The New York International Fringe Festival
Not only for theatre fans
But For All Art-lovers
New York International Fringe Festival
Not only for theatre fans out there, but for all art-lovers, the new and revamped version of the acclaimed New York International Fringe Festival is great news. The entire city will be flooded with supporters, artists, professionals and other enthusiasts (not that it is not flooded of artists all year long, but even more). Read on and find out which the new additions to an already exciting program are and what you should not miss!
A Year-Long Hiatus
The Blank Canvas Project was the name the creators of the New York International Fringe Festival gave to the complete revamp they set out to make of their festival. It started out in 1997 and by its 20th anniversary (celebrated last year), they decided it was a little too far from the idea they originally had and thus, went on to make a complete revamp of it. For this huge quest they took a year off and opened a blog to tell all the fans about the news.
One of the aims of The Blank Canvas Project was to rethink the strategy in order to make the festival as sustainable through time as humanly possible. Also, it was an opportunity for the creator group to stop for a little time and find the needed time to appreciate the long way to the present.
The result of The Blank Canvas Project was a three-year plan called FringeNYC 20/20. This plan was designed to make the festival, bigger, better and also put in all the leverage that so many years of learning-by-doing granted them.
According to their own records, the attendance peak was of 75,000 people making The New York International Fringe Festival the fifth largest event of the city. This is due to the content that is extremely varied and also curated by professionals. This is not a minor detail; there are two things that can set a good festival and a disastrous one apart and those are content and organization. If the content is varied enough to quench the artistic thirst of a big audience, and the quality is high, then the audience expectation should be sky-high.
This is exactly the case with the Fringe Festival, and the reason why the creators took that year off, to keep it fresh, interesting and, above it all, very varied. This edition is slimmed up in comparison to other years having only 83 plays (other editions featured 200) and will take place in the West Village. The official number for the plays that have been up on the festival is 3,000 in twenty years, which is nothing but astonishing.
Double The Fun
One of the biggest differences between this year´s festival and previous editions is the BYOV side of it. What does BYOV stands for? Well, it means Bring Your Own Venue and, just like its name implies it, it will have scheduled plays in existing indie venues as well as impromptu, pop up and surprise plays. It will take place in different locations in the outer boroughs of the city.
This new segment is to have its inaugural year, and has at least 18 plays scheduled to occur in this format. This is a complete innovation for the festival, and if it works out for them, it shall be a steady addition to the program. The good thing about the BYOV segment is the closeness to the general public.
The Franco Play
The play that brought the legal controversy to the Epic Theater Company in 2016 is back but with a changed name to avoid the legal objections from the man, James Franco himself. Originally named “James Franco and me”, the play takes place in a waiting room of a hospital where the two people involved: an actor playing the star actor and director James Franco and the protagonist have long conversations about death, live and other deep topics. The protagonist, (Kevin Broccoli) is there taking care of his dying father when he meets the fictionalized Franco.
Due to the legal demands from Franco´s lawyers, the play is to be called “James Franco and Me: An Unauthorized Satire” and is one of the many highlights of the festival you should not miss.