Orlando, Florida, November 10, 2020 – Orlando Fringe, the organization that produces the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival each May, recently shared plans for their fifth anniversary of Winter Mini-Fest, taking place January 7-10, 2021. The Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest has served several purposes for the much-loved organization in its first four years. It has been a bridge for the festival’s fans in May, offering a smaller Fringe experience between festivals. Its smaller size has also made it the perfect introduction to many first-time Fringe-goers. Unlike the May Festival, Winter Mini-Fest is a curated festival, featuring the best of past festivals, new works by fan favorites, and brand new artists scouted from the international Fringe circuit.
With the pandemic continuing to keep performing arts venues closed or operating in a limited capacity, Orlando Fringe announced they would be producing a hybrid festival with the majority of events being broadcast online and a limited number of in-person performances, and a socially responsible hangout with fellow Fringe fans featuring screenings from select performances.
Orlando Fringe has arranged for over twenty-five shows to be available for patrons to stream online. Three shows will be featured as part of Kids Fringe, the arm of Orlando Fringe for kids and families. The Kids Fringe shows will be streaming online and also performed live outdoors for a reserved, limited number of socially-distanced audience members. Winter Mini-Fest will also feature live, site-specific performances in outdoor locations within Loch Haven Park. Also scheduled for Winter Mini-Fest are a number of demonstrations for Visual Fringe artists which will fill you with inspiration to create art of your own. While the in-person festival events take place over each of the four days, online streaming events are available to purchase and watch through January 14.
For each of the four days of the Mini-Fest, Fringe patrons can purchase a ticket for a “Socially Responsible Hangout.” Each night, a limited number of patrons will have the opportunity to “hang” with other Fringe fans distanced throughout the courtyard of The Lowndes Shakespeare Center and outdoor areas beyond while watching screenings of four of the festivals’ shows. There will be a full bar available and food from Fringe-favorite Ace Cafe, who will be returning for all four days with selections to purchase from their popular Orlando restaurant. Also planned for these hangouts will be live atmospheric entertainment from Chrickey Productions and Corsets and Cuties. “We wanted to create a safe and unique in-person experience,” added Orlando Fringe Executive Director Alauna Friskics. “We miss our fans. They are more than patrons of our festival; they are our dear friends. These hangout events will be a great way to see the faces that we haven’t seen since before the start of the pandemic.”
Orlando Fringe had to make the very difficult decision to cancel their much-loved festival this past May, having a severe financial impact on the organization who makes money during the festival through button and alcohol sales. “We couldn’t face the disappointment of canceling another festival, so we have put a great deal of energy into making sure we could hold this festival safely in January,” added Friskics. Orlando Fringe detailed specific protocols that are to be followed by anyone attending the Winter Mini-Fest in person. Masks will be required to be worn at all times except while eating or drinking in a stationary location, and patrons will be temperature screened before entering. Sanitizer stations will be available at various locations, and social distance markers will be used in the courtyard to assure patrons are keeping an appropriate distance from each other.
Tickets for the in-person events will begin November 19th for Club Fringe members, the organization’s donor program. Any remaining in-person tickets and tickets to the online programming will be available starting on Black Friday, November 27th, on their website ofwinterminifest.com.