Brave New Theater
Weirdness right around the corner: Anything goes at Austin theatre showcase,FronteraFest
The dates and tickets have been released for Hyde Park Theatre's beloved five-week fringe theatre festival, FronteraFest, presented in collaboration with ScriptWorks. The first show of the 2012 festival begins only one week from today. That means y'all better jump on these tickets before they're all sold out.
"Ticket sales have never been so brisk during the two weeks prior to the festival," Hyde Park Theatre Artistic Director Ken Webster tells us. "Last year we broke all FronteraFest box-office records, and we are on a pace to shatter last year's mark."
The annual "anything goes" festival is now in its 19th year at Hyde Park Theatre and beyond, inviting aspiring writers and performers to get their first tastes of love from audiences and potentially earn a spotlight space in the Best of the Fest showcase at the end of the festival.
FronteraFest is divided into three primary offerings: Short Fringe, Long Fringe and Mi Casa Es Su Teatro. Short Fringe evenings (Tuesday - Friday) feature five 25-minute productions on the Hyde Park Theatre stage, with audiences and judges voting for their favorite performance of the night. The winners from each night go on to perform in the Best of the Week shows on Saturday nights. At those shows, audiences again vote for their favorites of the Week, and those winners go on to perform in the Best of the Fest showcase at the end of the festival. Sensibly, these tickets go the fastest of the entire festival, so you'll want to snatch them up now.
The Long Fringe features longer shows (up to 90 minutes) that get four performance dates at either Salvage Vanguard Theater or the Blue Theatre. Prominent playwrights like A. John Boulanger and Trey Deason have new shows here, as do new works theater companies like Poison Apple Initiative, the dirigo group, Trouble Puppet Theater Company and Tutto Theatre Company. You'll also be able to see one of our city's most exciting experimental performers, Annie La Ganga, performing in her latest piece. You've got more room to pick and choose when you can see Long Fringe shows, but, again, they often sell out at these intimate venues.
The final element of FronteraFest is called Mi Casa Es Su Teatro. This afternoon-long event is a collection of site-based new work done by artists and practioners in the community who are stretching the boundaries of where theatre happens in our everyday lives. Directors Sam Webber and Shobie Partos are leading this year's tour around the Bouldin Creek Neighborhood, for exciting encounters with well-known Austin performers like Cyndi Williams, Deborah Paredez, Robert Faires and more.
The best part about FronteraFest is the variety. A single night of the Short Fringe could contain a spoken word performance, a stand up comedy routine, an experimental dance piece, a dramatic monologue and a quick one-act play. More than any other series, FronteraFest contains some of the roughest nuggets of unrefined gold you would never have otherwise seen.
FronteraFest Short Fringe runs Jan 17 - Feb 18 at Hyde Park Theatre.
Long Fringe runs Jan 24 - Feb 5 at Salvage Vanguard Theatre and The Blue Theatre.
Mi Casa Es Su Teatro details coming soon.