 Shades of Shakespeare – Twelfth Night with four actors. It’s been done, but you, the audience, picks who plays who. I’d easily give this show 45 minutes of my life. Learn More at www.lanewcourttheatre.com

Keep up w/ See It or Skip It LA Correspondents’ Picks here

Artists Watch List: Jaeger Christian

I saw this phrase a lot: “Part of what I love about Fringe…..” and one of the parts is watching how artists develop over the years. I like to follow different creators in between Fringe as well, but many only produce for Fringe.

Jaeger Christian is the biggest winner in this category. I was so excited by the idea of his 2014 piece (a new musical about PTSD) that seeing it was very disappointing. He needed a co-writer, a dramaturg, a director…..but something about his heart, his sincerity in the pre-show speech made me pause. It went beyond someone who believes in his work. It didn’t, however, save the show.

So this year I noticed he has two solo shows, The Board and The Backpack. I only saw that The Board existed because it happened to fit into my schedule one night. He went from a new musical to two monologues, still related to the service. I felt that he got the right feedback last year or instinctively knew to return to basics, especially for a Fringe Festival. Focus on the story. He clearly has a lot to say (without being didactic) on the military and I appreciate how he chose to express it this year.

With The Board, he says if you’re into TV shows like “Law & Order,” “Homeland” and “The Shield,” then you’ll like this play. I only know the first one, but he seems right on the money. Sarah Hollis tells the audience her story, who act as her jury. Clearly she’s in trouble for something, but all the whys and wherefores and intricacies aren’t untangled until near the end. Even then, her fate isn’t revealed.

I personally would have preferred it without the marriage story, but it did play into the plot. Overall, the story was completely compelling and I listened to every single word she said on that stage.

The main point here is that if I hadn’t seen the artist at his pre-show speech for last year’s musical, felt something tug at me through his personality and choice of material, then seen that his latest offering fit into my schedule, I wouldn’t have given him another chance. And all those things couldn’t have happened in another space except a Fringe Festival.

Jaeger Christian is now on my Artists Watch List.

I gave this show a #SeeItLA rating. Find more shows on SeeItorSkipItLA.com .

#SeeItorSkipItLA at Hollywood Fringe

See It or Skip It LA is a way to introduce you to the Hollywood Fringe Festival (and other cool art around LA).

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Fringe Thoughts 1: Referral Ripples

GnR Opening CMJ (4)
Keena Ferguson, Peppur Chambers, Keaton Talmadge & Jeanette at opening reception for Gracie & Rose.

For four years, the Hollywood Fringe Festival has served as a  microcosm of the local arts to come, and sets my brain a-whirling. Since the community is the inspiration for these random and often lasting Fringe Thoughts, I want to share and continue the conversation.

Fringe Thoughts 1: Referral Ripples

The  feeling of community has always been one my favorite parts of the Hollywood Fringe Festival. It feels markedly increased this year. Rather than a few companies doing the cross-promo/community thing well, while others learn from them, this year it pervades the entire Festival.

That is a wonderful evolution in its fourth year. Just some improvements I’ve noticed:

  • People were on top of participant discounts well before June. This encourages your built-in audience to attend, which increases word-of-mouth and could ensure a steady stream throughout your run.
  • Most of the shows refer their audience to other Fringe shows in their programs.
  • Others take extra steps to also suggest verbally the other Fringe shows their audience should see and call out the Fringers in the audience. Last night Rati Gupta did this with her signature great flair.
  • The hashtag #HFF13 was off the hook since late April/May.
  • Projecting the twitter & instagram hashtag onto walls in Fringe Central Station encourages more interactivity.
  • A group of shows banded the “First Fringe Club” together for publicity.
  • Three storytellers also combined resources: Bill Ratner, Michael Kass and John Grady.

The veteran Fringers know these ropes, but I’ve hardly seen it in such force so early. You can tell who attended the Town Halls and/or has experience. These Referral Ripples help audience members know where to start when looking at the website or brochure. It’s intimidating to try to choose between all the available shows.

Every time an audience member hears directly about one more show, their interest may become more piqued and they could talk about it with their friends. Every time that fellow artists help each other, you’re actually helping your audience, plus encouraging them to see more live theatre. The more they see, the more they’ll talk and these are the Referral Ripples we need to increase live theatre as a vital and valued part of our community’s lives.

Last night we had lots of Fringers at Gracie and Rose‘s opening, and I knew about half of them before the Fringe and the other half (pictured above) only once it started, eleven days ago.

So Huzzah to you all and Carry On. If we can capture these concentrated efforts for theatre all year round, audience development stands a chance.

Read or Watch my full coverage of the Hollywood Fringe on Bitter Lemons.

Here are the Gracie and Rose Fringeships:GracieAndRoseFlyerFR

Ceremony by Michael Kass

Take me to the Poorhouse by Liz Femi

The Ruby Besler Cabaret by Anastasia Barnes

Love Actually Isn’t by Dan Johnson

The Real Housekeepers of Studio City by Heidi Powers, Tom Moore & Joe Greene

Daddy by Olivia Peterson

And also playing at our venue, the Art of Acting Studio: IAMA Fest 2013

Inside Rehearsal for Gracie and Rose

Gracie and Rose love off the grid and live off the land in 1950’s Wyoming — where wild horses run free and appearances are deceiving. Gracie lives as George so she and Rose can be together.

Is true love in the body worth the cost of living a lie in the world?
Gracie and Rose premieres at the Hollywood Fringe Festival June 16-29th. Written and Performed by Anastasia Coon. Directed by Che’Rae Adams.

Support untold stories of love – Indiegogo Campaign

GracieandRose.com

Hollywood Fringe Festival site: hff13.org/1372

Facebook.com/GracieAndRoseASoloShow

Funding Fridays Fringe Edition 2: Gracie & Rose

Live Broadcast

Funding Friday: Fringe Edition!

ringe freaks

Host: Cindy Marie Jenkins

Guests: Anastasia Coon & Che’Rae Adams of Gracie & Rose*

Have questions about crowd-funding, fund-raising or the Fringe? Ask in the comments below or tweet to @CindyMarieJ

Want to be a guest on Funding Friday? Put your link in the comments with a Friday you’re available. Watch more Funding Fridays.

Gracie & Rose | a solo play with multiple characters from Anastasia Coon on Vimeo.

Gracie and Rose love off the grid and live off the land in 1950's Wyoming – where wild horses run free and appearances are deceiving. Gracie lives as George so she and Rose can be together. Is true love in the body worth the cost of living a lie in the world?

Are you a Citizen of Natrona County, a Straight Shooter, or a a Grand Marshall? Find out here –
http://igg.me/at/GracieNRose

Meet Gracie, Rose, George and Pig at the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2013
http://hff13.org/1372

Keep in touch with the whole gang
https://www.facebook.com/GracieAndRoseASoloShow


*Full Disclosure: I’m working with Gracie and Rose as Social Media Outreach Consultant, thanks to a Quick Grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation. -CMJ

Sneak Peek: Gracie & Rose at Celebration Theatre

Thanks to the CCI (Center for Cultural Innovation) grant, I’m the Social Media Consultant for this 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival show. It’s a great challenge, to promote a show while training the team. I’ll keep you updated here.

We have a special reading at the Celebration Theatre in Hollywood Tuesday night, and I hope you can make it.

Celebration Theatre Play Reading Series

Presents

Gracie and Rose Gracie and Rose

love off the grid and live off the land in 1950’s Wyoming – where wild horses run free and appearances are deceiving. Gracie lives as George so she and Rose can be together. Is true love in the body worth the cost of living a lie in the world?

Written and performed by Anastasia Coon and directed by CheRae Adams

Tuesday, April 30th @ 8pm at Celebration Theatre. Doors open at 7:30pm.

7051 Santa Monica Blvd (1 Block east of La Brea Blvd)

Admission for the reading is by donation ($5 suggested)

Pitching Workshop

Yesterday’s workshop at Theatre Asylum was a new one for me. We had two fantastic Press guests- Brett Chapin & Noah J. Nelson – who gaveDSCN9004 their perspective on being pitched to cover your show.

In the last hour, attendees placed themselves into different scenarios and I played a person they were pitching. We had a lot of fun and I actually got to say all the things I want to tell people when hearing a pitch:

  • get over your fear
  • look for the signs of interest
  • how to close (soft or hard sell)
  • how to describe your show, and more.

Many participants were nervous at pitching in front of people (who wouldn’t be?), and I took a moment to explain how frightened I am the night before I teach a workshop. That surprised a lot of people, and I heard from the audience: “You’d never know it.” That, I said, is from years of self-producing and pitching my own work. You just have to get over the idea of pitching your own art. Fake it if you don’t feel it.

I left the workshop energized. Participants jumped at the end to connect with each other, to see how they can cross-promote, or just to talk about their shows. I feel everyone got a chance to talk through their pitch and we helped them find the interesting bits. So much so, in fact, that I changed the MAY 24th workshop to be another round of Pitching. Everyone needs it, and how often do you get to practice?

DSCN9019Can’t wait for next week!

Here’s the rest of the schedule (all workshops 10am-1pm).

Don’t see a workshop that answers your question? Comment below & we can arrange individual instruction.

MAR 30 – Find New Audience on Twitter (basics included)

APR 6 – Standards & Best Practices for Social Marketing (Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram, etc)

APR 20 – Using Video to Promote Live Performance (includes You Tube/Vimeo)

MAY 11 – Marketing Strategy in the Thick of It

MAY 24 – Pitching Your Show to New Audiences

JUNE 8 – Standing out at a Festival without Being a Dick

Comment below or email smb@combinedartform.com for more information.

Social Media Boot Camp

Most self-producers do it to get their work out there – so how to  reach audiences beyond your friends and family?DSCN9326

Social Media Boot-Camps at Theatre Asylum

Interactive workshops, giving useful takeaways regardless of your budget or manpower.

Each workshop is $40.

All 5 for $175. – Pay for all 5 Workshops

Bring an additional person for an additional $20.

 

FEB 16 – Pay for Workshop
Self-Promoting Without Annoying Your Friends

Comment below or email smb@combinedartform.com to pay for the archived video & worksheet.

 

FEB 23– Pay for Workshop

Build Your Marketing Strategy

  • What is your show’s story?
  • Who is your audience?
  • Who are your audience’s influencers/
  • How can you target them?
  • Basics of a pitch to media & bloggers
  • Includes basic media lists
Panelist at Broad Humor Film Festival with Comediva Founder Erika Cervantes & Susan diRende.
Panelist at Broad Humor Film Festival with Comediva Founder Erika Cervantes & Susan diRende.


MAR 9 – Pay for Workshop

Telling Your Show’s Story Online

  • In depth, interactive look into your show’s story & how it translates to social media
  • Where is your story best told?
  • How to schedule posts for maximum views
  • Creating posts that tell the story better than words
  • Moving beyond your friends & family to reach new audiences
  • Difference between PR, Publicity, Marketing, Outreach & Audience Development
  • How those differences help your storytelling
  • Translating good story to butts in seats


MAR 23– Pay for Workshop 

Pitching Press/Audience in Person & Online

  • Building a lasting Media List
  • Difference between PR, Publicity, Marketing, Outreach & Audience Development
  • Finding & Pitching Bloggers & Influencers
  • DOs & DON’Ts of Pitching
  • Bring your elevator speech! Every participant gets a pitch coaching session during workshop
Gregory Crafts & Crowin Evans perform how NOT to approach a potential nonprofit partner. Watch video.
Gregory Crafts & Corwin Evans perform how NOT to approach a potential nonprofit partner. Watch video.


MAR 30 – Pay for Workshop

Mind the Gap: Reaching New Audiences on Twitter

  • Basics & Best Practices
  • Twitter as your best Research Tool
  • Building Strong Relationships with Audience & Press before asking them for something
  • Utilizing word of type to your advantage pre and during your events
  • Gaining attention of Press without pitching
  • Finding & Enlisting Influencers as Brand Ambassadors
  • Running Giveaways & Ticket Discounts

Email smb@combinedartform [dot] com to get on the mailing list or comment below.

MORE APRIL – JUNE

APRIL 6 – Standards & Best Practices for Social Marketing

APRIL 20 – Using Video to Promote Live Performance (includes YouTube basics)

Good reading: How to turn your office (or home/rehearsal room) into a video production studio

MAY 11 – Marketing Strategy in the Thick of Production

MAY 24 – Press/Media/Influencer Brunch Mixer

JUNE 8 – Standing out at a Festival without Being a Dick

More Time to Fringe!

 If you followed me last June, you know I am a huge fan of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

Along with infusing a sense of community into the arts scene, it also encouraged me to try new methods of outreach. The Let’s Fringe! interviews conducted through Bitter Lemons LA & Google+ Hangouts last year sparked the Arts Outreach Channel now in process.

The main issue many have with the Festival is they don’t have time to see as much as they’d like. Enter the relentless Fringe Staff with their announcement that the dates are extending! Here’s the release with all the info.

Even if you aren’t in Hollywood, follow their online platforms. Everyone can take a lesson or two in galvanizing artists from these folks.

And stay tuned for some announcements regarding Fringe on my end…….you might want to press “Follow this blog.” Just a suggestion!

 

Hollywood Fringe Festival Press Contact:
Stacy Jones Hill
Communications Director
Press@HollywoodFringe.org
805.604.5106
www.HollywoodFringe.org
Thursday, November 15th, 2012
For Immediate Release
JUNE IS FOR FRINGE
Hollywood Fringe Festival Extends 2013 Dates to Include Additional Week
Hollywood, CA– The Hollywood Fringe Festival (www.hollywoodfringe.org) announced today that the fourth annual festival will be a week longer than the three previous fests. The fourth annual festival will take place June 13th-30th after a week of Previews taking place June 6th-11th. The festival is now one of the largest uncensored performing arts festivals in the country, and extending the length will expand opportunities for both artists and audience members. The festival sold 25,000 tickets in 2012, giving back all $200,000 to participating artists and venues. Festival organizers feel confident that an additional seven days of Fringe will help to keep ticket sales growing at a steady pace.
“Since 2010, we’ve made it our mission to include all types of artists and arts supporters, adopting a ‘come-one-come-all’ mentality meant to unite us in our endeavors to create. A very special community has emerged, one that encourages and cherishes the work of others,” says Ben Hill, Hollywood Fringe Festival Director. “This supportive community is part of the reason our attendance has increased dramatically from year to year. By adding an additional week for Fringe 2013, we hope that we can provide a wider range of entertainment for audiences while also welcoming more producing groups into our already-diverse pool of performing artists.”

Hill and other organizers behind the Hollywood Fringe are planning to host a number of Town Halls and Workshops to assist venues, participants and other community members prepare for the festival. The first of these Town Halls will focus on the Registration process and will be held on January 17th at 7:00pm atTheatre Asylum. Those that can’t attend the event are encouraged to listen to recordings that will be posted on the Hollywood Fringe blog.

Registration for the Hollywood Fringe opens February 1st and closes on April 1st. The event is open and non-curated; any artistic group able to book a venue within the festival’s boundaries may register. Registration for the festival is a three-step process. The first step is the creation of a project page (http://hollywoodfringe.org/add_project) on the festival’s site. Second, the project must be booked at a participating venue within the festival’s boundaries. Once the venue deal has been completed, groups can complete registration by paying the registration fee. The first two steps can be started before February 1st. Read more about the registration process here.
Traditional theatre spaces as well as temporary or DIY spaces are encouraged. Venues can list their space on the festival’s website starting today. Participants may attempt to book a venue that has already signed up, or they may bring their own venue. All registrations complete before April 1st will receive placement in the Festival’s Guide, which will be distributed throughout Hollywood and greater Los Angeles starting May 2013. Registrations completed after that time will be included in listings on the Fringe’s website.
Key Dates for 2013:
November 1st- Venue Sign Up Open
February 1st- Registration Open
April 1st- Registration Deadline for Guide Inclusion
June 6th-11th- Fringe Previews
June 12th- Fringe Opening Night Gala
June 13th-30th- 4th Annual Hollywood Fringe Festival
June 30th- Fringe Award Ceremony & Closing Night Party
The organization needs volunteers and interns throughout the year. Any interested persons may learn more here:http://www.hollywoodfringe.org/learn/index/132
Want more information? Contact the festival at support@hollywoodfringe.org or by visiting the website at www.HollywoodFringe.org.
Follow @hollywoodfringe on Twitter (or use the #hff13 hashtag), become a fan of our facebook page, or check us out on tumblr.