Chicago Fringe Festival 2010

Mar 1, 2010 by     No Comments    Posted under: Thousands of Stories

The Consortium Project wasted no time getting to work after our successful run of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

But that’s easy when you’ve got lady luck on your side…

September 2010 marks the first annual Chicago Fringe Festival, organized by a group of Chicago-based artists and producers. In keeping with Fringe traditions established at the original event in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947, the Chicago Fringe Festival will focus on theatre and performance pieces that fall outside the “norm.” Up until now, Chicago has been one of the only major cities in the Midwest without such a festival, so artists across the region have been eager to get involved.

For its inaugural year, the staff of 18 volunteers received over 150 submissions from companies and individuals across the globe. In a perfect world, each of them would get a chance to perform this fall, but the festival will only be large enough to accommodate 40 acts, so they had to come up with a way of choosing who was in and who was out.

Their Fringe-tastic solution? A lottery!

Last night, members of the Fringe volunteer staff, as well as representatives from many of the submitted projects, gathered in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood for the official Lottery Party that would determine which submissions would be accepted into the 2010 festival. I wasn’t able to attend the event in person, but I did watch the live video stream online.

The night was hosted by Chicago comedian Tony B and featured live music by the Ben Keeler Trio.* After about 30 minutes of entertainment, the committee got down to the business of selecting the winning artists. There was literally a giant spinning cage with all the entries written on folded slips of paper, and they drew the winning slips bingo style. First were the international winners, followed by the national selections. They saved the final 15 drawings for Chicagoland acts.

Being that there were 85 local submissions vying for these 15 performance slots, I was admittedly a bit skeptical.

My doubts were quickly silenced with the very first name drawn: The Consortium Project!

That’s right, we have been selected as participants in Chicago Fringe 2010! This will be a great opportunity to get the company some face time on a much larger stage, promote the immense talent of our young members, and make a few bucks in the process (100% of ticket proceeds go towards the companies!). We’ve got a planning meeting this week to discuss what our show is going to be. When I know more, you’ll know more! :-)

~JVB

*Note: I was hoping to provide links to these artists’ websites, but I couldn’t find them! So, in that spirit, I’m referring you a related blog post by Ben Whitehair here. Take a lesson, artists!!!