08 Fringe: 30 Shows

Trent Baumann as “The Birdmann” - 2008 Indy Fringe Festival

I saw thirty regular shows at the 2008 Indianapolis Fringe Festival (five of them twice), plus one Fringe Next show.  It took me a while, but I wrote about each of them here on my blog.

It has been a very rewarding, very enjoyable two weeks.

Mind you, one Fringe artist threatened to sue me if I did not revise my review of her work to her specifications.  Of course I did not change a word.  I felt sympathy for her pain – some of the professional reviewers had problems with her show, too – but I refuse to be bullied.

On the other hand, another artist asked if I would add the names of his director and stage manager to my review.  He was grateful for their help, and sorry he hadn’t been able to thank them in a printed program.  Of course I agreed.  I welcome suggestions for correcting factual mistakes or omissions.

Even though I saw so many shows, there were still other intriguing shows that I missed.   I don’t know if it is even possible to schedule a visit to all 48 Fringe shows.  It was impossible for me due to other commitments during the Fringe week. 

In any case, I am glad there were so many people writing about the Fringe this year, either in professional media sources or in the blogs of ordinary people.  Any reviewer’s opinion is only that: one opinion.   It is good for a community to have many opinions, many people thinking and talking about art.

Here is what I saw, in traditional alphabetical order:

I also saw and wrote about one FringeNext show: Speaking Without Words (Kenyetta Dance Company.)

I talked with a LOT of people during the Fringe, but I wrote about my conversation with Fringe technician Chris Strange as a separate post.

And finally, I accepted IndyFringe.org webmaster Bob Burchfield’s invitation to make a brief podcast one night on Mass Ave.  It made me realize that I do not have a coherent answer ready for when people ask me why I love live theatre so much, but it was also a lot of fun.  (Thanks again, Bob!)  If you would like to listen to it, here is a link to its location in the forums on the IndyFringe website.  It is just about two minutes long.  My laptop will not play it, for some reason, but I was able to listen to it on someone else’s computer.

Oh, my goodness, what a wonderful Fringe this has been!   Thanks very much for reading.

Hope Baugh – www.IndyTheatreHabit.com

4 thoughts on “08 Fringe: 30 Shows”

  1. Holy cow, Hope. I can’t believe you made it to that many shows… and posted a review of each one. This is an invaluable service to the community (especially those who are forced to choose among so many Fringe offerings). In addition, speaking as an occasional Fringe performer myself, I always appreciate reviews that go beyond a two sentence comment posted on a Festival web site. Reviews like yours provide valuable feedback to the performing artists (whether they like your reaction or not)… and positive reviews do help these performers down the line as they struggle to get their work shown elsewhere.

  2. Thanks very much, Tim! As always, I appreciate your reading my blog and leaving a comment, but I especially appreciate the encouragement in this comment.

    By the way, I have added your storytelling blog to my blogroll. (I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner!)

    ‘Still hoping to hear you tell some day, whenever we happen to be in the same state!

  3. As the Curtain Goes Down on IndyFringe 2008 I would like to thank Hope for being a part of IndyFringe, for her blogs, her enthusiasm and support of our independent artists. Thank you to everyone who took to Mass Ave and supported the festival.
    IndyFringe 2008 is in the history books! The ten-day festival featuring more than 266 shows from over 53 performance groups began Friday, Aug. 22, 2008, and ended Aug. 31, drawing 9,880 patrons to Massachusetts Avenue for frivolity, fun, and fringy theatre—our largest attendance in the four-year history of IndyFringe! IndyFringe returned l00% of the box office totaling $81,000 to individual performers and small theatre companies.

    Six performance companies completely sold out all of their shows, and several more were near sellouts. Fringe Central provided free entertainment to over 1,600 people in addition to the street performers in the nooks and crannies of Mass Ave. Over 1,100 people filled out voting forms at VisualFringe; 2,400 surveys were completed during the festival and diligently collected by our volunteers. More than 300 patrons enjoyed our sneak peek festival preview. VisualFringe enjoyed unprecedented crowds of 4000 at the IDADA First Friday Art Walk, and the cardboard village proved a fun and funky addition to Mass Ave.

    August 31 was the highest single-day attendance in the four-year history of IndyFringe, with 1,915 patrons in attendance at the Sunday shows which also featured FringeNext, our dedicated youth theatre.

    The IndyFringe Web site enjoyed unprecedented usage in August. In June, our site traffic rank was 1,500,000+ according to Quantcast.com, an independent 3rd party company that tracks and analyzes site traffic for more than 20 million Web sites in America. By August 31, the final day of IndyFringe 2008, our Quantcast site traffic rank had risen to 144,849, putting it in the Top 1% of all Web sites in America in site traffic.

    The top selling shows were :
    Asshole & Aueroles
    Phil the Void
    Adventures in Mating
    On the Rag
    Wicked Dreams
    Mental Shock
    Clown at Work
    Common Humanity
    And I am not making this up

    Our audience surveys show over l0% were new visitors to Mass Ave and 55% were new to the festival.
    We achieved our goals set at the February 2008 IndyFringe five year strategic planning meeting and look forward to our fifth year on Mass Ave. Our next exciting challenge is to refurbish 719E St Clair Street and to finally have a home for IndyFringe and FringeNext.

    Executive Director,
    317 522 8099

  4. Thanks very much for this data, Pauline! I really appreciate your taking the time to share this on my blog!

    And thanks, again, and again and again and again, for a wonderful week. I looked forward to it all year, and it was even better than I had hoped. I’m already looking forward to Indy Fringe 2009!

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