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FRIGID Festival Takes Stand Against Hate Speech; Pulls Show Deemed to be Anti-Trans

The Festival shared, 'we now officially reserve the right to pull a show we feel is over the line, and we commit to the understanding that this line keeps moving.'

FRIGID Festival Takes Stand Against Hate Speech; Pulls Show Deemed to be Anti-Trans

A show was recently drawn for The FRIGID Fringe Festival 2023, which the organization deemed to be anti-trans.

Read the FRIGID Festival's statement below:

The FRIGID Fringe Festival, now in its 17th season, has always been an open and uncensored theater festival which gives artists an opportunity to let their ingenuity thrive in a venue that values freedom of expression and artistic determination. However, our commitment to freedom of expression does not obligate us to lend our efforts to platform what we consider to be hate speech, or even just very offensive and hurtful speech. While FRIGID New York deeply values the legal right to free speech, we have decided that in this case we choose to just say no. A show was recently drawn for our 2023 festival that misaligned with our values and beliefs as an institution, and featured material we deem to be anti-trans. We are not comfortable presenting this type of content on our stages at this moment in history. And so have withdrawn their invitation to participate in the festival.

Moving forward, the FRIGID Fringe will give up the use of the term "uncensored." Any participants already accepted into the 2023 festival who wish to withdraw from the festival on that basis will be offered a full refund. FRIGID will move forward as an unjurried festival with participants drawn at random, as before. But we now officially reserve the right to pull a show we feel is over the line, and we commit to the understanding that this line keeps moving.

"Half of my staff is on the trans spectrum, and this show is just plain insulting and hurtful to all of them," said Managing Artistic Director, Erez Ziv. "I can't host content that half my staff finds personally offensive at a time when members of their community are being shot at simply for existing. We live in a country that does not define hate speech. It is up to us, as a community, to define it for ourselves."

FRIGID New York's mission is to provide both emerging and established artists the opportunity to create and produce original work of varied content, form, and style, and to amplify their diverse voices. We do this by presenting an array of monthly programming, mainstage productions, an artist residency, and eight annual theater festivals that create an environment of collaboration, resourcefulness, and innovation. Founded in 1998, the aim was and is to form a structure, allowing multiple artists to focus on creating and staging new work and providing affordable rental space to scores of independent artists. Now in our third decade we have produced a massive quantity of stimulating downtown theater. www.frigid.nyc



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