Oahu Fringe Festival
By Caroline Wright
The Arts District of Honolulu, located on the eastern edge of Chinatown, will be a playground for the inaugural Oahu Fringe Festival,
This is certainly one of the boldest and most unusual festivals ever planned for Hawaii: a "performing arts smorgasbord," according to the website, delivered without censorship or jury by anybody with a dance, story, or song to share.
It's new to Honolulu this year, but the first Fringe Festival was held in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1946 as an unjuried alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. The Edinburgh Fringe, now the largest in the world with more than 2,400 events, became the model for others.
Generally, any person or group with a show from any genre — theatre, dance, music, puppetry, spoken word, etc. — will be welcome to perform at the Honolulu event, whether he or she (or they) are seasoned professionals or total novices. As there's no selection committee to choose performers, Fringe events tend to include a fascinatingly eclectic variety of artists.
Application fees are manageable — just $25 — and each act will be paid between $180-230, for one, two or three performances, depending on the number of slots available after all applications have been received. And the website promises affordable ticket prices for Fringe audiences, too. Performances will be held in four Chinatown venues: the Arts at Marks Garage, the ARTSmith at the Chinatown Artists Loft, Ong King Arts Center and Laughtrack Theatre on Bethel Street.
And it's all uncensored. "No one," according the website, " gets too fussy about swears or nudity but squeaky-clean content isn't marginal or discouraged, either." The festival's performance application asks artists to select any applicable "warnings" for their performances from a list that includes strobe lighting, gunshot, smoke or fog effects, nudity, open flame and "Other: Please list below." (Warnings will helpfully be included in the festival program, and family-friendly events will also be included.)
Unjuried participation is a daring, innovative, inclusive concept for any community arts festival. Fringe might just turn out to be one of the most exciting events in Honolulu this year.
Oahu Fringe Festival
Date: Nov. 10-12, 2011
Location: The Arts District of Honolulu, on the eastern edge of Chinatown
Cost: TBA (tickets will be available at http://brownpapertickets.com)
Oahu Fringe Launch Posters: http://iwilldesignfor.com/?p=228
HPR's Noe Tanigawa visits Oahu's Fringe Bites: www.hawaiipublicradio.org
Calgary Fringe Highlights: http://vimeo.com/5927597
Edinburgh Fringe Highlights: http://www.tripfilms.com/
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