Sunday, January 31, 2010

Question of the Week: Fringe Theater Festival Press Kits


Dear Mr. Fringey,
I'm trying to put together a promotions package to send to the Minneapolis Fringe. Don't know what they might expect to see.

When you send out a promotions package, do you do it electronically? Or do you refer a producer to your website?


Dear Irene,
I think Fringe Festivals are a lot like Facebook. Facebook is kind of a closed entity. The Google search engine spiders aren't allowed into Facebook and what's said on Facebook (compared to the rest of the web world) stays within Facebook.

With that said, there isn't a lot of communication from Fringe Festival Office to Fringe Festival Office and Fringe Festival Office and the rest of the performing world. What this means is that if you send a crappy press kit out to one fringe the rumor kind of lives and dies within that office.

With that said, unless you are applying to a fringe which is juried, this is definitely an area where you can cut some costs. This doesn't mean you can cut costs to the degree that you just send a link to your on-line press kit. That's too much work to expect a mostly volunteer staff to find the time to follow your link. However, it does mean that you don't have to send your high dollar flashy kit.

When I'm applying to a unjuried fringe, I simply make some very clean B&W copies of 4 pages and include it in with my application: 1)My Bio 2) The history of my show and/or performances 3)Testimonials 4) 1 article from a news source.

You don't get any extra points for flashy presentation here or for sending a demo. It's a lottery, period and for most fringes this is perfect. Fringe administrators mostly just want to feel confident that they are choosing someone who is going to show up.

For those fringe administrators that care to speak on the subject I'd love to hear if I'm correct in this. Please leave a comment with your own experience.


Full Plate Collection said...

So, even if you are applying to a juried festival, you do not send materials electronically? Is that correct? What about in the case of a European fringe? Do they expect to receive things through the mail (which could get pricey and take a while) as well? THanks.

Slash Coleman said...

Each festival has it's own set of guidelines. For instance, San Fran wants everything electronic. The Capital Fringe wants you to snail mail in your application.

There are no "across the board" rules. ou have to look at what each fringe wants. However, I don't know any where sending a link to your press kit is ever ok.

But in terms of the fringe, if it's not juried, I'm not going to send in anything but 4 B&W copies of my stuff, in a standard envelope, just so they get a feel for what I do. That's not expensive at all.

There is are "across the board" rules for Canada or Europe either. Montreal took everything electronic and Vancouver wanted a snail-mail version.

In fact, Europe is another fringe beast all together. Whenever I apply to a European fringe, I take out all the stops to make a good impression and as a rule send my best kit.

As a rule Canadian fringes and "most" European fringes are lottery which means the only thing they need from you is an application fee and your application. They usually have a separate deadline for sending in a promotional photo and a blurb about your show.

Anonymous said...

Some other advice would be to, "Call the Fringe office and ask them what they want instead of taking advice that may or may not be correct from some guy who admits he's just guessing about the policy."

You might want to try that.

Just a thought.