Four years ago, Orlando Fringe created Fringe Teens to showcase the award-winning performing arts talent that is emerging from our area high schools. Over the years, Fringe has provided the top-rated high schools from Orange and Seminole Counties the opportunity to perform at their Teen Thespian Showcase, a festival within The Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival in May. Today, Orlando Fringe announced changes to the program to provide a more authentic Fringe experience.
“We took a good look at Fringe Teens program and realized that we could do more and provide a better and truer Fringe experience,” said Orlando Fringe Executive Director Alauna Friskics.
In the past, high-schools were invited to perform at Fringe if they won their district or state Thespian competition. Now, the opportunity to play is open to any high school that wants to participate. Just like any other artist that wants to perform at the annual festival in May, all you have to do is apply. And just like the Fringe, the high school theatre troupe applicants will be drawn via lottery to determine who will be given a chance to perform. The chosen schools will be provided with coaching through the process of producing a show for the festival. Also, Orlando Fringe will place the production in one of the festival’s performance venues within Loch Haven Park alongside the other Fringe shows.
“We’ve been singling out the Fringe Teens productions by putting them in one consolidated venue,” added Friskics. “This separates them from the main festival. By weaving them into the other venues, giving them more than one performance, and coaching the teens about the best way to promote their shows, they are getting the ultimate Fringe experience.”
Fringe is making plans for industry professionals to visit with the students and help them prepare their show. “In the past, we’ve conducted workshops centered around acting, and are now looking to expand the workshops into a well-rounded production experience including marketing, tech, scriptwriting, and producing,” said Orlando Fringe Education Coordinator Genevieve Bernard. “It’s exhilarating to work with this new generation of creators.”
Applications for the 28th annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival are open from September 1st through November 15th. The lottery drawing is scheduled for Monday, December 4th.