Orlando International Fringe Festival Overview Press Release – 1994

What Is The Fringe?

The Orlando International Fringe Festival is a ten-day celebration of the theatrical
and performing arts held in the streets, theatres and converted office spaces
of downtown Orlando. The Third Annual Orlando International Fringe Festival
is the premier springtime event in Central Florida. It was voted "Best
Outdoor Event" and "Best Cultural Festival" by the readers of
the Orlando Weekly and encompasses more than 500 shows, the Visual Fringe, an
outdoor stage with nightly concerts, the Fringe Frolic Parade and Kids Fringe.

History Of The Fringe

The Fringe began in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland when a small number of performance
companies were excluded from the Edinburgh International Festival. This festival
was perhaps the most prominent theatrical arts festival in the world, producing
mainly classic plays, ballets, and opera. Undaunted by the reluctance of the
festival producers to accept new and innovative works, these regional companies
began to perform in smaller, makeshift theatres on the outskirts – or on the
"fringe" – of the established festival.

Within a few years, these fringe groups eclipsed the popularity of the more
traditional Edinburgh offerings. Thus the Fringe Festival was born…a colorful,
multinational, multicultural celebration of the theatre performing arts. Fringe
was imported into Canada in the early 1980s, where it has evolved into a national
treasure with festivals spanning from the Atlantic to the Pacific. Each year
more than 500,000 people attend Edmonton, Alberta’s 10 day Fringe Festival,
the largest in North America. The North American Fringe Circuit has developed
into an encouraging springboard for new, creative work in the theatrical arts.
It now encompasses 20 festivals. Performers from Europe, Africa and South America
can make a trip to North America more economical by performing at several Fringe

The Orlando International Fringe Festival, initiated in 1992 continues this
tradition, and was the first festival of its kind in the United States. Fringe
Festivals have fantastic, cutting edge performers from the four corners of the
globe. These performers are accepted on a non-juried, first-come-first-served
basis. This separates the Fringe from any other kind of theatre, in that the
audience decides what it likes instead of producers making content, form, style
and artistic judgments for the entire community. The Fringe is for, and by,
the community. Fringe Festivals are fun, exciting, thought provoking and festive.
Even non-theatre aficionados can enjoy themselves as much as those who are avid
theatre participants.

The Orlando International Fringe Festival Organization

The Orlando International Fringe Festival is a registered 501(c) 3 non-profit
corporation that is dedicated to producing a 10 day theatre festival that allows
Artists, and audiences an easily accessible forum for producing and seeing Lively
Arts from around the world.

The Fringe Festival producers DO NOT decide for the community what is, or is
not, "good art". We believe the audience/community are capable, and
willing to decide for themselves what they would like to see. We provide festival
and show information (via the Official Fringe Program and website) – and then
it’s up to you. We believe in giving artistic control back to the people. For
too long, a small group of people has set the cultural climate for the masses.
The Fringe Festival says, "No More." This is your Fringe – shape it
as you will.


Press and Media Contact:
Carollynn Hammersmith
Media and Sponsorship Relations
Telephone: (407) 648-0007