ORLANDO — Remember the days when the Orlando International Fringe Theater Festival would take place over two weeks leading up to Memorial Day weekend?
Times have changed.
Since January, when Orlando Fringe took over the theater space at 54 W. Church St. in downtown Orlando, regular productions have become more common — a lot more common. And now Fringe has unveiled its fall schedule of shows for patrons to enjoy, offering a diverse mix.
What is the Fringe ArtSpace?
Fringe ArtSpace opened on Jan. 11 as a safe space for artists to create and share their work with fellow arts lovers, while also offering an affordable rehearsal and performance space to them.
Orlando Fringe took over the space formerly used by Mad Cow Theatre. The City of Orlando approved a deal to allow Orlando Fringe to operate at the Church Street property after Mad Cow was evicted.
The city now has a multi-year lease agreement with Fringe for the Church Street space, which has become their permanent home to bring in local shows and national touring productions.
What New Shows Are Coming to Orlando Fringe ArtSpace?
Orlando Fringe ArtSpace’s fall season begins with a 3-night cabaret series presented by Central Florida Vocal Arts from Sept. 22 – 24.
Next, the Velvet Toreador Company of Orlando will move into at Fringe ArtSpace from Oct. 5-31 with three events:
- Winnie’s Rock Cauldron Cabaret (WRCC), a jukebox musical featuring the Sanderson Sisters in a family-friendly event;
- Winnie’s Full Moon Burly-Q show, a one-night only burlesque show hosted by WRCC founder Jennica McCleary and featuring cast members of WRCC plus some local celebrities.
- Coloring, Candy and Cauldrons, oh my!, where the Sanderson Sisters host a kid-friendly event filled with on-your-own activities, immersive and interactive options and more.
From Nov. 10-19 , The Coldharts (Katie Hartman and Nick Ryan) return to Central Florida to present Edgar Allan, their two-person musical about a pre-adolescent Edgar Allan Poe in his first year at Manor House School, trying to gain academic ascendancy over the student body. Then another boy named Edgar Allan arrives in class and things get more complicated in this dark and comedic production.
From Dec. 1-18, Phoenix Tears Productions presents Ophelia the Musical, which explores Ophelia’s perspective and the pressures of femininity. This is an original musical by Jeremiah Gibbons, based on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The production follows Ophelia’s descent into madness with original music and a fresh concept.
“Our inaugural season at Fringe ArtSpace was about listening to the needs of our artistic community, adapting to the space, and workshopping many of our internal ideas and dreams of what the space could be.” said Fringe’s Artistic and Marketing Director Desiree Montes. “In addition to the community’s overwhelming need for access to more accessible creative spaces, there is a growing need for more educational programming and offerings for creatives, that many outside of university or grad-school, would not otherwise have a means of entry.”
Fringe’s Executive Director, Alauna Friskics, added, “We are continuously working toward putting our focus on the artist to grow a healthier and stronger arts presence in the community. Fringe ArtSpace is for artists, emerging and established, who are in need of guidance in shaping their craft, space to perform, and creative process mentoring.”
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright, and author of the book A Christmas Eve Story. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com.