Monday, December 21, 2009

Guest Review: Wilmington Fringe Festival

By Guest Reviewer: Darren Goins

Guest Festival Ranking: 5 out of 5 bowties

Mr. Fringey’s Description: Like that really warm pair of wool underpants that George Washington \ wore when he took that cool boat ride with his buddies.


The Sunny-side: (Give 3 reasons this fringe is the bomb)

1. The level of organization for this inaugural event was incredible. Fringe Wilmington provided

a website for the festival, free and I repeat free venues, and a pre-party to showcase work and parties each evening to keep the buzz and sense of community alive.

2. The friendliness and helpfulness of festival staff and volunteers. The festival organizers and their helpful staff of volunteers created an environment where artists could come in, quickly get set up and make the shows a go. I want to give a shout out to Odette and everyone at the Fringe HQ for bringing their A game this weekend in Wilmington.

3. Affordability. For a minimal application fee and low operating cost, artist at varying levels could get in and get started. I also commend them for securing a block rate at a nice, safe hotel that was within walking distance of all venues. As this can be an expense that can eat into some artists' profits and even make some artist unable to participate, this was a nice convenience.

The Flip-side: (Give 3 reasons this fringe sucks or what makes it difficult)

1. I would not say this fringe sucked at all. I would say that as a new event it suffered from the typical struggle of new events in it will take a bit of time to build a following. I'm hoping that the Mayor's Office and others that supported the Fringe keep it up in Wilmington so that another opportunity in the Mid-Atlantic for Fringe Artist presents itself.

2. Withstanding the limitations of a new event, I hope that the infrastucture set up also gets fleshed out by a sense of community among the artist where there is a desire to support each other. This will come most certainly.

3. Some effort needs to be put forth to reach out to the community along Market Street. Making the people who live in the area feel a part of the festival and festivities can help build audience. The fault lies not solely on the part of the Festival organizers nor the community nor the artist.

Those who come should think of ways to make local residents and businesses feel empowered. Papering and handing out post cards might accomplish this goal.

Ease of Filling Seats:

What's the best way to fill your seats here marketing-wise?

Reaching out to other festival goers and trying to hit people early so they'll know about the events. Based on the proximity to Delaware State University, letting Theatre and English departments know is something I plan on doing in the future. Depending on show content, this could be something worth hitting the high schools as well.

Is there a fringe central?

There was a fringe central that was well organized and staffed with phenomenal volunteers who were willing to help.

Is there a showcase for out of town performers?

The pre-night party was set up for out of town performers and all participants to get people to come to their audiences.

Potential to Make Money:

Do you get 100% of door? If not, how much.

This artists received 50% of the door.

Do performers see other shows for free?

Performers were allowed to see each other's shows for free thanks to the Festival Badges.

Do you get paid each night? If not how? Were you paid on time if the money was sent to you? The money will be sent.

Navigation of the City

What city do you fly into and how did you get to your destination?

You could fly into Philly, Wilmington or Baltimore Washington International (with an hour and a half drive that's worth the savings sometimes in the Mid-Atlantic).

Can you walk to all the venues? If not how did you get around?

All but two or three of the venues were within walking distance. A car is most helpful.

Did you use fringe fest lodging? If so, how was the lodging? If not, who did you stay with?

Fringe lodging was at a Double Tree. This hotel with a group rate made this event incredibly convenient. The festival provided coordination of booking rooms as well. I would most highly recommend this because I did not notice other lodging in the area that would be so convenient. For the low cost of parking one could be in the thick of it all very quickly.

How big of a money sock do you need here, based on food prices, and other expenses? (Choose one: A tiny sock, a men's tube sock, a full blown stocking)

A men's tube sock.

Fringe Specs:

Age in Fringe Years: 1

Festival Dates: October 1-4, 2010

Application Deadline: June 1, 2010

How: fill out application and snail mail

And: You can apply in 4 categories - Performance, Visual, Cinema, and 24 hour film making. Performers get 2 performances over a 2 day period.

Applying: $50

Festival Cost: Once accepted the cost stopped there.

Ticket Prices: $10

About Mr. Fringy's Guest Reviewer: Darren Goins

Mr. Fringey’s tag: Jean-claude Van Dammit takes the Hippocratic oath in the boys bathroom at Salem Church Middle School.

Check him out at:

What categories does your show fall under? solo, comedy, drama, social issues

How long have you been fringing?

3 years

How many fringes do you do each year?


What has been your biggest money making fringe?

DramaRama New Orleans (The precursor to New Orleans Fringe)

What fringe did you make your most important contact?

Artscape 2009 in Baltimore

In one word, why do you fringe?

I want to get this show out to the public and get people thinking about the way gender,

specifically masculinities, impact their daily lives.

What's the name of the show (s) you are fringing this year?


Do you use your own tech person at your shows? If so, how much do you pay them?


No comments: