ORLANDO – The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival kicks off at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 16 at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, and runs through May 29. This year the nearly three-week long festival will feature the largest line-up of shows in its history.
And Mary, have we got something positively DIVINE for you this year.
Fringe usually has it all: comedy, drama, music, dance, magic, you name it. This year, there’s even some wrestling.
The production company Conquer Pro Wrestling is presenting just that, a show called “We Don’t Play Fight.” Written by Jason Static, a veteran professional wrestler. Jason calls it “an historic blend of the arts expressed! The actors act, and the wrestlers wrestle. Two worlds working together sharing the ring and stage for one night only!”
In 2016, Static created this show, which he calls a “crossover of the arts theatrical production between combining both performing artists, and professional wrestlers.”
It’s the story of a blind wrestling promoter who is given one last shot at earning his job back with the big leagues. He takes part in a tryout consisting of four separate days and hours on live television and Pay Per View. As he does, the wrestler, played by Static, shares his vision with the fans in the audience.
Static is promising a unique format of storytelling that combines characters from both the performing arts and professional wrestling worlds.
“It’s never been done before, and also a first for the Orlando Fringe Festival in its 26 years,” he said. “You will feel an energetic experience like never before.”
Freeline Media contacted Jason to learn more about this show.
Freeline Media: I’ve heard of unique forms of inspiration before, but wrestling is quite original. Do tell.
Jason Static: Professional Wrestling has always been a part of my life since childhood. The larger than life characters have inspired me to strive in the health and fitness lifestyle. I figured if I’m gonna put the pen to paper, I might as well go with my passion.
FM: So the play will be using actual wrestlers doing their thing?
Jason: Absolutely! The theater world gets to experience the physicality and showmanship of the squared circle.
FM: What’s the history of this show?
Jason: With three shows under our belt, we are coming to our first Anniversary. The Orlando Fringe Festival is bringing us back to the Margeson Theater, where it all began as a one night only rental.
FM: Is it intended in part as a commentary on the wrestling world? Or a closer glimpse into it?
Jason: I would have to say, my intentions was to create and contribute something very unique back to the theater community. A closer glimpse, by creating the crossover of the arts!
FM: So after Orlando Fringe, where does the show go from here?
Jason: My future goals is to bring it to the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, and to take it eventually on the road!
“We Don’t Play Fight” will be performed in the Orange Venue. Show times are:
* Monday, May 15 (special showing for the press and fellow Fringe artists) at 3:45 p.m.
* Saturday, May 20 at 12:45 p.m.
* Tuesday, May 23 at 7:15 p.m.
* Friday, May 26 at 11:59 p.m.
* Sunday, May 28 at 4:30 p.m.
For tickets, visit Orlando Fringe.
Michael Freeman is an Orlando journalist, playwright and author of the book “Bloody Rabbit”. Contact him at Freelineorlando@gmail.com..