“If aliens were going to meet the planet for the first time, I really hope they could go to a Fringe festival and watch a bunch of shows.
I think that would be an excellent first impression.”
— JJ Peeler (The Yellow Wallpaper)

PortFringe Celebrates

2017 marks 70 years since the birth of the fringe concept, with the founding of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland in 1947. The spark that was ignited in Edinburgh has circled the globe and there are now more than 200 fringes worldwide. The fringe model has been emulated from Australia to France, Canada to Prague, South Africa to Brighton, China to Brazil, and everywhere in-between. The fringe movement has grown from strength to strength, enabling people all over the world to make cultural connections that transcend national boundaries.

PortFringe will join fringe festivals across the globe on Tuesday 11 July to celebrate the inaugural World Fringe Day. World Fringe Day will be an international day of celebration, reflecting on the collective power and worldwide reach of the fringe movement.

We asked our 2017 PortFringe Artists:
What does FRINGE mean to you?

“Fringe to me means being an outsider, a risk taker, sharing daring adventures.It means being messy, not-perfect and aiming for Connection.” — Kari Wagner-Peck (Not Always Happy)

“It’s an important way for artistic communities to grow and change, with an infusion of new work from outside. It’s also a great way for touring artists like me to see new towns and learn about the kind of art they hold dear.” — L. Nicol Cabe (Tidal Surge)

“At “fringes” theater gets drawn back toward its past, street-fair and celebration, yet on into its future. Much growing happens both for audiences and for performers; growth from taking risks and from seeing others take risks. Plants grow from their buds and twig tips, theater from its fringes. The fruits may come later, but not without those buds.” — Richard Sewell (The Antigone in Warsaw)

“I think what I love most about fringe festivals is that they teach you to coexist with people from all genres. In a world where lines are constantly being drawn, a fringe festival blurs them so anyone from musicians to mind readers to storytellers to sketch comedians can share the stage without fear of judgment.” — Mark Toland (Mark Toland – Mind Reader)

“Fringe is an anti-commercial opportunity to create work across the world and connect with others. The best art happens in unexpected places and the Fringe advocates the unexpected.” — Paul Bedard (The Glowing Boot)

“Fringe gives lesser known artists a chance to be seen and to stage risky works that might not be appropriate in their usual venues. It’s a place for artists to meet each other and see great art. It’s a chance for the public to stretch and grow and learn about diverse performing arts.” — Laura Packer (Fairy Tales for Grown-Ups)

“To us, Fringe offers a low-cost platform for work that otherwise might not be seen.
Fringe means a safe space for unsafe work.” — Tandem Theatre Collective (Kill That Man, Come Back Alone)

“Many theatre companies, collaborations, and new projects have come out of the Fringe experience. It challenges and expands what theatre can be for local audiences. But, ultimately for us it’s been about community. It’s unlike any other theatre experience to meet so many artists and see so much great work in such a short period of time. We really hold each other up and there is so much positive support in the Fringe community.”
— Willi Carlisle & Joseph Fletcher (There Ain’t No More: Death of a Folksinger)

“Solo performance, dance, clowning, one acts, hard-to-define acts, combinations of any and all of the above… It’s a mad, glorious melange.” — Josh Brassard (Hell Is)

“Congratulations Edinburgh Fringe! My husband and I both performed there in 2003. Our last pre-kids trip abroad. Fringe festivals are a great opportunity to try out new work for audiences in cities that are excited to see theater. Fringe means take a risk, go for it, have an adventure, and get to know a new city. Fringe means fun.” — Adina Taubman (A LINE IN THE SAND)

“A collection of theatrical art where artists are supported in a way that allows them to take risks and innovate.” — Gerry Shannon of Vivid Motion (Lovers Anonymous)

“Fringe is where our group got it’s start, and we are forever grateful for the opportunities Fringe festivals have given us. Our first fringe festival was PortFringe 2014, and since then we’ve been able to experience an awesome variety of shows, explore new ways of presenting our show, and pursue an entertainment craft that is way outside of the mainstream.” — Jetpack Superheros (Date Night: A Kung Fu Improv and Musical Comedy Opera)

“I have learned more from doing fringe festivals than any acting class or graduate program . I work in Hollywood and I have learned how to produce and show and market a show.because of fringe.”Les Kurkendaal (Terror on the High Seas)

“Fringe festivals put sidelined art front and center – by that I mean, art that is not typically produced year-round to sell-out audiences. Fringe art is different. It offers different perspectives and doesn’t play to be popular. It plays to challenge it’s audience, whether that challenge be a call to think differently, or to reexamine what art is, or to imagine in a way they have never imagined before, suspending their disbelief further.” — Now What Theatre (Kara Sevda)

“Freedom. Joy. Liberation. Exploration. Passion. Why would anyone possibly want to do anything else?” — Elizabeth Patterson (Easter And Annie)

“In a country where capitalism runs most of the theatre, Fringe creates a level playing field for all artists. Because of this, we get to see the more varied art that people are creating, not just the big musical that will pay the bills. Also, people take bigger risks and create new work, I think it makes the theatre ecosystem more diverse and exciting.” — Laura Loy of Box of Clowns (The Paranormal Pair)