Monday, June 12, 2006

Fantastic Fringe! Typos corrected

Congratulations to all involved. What a fantastic series and (cliché
ALERT) a shining jewel in the Queen City's crown. The energy spread
pandemically throughout the city and gave people a glimpse of what our
city can be. Downtown is walk able, the venues are size appropriate and
yes it was even safe! Hope all the staff and volunteers are
I noticed a few unfortunate blog posts. I don't think artists do
themselves a favor when they whine about nasty critics and you certainly
should never review your own production, no matter how screwed you think
Jackie might be... you end up looking foolish and really have no
objectivity. A wise man...bartender... once advised me to never enter
into a debate with anybody who buys ink by the barrel. Can't win... they
have the edit function. Secondly, any review is the opinion of one
person, sitting in one seat for a single performance on a day when they
may or may not have been in a good mood. The key to gleaning insight
from any critic is to note their consistencies and assertion if their
esthetic coincides with yours. Ultimately, if Tom M. doesn't like
stairwells as performance space... piss on him. I don't like his ties.
Why the Enq. paid only passing notice to the Fringe is another
problem... but CityBeat, arguably a much more significant arts
publication presented
extensive and timely information throughout the Fringe. (including 3
pieces by me. I may be full of crap too, but I am consistent.) So mass
props to CityBeat and the overworked and undoubtedly under compensated
Mr. Pender.
But mostly, I send the only standing ovation I shall have given this
year (I am actually standing) to those artists who dare to put their
collective asses on the line and are fully prepared to fall on them, if
need be.
A fan
Paul Kreft

Fantastic Fringe!

Congratulations to all involved. What a fantastic series and (cliché
ALERT) a shining jewel in the Queen City's crown. The energy spread
pandemically throughout the city and gave people a glimpse of what our
city can be. Downtown is walk able, the venues are size appropriate and
yes it was even safe! Hope all the staff and volunteers are safe and
I noticed a few unfortunate blog posts. I don't think artists do
themselves a favor when they whine about nasty critics and you certainly
should never review your own production, no matter how screwed you think
Jackie might be... you end up looking foolish and really have no
objectivity. A wise man...bartender... once advised me to never enter
into a debate with anybody who buys ink by the barrel. Can't win... they
have the edit function. Secondly, any review is the opinion of one
person, sitting in one seat for a single performance on a day when they
may or may not have been in a good mood. The key to gleaning insight
from any critic is to note their consistencies and assertion if their
esthetic coincides with yours. Ultimately, if Tom M. doesn't like
stairwells as performance space... piss on him. I don't like his ties.
Why the Enq. paid only passing notice to the Fringe is another
problem... but CityBeat, arguably a much more significant presented
extensive and timely information throughout the Fringe. (including 3
pieces by me. I may be full of crap too, but I am consistent.) So mass
props to CityBeat and the overworked and undoubtedly under compensated
Mr. Pender.
But mostly, I send the only standing ovation I shall have given this
year (I am actually standing) to those artists who dare to put their
collective asses on the line and are fully prepared to fall on them, if
need be.
A fan
Paul Kreft

feedback on Fringe

Dear Staff,
As a volunteer I was pleased that any staff member that I encountered was appreciative and thoughtful.
For your next Fringe, I suggest that you have at least a 1/2 page in your flyer for a Primer on participating in a Fringe.  What does a totally "unfringed" participant need to know that she leaves happy and wants to come back for more?  For starters:
1.  limited seating(next year, please consider listing number of seats per venue)
2.  there is a possibility that there will be no chairs at a performance
3.  most of the Fringe staff are volunteering their time, energy, and mental sanity :-)
For my time and money, this year's Fringe quality was not as high as last year's.  Being on the Fringe does not imply less quality.  For me it is art that I would not see on a main stage because of its content--not because it is not good enough to be on a main stage.
I do not understand your insistence on having performances in smokey bars.  I believe that you lose more than you gain doing that.  But, it is your choice.
thanks for listening.

With humble gratitude and exhuberant joy . . .

Dear Cincinnati Fringe Festival,
Last year at this time I wrote a love letter to the Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2005. A love letter is barely sufficient this year, but I must express my sincere gratitude. The Fringe this year was a humbling, surprising, creative cauldron, and I never expected to strike such chords with two such divergent shows, (UN)Natural Disaster and The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity. I just never guessed. Ever. I'm still a bit stunned. I'm just doing what I always do, and to be noticed by audience, critics, and the Fringe Producers, well I'm not jaded, and I can honestly say it matters. The recognition means alot to me, and to the actors I have the honor to work with, and I'm so thankful. Thank you.
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2006 was a vital life force in Cincinnati this year. It was important. It mattered. Thank you to Jason, Gina, Embrya, Stephanie, Gabe, Jay, Jeff, Elizabth, Sean, Doug, Elizabeth, and Jay for injecting life blood into artists and audiences alike. Thank you to volunteers and audiences, who were a joy to meet and work with every night. Thank you to the generous sponsors. And thank you to the exceptional artists in Cincinnati who inspire me and touch me and dare to share. I am raw and spent and almost speechless after the Fringe experience this year.
It can be difficult to be a theatre artist in Cincinnati. It can also be the best thing in the world. The Cincinnati Fringe Festival allowed and invited this theatre artist to join and to play, and today, for me, it is the best thing in the world. I am inspired. Thank you Cincinnati Fringe Festival 2006.
-Richard Hess
Director, (UN)Natural Disaster and The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity. 

Saturday, June 10, 2006

A Personal Thank You

To the artists, staff, volunteers, and audience,

I want to say thank you. As I sit in the offices of the Fringe at Know Theatre, with barely a moment to reflect, I am amazed and overwhelmed with gratitude. Thank you, for making this year bigger and better than those that have come before.

To the artists, I want to recognize the enormous talent, dedication, and quality that you have brought to Cincinnati. You are responsible for making this Festival and Cincinnati, truly a home for new and exciting work.

To the Staff, obviously, nothing would be without each of you. No one screamed, no one cried, and no one threw any chairs (Gabe!). I love you all, this festival is born each year on your sweat and blood, and all the late nights and early days.

To the Volunteers, you are the life blood of this festival. Eric, Brian, and all the rest (100 +). We the community of the Fringe thank you.

And you the Audience, you came out, you came again, you fringe-d. You enthusiasm is what keeps us going "when the lights fade". Thank you...

I was sitting at the bar the other night, with all of you around, drifting into my own world, thinking of the past 3 and half years since we first a this crazy idea one late and blurry night at Milton's. Thinking about all that we have achieved together, and a quiet smile creeped across my face.

I am so happy, and so proud of all of you. To my artists, there may be "picks", but it takes each and everyone of you to create the Cincinnati Fringe. And it is because of all of you and your amazing work that this year has been such a huge success.

So here is to all or you, to the Fringe. I thank you.

Jason Bruffy
Founder and Producing Director
Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Friday, June 09, 2006

Day 10- Bar Series

I’m proud of myself- I’ve just now had my first Red Bull of the Fringe. This is something of a miracle, as I have been Bar Series-ing every night (Ma, I swear this is my job!)

So, tonight we’re at Cooper’s, where there will be a band, and I honestly forget its name. There’s a $2 cover, so please wear your buttons and/or artist passes to get in gratis- and treat Jason Cooper and his staff very well (I know you always do). We’ll probably take over the patio, weather permitting, and talk and drink and generally be artists.

Saturday we’re back at Mr. Pitiful’s with music by DJ Pillo. I want to see every artist who is still in town, ok? We’re gonna blow it out, Fringe-style. I mean, we can make this party bigger than last Saturday’s, right? For those who missed it, we were near capacity the entire night, and I had to relinquish my party hostess mode to jump behind the bar and serve the thirsty masses. It was wonderful (Yes, Ma, I really do work there, too)! I’m still angling to get an impromptu open mic going Saturday, so bring something to read or sing, and I might buy you a drink.

I’ve got so much to tell you, to share, but right now you’re tired of reading, and I need to get back to work- saving little black children from killing themselves (Ma, I swear, this is my day job!)

If you’d heard the phone calls from my mom this week, you’d understand.

The Lady Ms. Events Director

Running... Home With A Smile!

Tonight was the final performance of, "Running My Ass Off, and
Getting Nowhere!" and as the treadmill came to its final stop I
realized what a fantastic RUN this year's festival has been. There
were so many amazing shows to see and even more amazing people to
meet. Our company started the festival out by trying to get into
"Catholic Girl's Guide..." but were turned away due to the sellout
crowd. We ended up falling into Matt Slaybaugh's "Absurdity of
Writing Poetry" and it set such a powerful tone for all of us. We
took in many shows along the way and finally did get to see the
Catholic girl lose her virginity. Due to previous commitments, most
of us will be heading out in the morning and may not get a chance to
say goodbye in person... but here's a great big cyber-ADIOS to all of
you... thanks for sharing your art with us, and thanks to the Fringe
for bringing us all together!

~Stacey Morrison
Odds & Ends Productions

Thursday, June 08, 2006

We need only love creation.

From the transcript of a speech given two nights ago by Eduardo Machado at the ART/NY event at the American Airlines Theater.
(Eduardo Machado is artistic director of INTAR Theater, head of the Columbia University playwriting program and a frequently produced American playwright.)

- - - - - - - - - - -

I have seen the theatre change so much... Just since the early 90's... from the feeling of being delinquents of society and feeling proud of that. To this farce where we believe we are all entitled to talent and success. No one is entitled to that. All we can hope for is the joy in the work, the joy of expression, the joy of creativity.

We are the theatre ... We're not supposed to be proper. We're not supposed to be corporate. We need only love creation. Finding value in true talent. In harsh criticism. In hard work.

We're supposed to belong to each other.

I hope you still feel this. This sense of community.

I feel it less and less. Maybe after years of being called difficult I have made myself invisible. Yet I still want to be a part. I want to scream with all of you. ... In this theatre.

But I will risk that inclusion. Because as Ms. Hansberry says, "The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely."

Let's forget about budgets and grants and is the audience happy. Let's create. Let's find that part of us that got us here in the first place. The part that does not feel like the rest of the world. The part that wants to rebel.

That part is on the other side of the wall.

And if we can prove that it's worth the struggle of climbing over, the theater ... will again be something to reckon with.

- - - - - - - - - - - -

PLEASE read all of it here:

Matt Slaybaugh
Available light [theatre]

Not in Oz Anymore...

The past week has been envigorating - the three shows I've been able to see (The Absurdity of Writing Theatre, String Theatre and Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface) have all been fantastic, and well worth the time (Matt Slaybough's rapping is especially awesome - where did that come from??).  I met a fellow SMU alum, Teresa Willis, and am looking forward to seeing her show (Eenie Meanie) tonight. 
Whenever I've asked someone which shows they've enjoyed thus far, the answer is always enthusiastic and extensive.  I've heard wonderful things about (UN)Natural Disaster and hope I'll be able to catch it tomorrow.
The audiences have been great - more than last year?  Think so.  The shows are strong, and there are so many.  Staff is excellent - Claire is a fantastic woman-of-all-work, running the show, keeping my rear in gear, making up light cues, and generally ensuring everything goes smoothly.  Not to mention the legions of volunteers and CineX folk.
I'd heard there were problems at Kaldis with sound, but the last few nights seemed to go smoothly - and while the space is cramped and can make acoustics difficult, I do love the performances between miles of books!
I'm up for my second-to-last performance at InkTank tonight (8:15) - the space is lovely, and I'm very thankful it's been a cooler summer so far!  And wondering why I chose such a warm costume...?
ALSO - make sure to catch Paige's dance show at InkTank, 7:45.  Fantastic work!
Jen Spillane

What a Disaster!

After my performance tonight (Remember Who Made You) I was contemplating if I should see another show before starting my trek back to Indianapolis.  (UN)Natural Disaster looked interesting but I wouldn't be able to get on the road until 10:00 if I saw it.  My curiosity and love of risk taking theatre got the best of me and I saw it.  Boy am I glad! 

When I walked into the space I knew that it had potential.  When the actors walked into the space I knew that I would enjoy the next hour.  The focus with which the cast enters the room is almost palpable.  Not once during the entire piece was that focus lost. If you like evocative, engaging theatre go see this show.  Oh, and take a water bottle. It gets a little warm.

On another note...EVERYONE that I have encountered (staff, volunteers, technicians, etc.) have made this a fantastic experience thus far.  Bob over at Mr. Pitiful's couldn't be nicer.  I suggest going over and buying a drink and chattin' with him for a while.

Ok Fringers, that's it for now. See you Friday.
-Jeffrey Barnes

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Former Newsman Rips Into Enquirer Critic

Former Newsman Rips into Enquirer Critic


This is an e-mail sent to the Enquirer that the Enquirer has, as of Wednesday's paper, declined to print. It was sent Monday, June 5.


Fernando Dovalina

Co-writer, "The Gospel According to Tammy Faye"


  The Cincinnati Enquirer's Jackie Demaline ripped apart "The Gospel According to Tammy Faye," which still has four more performances, on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

     I am one of the writers of "The Gospel," and I am also a former newspaper reporter and editor--and yes, critic. I have reviewed books, plays, records, movies and even magazines. So I understand the role that a critic plays in the dissemination of information and the public discussion of the arts.

     I even agree with a couple of Ms. Demaline's darts. This is, after all, the first performance of "The Gospel," the first time that we the writers get to see our work in one piece, and to see and hear the audience reaction (which was very positive, incidentally). JT Buck, the other co-writer, and I had to downsize "The Gospel" to two hours to fit Cincinnati Fringe guidelines, so yes, there are some shortcuts, and yes, there are some aspects of the story that are missing.

     So I can understand some of Ms. Demaline's confusion about the story, even though as a newspaper reporter she probably ought to be more up on her recent American history.

     But what I cannot understand is Ms. Demaline's behavior. She walked out after the first act of "The Gospel" and still felt qualified to review the entire play. She felt qualified to critique us for what she called lack of character development, and she wondered, in print, where we writers were when that topic was discussed in theater class.

     I feel compelled to ask where she was when fairness was discussed in the ethics-in-journalism class? Where was she when the importance of telling the complete story was discussed in reporting class?  

     I also cannot understand a newspaper that would tolerate such behavior. Would the Enquirer allow a food critic to review the entire cuisine of a restaurant after only soup and salad? Or a record reviewer who only listened to six of the 12 songs on the disc?  Would the Enquirer allow a trial reporter to report on the entire trial after only hearing the prosecution's side?

     Of course not. But Ms. Demaline thought it was OK, and the Enquirer allowed her to proudly admit it in print.

     The only excuse for leaving a performance and still reviewing it is deadline. Since Ms. Demaline saw the performance on Saturday and reviewed it in the Monday paper, that excuse does not hold.

     When I was an editor, I would have considered a reporter who did this to have grown smug and lazy, if not irresponsible and unethical. So, I hope you will allow me to tell your readers what happens in the second act, just so that your paper goes on record with the complete story.

     Maybe if Ms. Demaline had not walked out, she might have written thusly:

     Act II redeems the entire play. It begins with a bang, literally--a psychedelic fantasy on a plane headed for the Betty Ford Clinic that combines, in Ms. Bakker's drug-addled mind, with the  trial on fraud charges against her husband, Jim Bakker. In the middle of Tammy Faye's nightmare in the sky, Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, whom Ms. Bakker has always suspected of having acted against the Bakkers' welfare, appear as malevolent figures. They are played by the remarkably dexterous Leo Northart and the young NKU actor with the gifted comedic eyes, Charles Roetting, and they almost steal the show as they dance a tango of betrayal and intrigue, "The Judas Tango."

     After going through her Betty Ford recovery, Ms. Bakker appears ready to lose her faith, faulting God for having treated her so shabbily. But guided by an unearthly visitor and her younger self, who reappears and reminds her of the joy, peace and power she found when she first discovered God at the age of 10, Tammy finds herself renewed in her faith.

     The rediscovery is handled with deftness and care, and it is one of the most moving pieces in the musical. The hymn, "I Have Found Jesus" resonates with the power of faith.

     The writers could have been satisfied with ending the play right there, but thankfully, they did not. This scene is followed by the most hilarious moment of the play--a visit by Ms. Bakker to a drag queen bar, where Ms. Bakker is the judge in a look-alike contest. The scene is based on fact, but, as with the other scenes--this is, after all, a fantasy, the writers bestow an air of absurdity and outrageousness to this one.

     Having found Jesus again, Ms. Bakker now has only one other thing to find--love. Ken Renner, who plays her second husband, Roe Messner, shows off a lovely tenor in a memorable love ballad, "Just Look at Those Eyes." The scene segues nicely into the first scene, at the cancer treatment clinic, and a magnificent song of hope, "Somebody Up There Likes Me."

Fernando Dovalina

Co-Writer, The Gospel According to Tammy Faye"


Day . . . 8?

In the swirly haze of Fringe, I am starting to lose track of what day we are on. But I'm pretty sure it's 8. And though we are well past the half-way mark now as far as days go, as of this morning we are nearly exactly at the half-way mark for shows. By my count, there are 65 left to go. That's a lot of Fringe to fit into the four remaining days!

Monday night was the calm before the storm, where I sat in the office the entire night, and my radio never once went off. Last night, the storm hit full force, as it was our biggest night of the festival yet with both dance and the solo venues running on the same night for the first time. Throw into the mix a little Celluloid Fringe, and it was one hell of a night. I tried to be in four places all at once - and though I feel I succeeded - I nearly got run down by a car because of it! Tonight, and really every day for the rest of the festival now, promises to bring more of the same (although Celluloid is now closed).

In all the craziness, I did manage to catch the late night show - The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity. It played to yet another sold-out crowd, with a long waiting list at the door. The show before it was running a little long, and the crowd started to get restless as they had to wait longer and longer for the house to open - but what a great high it was to see all those people anxiously and eagerly waiting in the lobby, talking, laughing, jostling, crowded in close on one another. Wouldn't it be great if every show had a crowd like that? It creates a dynamic energy between the actors and audience that nearly guaruntees a great performance and a standing ovation - which of course this one rightly received. So, do yourselves and us a favor - go see more shows. Take a chance on one that you haven't been hearing buzz about, because maybe it's just getting overlooked, and would blossom under that kind crowd as well.

And like I said - there's plenty more shows to go before the final curtain falls.

Love That Stairwell

Last night I went with four friends to see Between the Water and the Air.  We were all stunned at how much we loved it after Tom's slaughtering review for CityBeat.  I actually want to thank Tom because his ranting about the performance space just made it sound that much more interesting to me.  A show in a stairwell...I gotta see that.  But the evening became much more than that.  We loved the play (it was moving and thoughtful and had just enough laughs to keep it from being maudlin) and were completely captivated by Dan, Sarah and Andrew's performances.  It was a perfect Fringe experience.
A fellow Fringe Artist

Running My Ass Off and Being Amazing

I have a new pick of the fringe. Running My Ass Off and Getting
Nowhere was incredible. I expected a comedy and ended up with an
emotional piece that combined some comedy with many deeply emotional,
psychological, physiological and sociological issues. I don't want to
say too much for fear of ruining the experience but I would definitely
recommend seeing this show. Everything about it was incredible, a
regular laugh/cry piece.

The Catholic Girls Guide To Selling Tickets

The Catholic Girl's Guide to Losing Your Virginity is worth the hype.
The house was totally packed when I was finally able to see it after
being turned back opening night because it was sold out I saw it the
following night and I'm just about positive it sold out then too. I
think Catholics will find it a much more enjoyable experience because
at certain parts only selected audience members would laugh, the same
ones each time. I can only assume that it was an "inside Catholic
joke" that I simply didn't pick up on. The other entertaining part is
that the cast is just two people. The main character (girl attempting
to lose virginity) and everybody else in her life from priests and
nuns to all of her potential virginity stealers were played by one
guy. His costume changes and subtle yet creative adjustments were an
entertaining force in their own right.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Enquirer

First, let me say that I love the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.  I've been a fan since it's inception and I continue to be impressed at quality and diversity of it's presentations.  It provides the region with an arts festival that I hope will become a world-class festival.  I am proud to support it. 

However, I do wonder how it is possible that in the middle of the biggest theatre event the city of Cincinnati has ever seen, that the Arts Editor and Writers at the Cincinnati Enquirer decided that it was the perfect time to run a multi-page story about CCM while pushing most of their Fringe coverage to the back page.  It seems to me that thorough coverage of the festival while it is occurring is not only the responsibility of the main newspaper in town, but that their lack of coverage is potentially detrimental to the developing festival.  Last week there were over 40 performances of over 20 different plays, musicals, and site specific performances that could really benefit from some additional exposure.  This would not only benefit the out of town performers, who have the added challenge of marketing their shows to a city that does not know them, but would also provide much needed increased awareness about the Festival in general.  I certainly would have liked to have been able to pick up Sunday's Enquirer and found reviews of all of the Fringe Festival shows that had played so far.  Instead I was treated to another opportunity for the Cincinnati Enquirer to kiss the ass of CCM.  Boring.

Anyway, I went to the Celluloid Fringe last night.  I look forward to this part of the Fringe Festival expanding.  The films were all of a decent quality.  There is quite an eclectic mix of films which is nice because it offers a little something for everyone.  The whole night of films (none over 50 minutes or so), was only a little over two hours.  Well worth the time.  (Also, the pizza they served was some of the best I've ever had.  Where was that from?)  The only thing that was disappointing was the lack of Fringe Staffers in attendance.  I think it was the slowest night of the festival, as far as the number of performances (only 5 others, I believe) and it would have been nice to see a little more support for the seemingly forgotten Celluloid Fringe. 

I look forward to a busy week of Fringe-ing.  I've heard good things about godsplay, Prison Ketchup, and Stories From Behind the Wheel, but have not been able to see any of them yet.  I have seen Indy-Prov (C), Ante, Christ (B+), and Men on the Verge.... (B). 

Thank you for this forum on the Fringe website.

A Fringe Patron

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it does feel like a reunion, doesn't it?  i'm thrilled to see old friends - and enjoying the more leisurely pace of being a performer instead of magical-fringe-maker.  which brings me to - thank you cincinnati experimental arts and all volunteers who make this festival happen, as well as all the artists who work so hard to bring new works out! i'm reading through reviews and trying to plot out what i will see when - impressed and excited about this year's lineup. as well, the audiences have been fantastic and invested, which is wonderful. i find this kind of art so invigorating, and a nice change of pace from more mainstream work. 
best of luck to all, and if you get a chance, stop by VIRTUE this tuesday, thursday or saturday
jen spillane

Day 6 Bar Series- Messerly & Ewing Reunion

Some gaped in'd she get them back together?

I just asked.

Messerly & Ewing played together, as a duet, for the first time in a long time last night, tucked into a cosy corner upstairs at Milton's, birthplace of the Cincinnati Fringe. The night was largely family, which befits- it was a quieter night to regroup and take a deep breath before we plunge into Tuesday, which explodes in a flurry of performances (I think Gina says we have 85 of the 135-odd shows left to do) there's plenty of time to catch up if you've been tardy with the party. Just wear running shoes. You'll need them.

But I was talking about the M&E reunion.

Kevin made spicy queso, and it went well with the folky, rocky, down home music. And the beer. Sean Rhiney of Midpoint Music Festival fame sat next to me, and we talked about Main St., it's current ebb, it's probable rebirth, again. The Cincinnati Advance guys and I had already deconstructed much of the argument earlier in the evening. Midpoint and Fringe have both relied on having an entertainment district, and several recent bar closings have some of us concerned.

And then the music...M&E are friends, and I was there the day they announced they were taking an extended hiatus. So imagine how glad I was when Brian said to me casually a few months ago that they wouldn't mind just doing a casual, thrown together set on an off night, to keep their chops up...well I specialize in casual and thrown together, so I took them up on it. And I'm glad I did.

Thank you Collin, Kevin, Mark and Brian. I love you, man!

Tonight, Bar Series...we're back at Universal Grille, with live music and a kitchen that closes at midnight. So come on out and Fringe with us! We miss you.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Day 6... Ouch

Right smack dab in the middle of the festival is when it hits you, usually at the end of Day Five when the Bar Series feels like as much work as the festival. Day Six is the Day of Fatigue. This is where all motor and communication skills seem to fail you. The first Monday when you and the rest of the world go back to your day jobs and attempt to pick up where you dropped off. It doesn't happen. You've made lists of things you've forgotten that you know you're not going to get through but you try anyway. Ahh, but the night time is coming and you've got an entirely new component of Fringe waiting for you on the big screen (medium to small screen, really). Fatigue gives way to excitement wondering what new faces you'll see and what new challenges are waiting for you. Who saw what review? Who hooked up last night at the bar series? Who got pissed because their tech was cut short? It all starts the big machine rolling again and just like that, the Day of Fatigue becomes the Day We All Made It and life on the Fringe turns golden again. Roll that film...


Watching Jason Bruffy and Sean Savoie do Billy Joel's "For the Longest Time" last night at karaoke was a Fringe Favorite moment. And fellas, the sunglasses- nice touch!

I did a tribute for Dan Bernitt (Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface!)- "Nasty Girl" by Vanity 6. And Lindsay Caron (An Arizona Story) was a chantuese chameleon- first she vamped up "Georgia on My Mind," draped across a chair, than she let out her inner rock star with "Love Is a Battlefield."

If you missed it- Karaoke at Cooper's on Main- you missed a night of fun, liquor (of course), and showtunes. And you missed Ashley's (Inauguration) bowtie dollar bills. Thank you to Jason Cooper and his staff...we had a really good time.

Tonight we're at the birthplace of the Fringe, Milton's, for the bar series. I hear from a reliable source that there will be homemade food provided by our favorite surly cuss, Kevin. Come out and see me...I so enjoy seeing you.

[Editor's note: Live music by Messerly & Ewing tonight at Milton's also!]


Day 6: Celluloid Fringe!

Celluloid Fringe opens tonight at 8 p.m. at the Greenwich. It then plays just one more night, tomorrow, Tuesday. All the films look intriguing, but I have to say the one that sticks in my head is Love Me, Don't Sit On Me. ("Love between chairs? Apparently so. A surreal romantic comedy starring furniture.") I'm also excited to see the short retrospective Kabaka Oba: A Life Not in Vain by my friends April Martin and Barbara Wolf, because in my former life as a reporter I often had reason to interact to Kabaka (the controversial community activists shot dead by a feuding rival outside Cincinnati City Hall in April 2006) and honestly, I adored the man. -- Stephanie

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Day 5 and Still Alive

Day 5 on the Fringe and the momentum continues with the opening of our operations in the 5/3 Theatre at the Aronoff Center. Therefore Day 5 becomes the Day of Dance with three remarkable performances from three very different choreographers. The 5/3 is the biggest investment we've made in the festival's history and we're hoping it will pay off in larger audiences coming to see what our creative class is cooking up. Let us know what you think.
It's 3:30 a.m. and we working drones (me, Embrya) just closed down Mr. Pitiful's, site of the 4th night of bar series. Thanks to everyone who came out. Even though I was cocktailing, or maybe because I was watching while I circulated, it really felt like some weird kind of family. Our Fringe family, fleeting by necessity and maybe all the closer for it. I could just be sappy because I'm tired (no, I didn't drink every order I screwed up). It's especially amazing to see returning artists like Dan Bernitt, Les Kurkendaal, Amy Salloway, Matt Slaybaugh and Dave Wallingford, to name just a few, and realize that though this only happens for 11 days a year -- or maybe because it happens for only 11 days a year -- gathering together a year later for a reprise and re-up is all the more special. Maybe we like Fringe because it becomes such an effective, illustrative microcosm of life, as the whole quickly grows greater than the sum total of its parts.

Or maybe it's time for bed. See you on Day Four. Or later today, Day Four. Those of you who haven't made it out to shows and the bar series -- join us! -- Stephanie

The Absurdity of Writing Posts, er, Poetry

(No, Slay didn't write this, unless he's masquerading as "anonymous" -- this and the previous two posts were anonymous comments I turned into their own posts. Emails yours to -- Stephanie)

Saw The Absurdity of Writing Poetry. I would say this is a must see for any writers regardless of form. Other artists will enjoy it also. It starts off quiet and the beginning could probably be slightly shortened but the middle and end really drive home the artists point and you aspiring writers out there may have an emotional as well as an intellectual response to his message.

Ante, Christ!

Ante’, Christ was as highly offensive as you’d expect it to be and as a result utterly phenomenal. This is the kind of play that main stream media wouldn’t touch with a mile long pole and so it’s great that it has a home in fringe. I enjoyed it so much I’m going to see it again and it’s in the running for my pick of the fringe.

Indy Prov

(taken from comments section and made into its own post: email posts to

I saw "Indy Prov…Sketchy Comedy" with a very small audience. This is an audience participation event which sounds scary but it’s more like you’re yelling things out from your seat then being up on stage with the artists. I recommend trying to challenge them with nonsensical responses as you will find it makes a much funnier skit.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Yo Fringe!

Hooray for the Fringe blog! Thanks Steph.

Does it say something bad about me that I'm emailing the Fringe blog right now instead of going over to Pitifuls to actually commune with my fellow artists? Hmmm ... I better get off my ass and head over there.

I just wanted to take a moment and say how happy I am to be back in the Nati and surrounded by good people again. And, to pimp a couple of shows.

1) I saw "Midsummer" this afternoon and it was damn good. I am very picky about Shakespeare (as most of us are) and Le Petomane do a great job with the text. They really know what they're doing. And it looks like their show is usually in the afternoon, so it shoudn't be too hard to do yourself a favor and head over to the CAC for that one.

2) Everybody loves Dan Bernitt by now, right? Well, I admit I didn't see his show last year and now I really regret it. His solo show this year, "Thanks for the Scabies, Jerkface!" is honest, brave, poetic, and ... educational. So, let this post be just one more good reason to go over to Kaldis. See his show, eat a quesadilla while you do it. You'll be glad you did.

And now, I'll pimp our show, "The Absurdity of Writing Poetry." We've been keeping a blog of the development process, with lots of video and pictures and stuff. It's at

Okay, let's get crazy.


Welcome to day 3

It's day three and one of my favorites. It's the day when fatigue and the overwhelming onslaught of unexpected problems hit us. It's also the day of laughter. True giddiness sets in and trumps snarkiness and frustration. The third day is when we're reminded why we do this thing that pays no money, takes us away from our work, friends and family for a month and pretty much ruins our livers. It's all about the people. Everyone from the army of volunteers (both veterans and newbie’s walking in and wondering what they stepped into) to the staff (slap happy and funny as hell as the last remaining filters of decency slip away) to the audiences (who this year are in bigger and stronger numbers than the last two years). It's about creating something new. Not only new art, but new community. The fringe is great and worth every sacrifice we make to pull it out of our asses, but for me, the true payoff is seeing those hordes of people walking the streets of Over-the-Rhine and downtown. Overhearing the random conversation about the show that sucked or changed their lives for the night. Laughing with the homeless artist hanging outside of a venue about all the new faces he sees in his neighborhood. Talking to the young man who was afraid of coming to the homeless artist's neighborhood and wondering why he waited so long to discover this magical place. This all happens on day three. The day of laughing. Definitely one of my favorites. Hope it was yours too.

CincyFringe06 blog debut!

Welcome to the 3rd annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival. Thank you so much for joining us. This festival is really about you.

Here's where you tell us your CincyFringe06 experiences. Riff on the shows, the artists (constructive criticism is always preferable), the arts in Cincinnati or just Cincinnati in general. Talk about our venues, our visual fringe series, our celluloid fringe, our bar series...Really, there's so much to talk about, so let the chatter begin.