Friends, enemies, lovers, theater junkies, and tourists who wandered into a steampunk Shakespeare remake last year while trying to find the National Archives: Welcome back. This is the 10th year of the Capital Fringe Festival, when weirdos from all over the country come to the District to put on as many plays as possible in three weeks, and the dawning of a new, double-digited era in fest lore. Fringeworthy is here to write the book on weird local theater.
What’s different this year? What’s not? A new permanent home at Fort Frin… oops, the Logan Fringe Arts Space in Trinidad; a valiant attempt to concentrate the majority of festival happenings near H Street and Brookland; expanded offerings in storytelling and dance, including some sort of crazy construction-crane boogie. And, of course, all that is on top of the standard 130 shows available for blink-and-you’ll-miss-’em runs.
Let us help you make sense of it all: We’ll have reviews out the wazoo. We’ll have previews and profiles of the festival’s biggest and strangest names. We’ll have coverage of the live music at the free Late Night Cabarets. We’ll have daily recommendations for what to see—no matter what your taste in theater—and how to see it. And we’ll have five-time returning champion Chris Klimek, who will soon publish a must-read account of how the festival has aged in ten years (and where’s it’s headed). He will once more step behind the mic for his Fringecasting audio conversations. Maybe. If he can reverse the witch’s curse and reclaim his voice. (Long story.)
Another big change this year: I am not Chris Klimek. After five years at the helm of this illustrious blog, he has ceded control to the next-best thing. I’ve been covering theater for City Paper since 2013 and for DC Theatre Scene before that, and I’ve also published critical musings on film, books and more with NPR, The Atlantic, DCist, Tablet, The Dissolve (R.I.P.), and other fine establishments. And I won’t be alone: I’ve rounded up what I think is an especially gifted cadre of writers this year—more than 30, in fact, ranging from Fringe vets to fresh-off-the-plane District newbies.
The mix of backgrounds is deliberate. My goal is to give all readers and Fringegoers, no matter their familiarity with local theater, all the tools they need to properly enjoy this madhouse. I want to open up this wonderful world, because an event as big and glorious as Fringe deserves to be more than an inside joke.
What I’m trying to say is: Fear not. Fringeworthy is in good hands. Make sure to follow this blog and find us on Twitter to see for yourself. And please contact me if you have any questions, concerns, or desperate bids for coverage, or if you just wandered by something that looked too bizarre for words. Odds are, you will have wandered into Fringetown.
Photo by Andrew Lapin