Broward College will host the third annual Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival, April 20 – 23. The festival will feature dozens of experimental performances by emerging artists in sometime unconventional venues.
According to festival director Brad Beckman, fringe festivals got their start 70 years ago in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the international theater festival. Artists who were not a part of the festival would set up performances in storefronts and church basements on the “fringe” of the city center surrounding Edinburgh castle.
The concept of a festival of inexpensive, impromptu performances soon spread around the globe in Europe, North America, Australia and Asia. The oldest festival in Florida was established 26 years ago in Orlando.
“Today, ‘fringe’ tends to refer to edgier, experimental works,” explained Beckman, an adjunct theater professor at the college, who is directing his first festival in Fort Lauderdale.
The festival kicks off on Thursday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. at Bailey Hall, on the college’s main campus in Davie, with the film, “Hunky Dory.” The feature chronicles a glam rock dilettante’s experiences caring for his 11-year-old son after his ex-girlfriend disappears.
Beginning on Friday evening, dozens of performances move to venues in downtown Fort Lauderdale, including the Broward Center’s Abdo New River Room, Stache Drinking Den and the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society. Most are repeated multiple times over the weekend.
Among the festival highlights Beckman suggested are:
“Normal Giant,” by writer/performer Neil David Seibel, a tall tale about a race of giants living outside of the Midwestern town of Normal, Ohio, at the Broward Center.
“Scarevan,” a sort of offbeat “Carpool Karaoke,” in which performer Madame Peevira, known as the “Fringy Mime Queen,” takes a load of passengers around downtown Fort Lauderdale for a killer 1990s sing-a-long.
“Lady Macbeth and Her Pal Megan,” standup comedian and playwright Megan Gogerty’s show about her perfect dream role—or is it?—also at the Broward Center.
“Pillow Talk” at Stache, featuring two guys, one bed and a night full of surprises.
“The Complete History of Drag and a Few Mo’ Mo’,” David LeBarron’s outrageous one-man comedy set in the dressing room of a North Hollywood drag club, playing at Stache.
For younger audiences, Enchanted Three Theater will present, “The World is Sick,” a children’s show about Earth Day and what we can do to save the planet at the Fort Lauderdale Historical Society.
Music lovers can take in jam sessions by the Broward College Jazz Combo on the Broward College plaza and performances by BMI recording artist, singer/songwriter Richard Allen Rappaport at the Broward Center.
In keeping with fringe festival tradition, Beckman said artists keep 100 percent of ticket sales.
Broward College hosts the third annual Fort Lauderdale Fringe Festival, April 20 – 23, at multiple venues in Davie and Fort Lauderdale. Admission is $42 for a weekend pass, $27 for a day pass and $7 – 12 for individual performances. For a complete schedule and tickets, go to FortLauderdaleFringe.com.