Orlando Fringe Celebrates A Successful Return For Year 32 & Announces The Organizations Chosen For The Collective Incubator Program At Fringe ArtSpace

 The longest-running theatre festival of its kind in the United States marks its joyful return to Orlando.

By: May. 31, 2023
Orlando Fringe Celebrates A Successful Return For Year 32 & Announces The Organizations Chosen For The Collective Incubator Program At Fringe ArtSpace

Orlando Fringe Celebrates A Successful Return For Year 32 & Announces The Organizations Chosen For The Collective Incubator Program At Fringe ArtSpace

Orlando Fringe is celebrating the highly successful return for Year 32 “Festival Beautiful” of the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival presented by City Beverages held May 16-29, 2023. 

Over 1,600 artists traveled to Orlando from around the world to perform at one of the many venues in Loch Haven Park and partner venues. 

The Orlando Fringe hosted over 120 shows (2,000 performances) spanning every genre imaginable, such as storytelling, dance, spoken word, musicals, comedy, magic, clowning and much more.  The 14-day immersive cultural experience attracted over 67,241 attendees. 

Orlando Fringe sold more buttons than ever before, 43,428 tickets and paid out to over 2,000 Fringe artists, while Visual Fringe sold a record breaking 614 art pieces.  Kids Fringe held the two weekends of the festival at the Orlando Garden Club brought in over 5,300 parents and children. 


“We are beyond thrilled to celebrate our big return this year,” says Orlando Fringe Executive Director Alauna Friskics and Festival Producer Tempestt Halstead.  “Though we returned to the in-person festival the last two years coming out of the global pandemic, this year we truly felt the positive impacts more of the community coming back together to really enjoy and experience everything that is uniquely Fringe.  We are proud to be the longest-running Fringe in the US, to unite local, national and International Artists within our beautiful community and to create this uniquely diverse arts experience each year.  We are also extremely grateful to all of our generous partners and sponsors, especially our presenting sponsor City Beverages, who helped make this year's festival one of our best to date!”

The 32nd Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival featured many new and returning festival favorites, including the free music festival on the Outdoor Stage, theme nights, cabanas on the lawn with multiple food and drink vendors, interactive games and activation, the return of printed programs, enhanced accessibility, shuttle service between venues for the duration of the festival and “Fringers of the Future” high school performance program.  In addition to the main festival campus in Loch Haven Park with Fringe venues at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center, Orlando Repertory Theatre and the Orlando Museum of Art, this year the festival expanded with the addition of Fringe ArtSpace in Downtown Orlando and BYOV's (“Bring Your Own Venues”) as partner venues, which included The Abbey, Renaissance Theatre Company, Hamburger Mary's and The Starlite Room @ Savoy, among other various site-specific venues chosen by the artists themselves.  

During closing ceremonies, Orlando Fringe named Open Scene, Sonflower Joy Music and Without Fear Theatre as the organizations chosen for the inaugural season of  “The Collective” incubator program at Fringe ArtSpace.  Working in tandem as a cohort that also includes Orlando Fringe educational partner the William Daniel Mills Theatre Company, these three selected organizations will enter an 18-month deep dive program for emerging and established arts companies/organizations alike to grow to the next level and produce full-run productions at Fringe ArtSpace year-round performing arts venue.  The productions will become the showcase productions and core artistic product for the Fringe ArtSpace season beginning Spring 2024.  In the 18 months, they will attend group sessions with other Collective members and produce two full-run productions at Fringe ArtSpace.  Each of the three recipients will receive up to $20,000 to produce their shows and attend sessions, as well as over $35,000 in in-kind services sponsored by the Downtown Development Board.  


Open Scene - Open Scene is a non-profit organization led by Latina women, Executive Director and Founder Thamara Bejarano and Production and Development Director Mariela Saad.  They serve as a cultural management agency whose mission is to promote multiculturalism, diversity and inclusion.  They present high-quality content that encourages pluralism and reduces the historical gap in access to the arts.  Their programs foster integration among people of all ages, providing platforms for meaningful dialogue, professional development and cultural preservation in the arts and humanities.  Since inception in 2019, they have prioritized providing professional opportunities for Latinx creators and exposing their work to a broader audience.  They believe in the transformative power of thought-provoking, humanistic content to inspire.  Their productions strive to bridge the gap between the Hispanic and Anglo-Saxon communities, with a particular focus on multicultural content.  They are the producers of the Latin American Performing Arts Festival, and they have been organizing the Playwriting Contest "Escena Abierta," receiving works from the United States and Puerto Rico. 


Sonflower Joy Music - For nearly 17 years, Sonflower Joy Music (SJM) has served as the producing and manufacturing component for Founder Meka King's personal recording artistry.  Through SJM, King produced, recorded and distributed two CDs, a live DVD and a host of singles and music videos.  King also produced several live concerts and recordings for herself and other artists.  Recently, SJM expanded to include an entertainment component that aims to produce quality shows to be presented at regional theatres, community centers, live venues, aboard cruise ships, for conventions, corporate events and special events.  SJM's team of creatives have come together to develop a line-up of groups and shows that amplify and feature Black artists and artists of color and highlight a different genre and unique approach to making the music come alive, such as Soul Pop, Motor City Soul and Divas Live.  The goal is for theatres and live venues to be able to easily book, install and present this work utilizing SJM's team of exceptional artists, which include Meka King, A.C. Jenkins, Qiana Miles and Will Scott.  


William Daniel Mills Theatre Company - William Daniel Mills Theatre Company is focused on ensuring theatre is accessible and inclusive with a diverse group of professionals and students.  They are designed to promote skill, career and character development of young adults and theatre professionals through their renowned Apprentice Program, Agency Services and World-Class Productions.  If there was a theatre guru, it was Daniel.  The WDM Theatre was created in his honor, to offer a space for people dedicated to pursuing their passion and committing to the intense work of perfecting their talent in these creative and inclusive spaces.  The WDM Theatre Company's team of professionals are dedicated to ensuring the future of theatre is inclusive of people of color and diversity of talent is represented in all of our activities.  Dedicated to the sustainability and success of inclusive theatre, their board of directors includes their theatre founders and theatre professionals who guide the strategic direction of the organization.


Without Fear Theatre - Without Fear Theatre's mission is to lift up Central Florida artists and community at large through their productions.  They do this by exclusively producing new works that feature live music and are created by local artists in a highly collaborative, creative process.  For every new production there is community outreach, which includes, but is not limited to, goods drives, volunteering and monetary donations for local charities.  Without Fear Theatre has three core members.  Amanda Scheirer is a writer, director and performer from Winter Garden.  Dan Drnach is a singer-songwriter and performer from Orlando.  Lauren Morrison is a performer, director, costumer and cosmetologist from DeBary.

“We are elated to name these organizations as the members of our first Collective and get this dream of a program on its feet,” says Orlando Fringe Artistic and Marketing Director Desiree Montes.  “Coming off of our incredible 32nd festival, which serves as a pipeline for many organizations to create, experiment and grow, we are excited to expand that platform through our year-round performing arts venue and The Collective program to continue amplifying voices, uplifting and highlighting our artistic community.  Each are phenomenal organizations that are unique in their own ways with a commonality of not only creating and presenting incredible art, but doing so whilst learning from one another and giving back to our artistic community.  We are honored to work with them, excited for the community to learn more about them and witness their greatness, and we look forward to supporting, developing and spotlighting them at Fringe ArtSpace.”


For more information on Orlando Fringe, visit Click Here, and for more information on Fringe ArtSpace, visit www.fringeartspace.org.


The Orlando Fringe produces The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, the longest running Fringe in the United States.  It is a member of the Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF), United States Association of Fringe Festivals (USAFF) and the World Fringe Association.  It also follows the CAFF mandate to remain 100% uncensored (the artists have full control over their performance), 100% unjuried (performers are chosen at random by a lottery), 100% inclusive (everyone is welcome at Fringe), 100% accessible for all artists and audiences alike, with 100% of ticket sales given back to the artists.  Orlando Fringe is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and receives generous funding from Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs, Downtown Development Board, United Arts of Central Florida, City of Orlando and the State of Florida Division of Cultural Affairs.


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