welcome letters

official letters of welcome

Photo of Mayor Buddy Dyer

from mayor dyer

Greetings!

Welcome to the 30th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival! Our city is proud to host the longest running and one of the most popular Fringe Theatre Festivals in the United States. Since 1992, the Orlando Fringe has featured cutting-edge performers and innovative works.

The 14-day festival, voted “Best Festival” in Central Florida for 25 consecutive years, is Orlando’s most unique cultural event, dedicated to bringing 100% non-juried, 100% uncensored, 100% accessible and 100% inclusive theatre, art, music and dance from all over the world. In addition, Orlando Fringe gives 100% of all ticket sales back to the artists. In 2019, almost 75,000 patrons enjoyed a variety of performances at the Orlando Fringe. That same year, the Orlando Fringe gave more than $446,227 back to the artists who performed in the festival and generated $4.3 million for our local economy.

The Orlando Fringe is for everyone – including Kids Fringe, which is proudly sponsored by the City of Orlando Mayor’s Matching Grant Program and free of charge to the public. The connectivity of our community’s diverse cultural offerings to the health and vitality of the region cannot be overstated. The arts provide entertainment, inspiration and educational opportunities for our citizens of all ages.

Thank you for supporting Orlando’s award-winning Fringe Festival. Enjoy the shows!

Sincerely, 

Buddy Dyer
Mayor of Orlando

Photo of Mayor Jerry Demings

from mayor demings

Greetings:

It is my sincere pleasure to welcome you to the 30th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival

For three decades, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival has engaged and entertained art enthusiasts and newcomers with exciting theatre, music, and dance performances. We are proud of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs Director Terry Olson, one of the visionaries that created the festival in 1992. During these challenging times, the festival provides a welcome break for residents to experience the creativity of artists from around the world. The Orlando Fringe has connected and engaged residents of all ages and made Orlando a household name among artists nationally andinternationally.

Orange County is proud to be a top destination for visitors worldwide and home to the second- largest convention center, finest hospitality venues, exciting theme parks, arts, sports, and cultural attractions.As our economy slowly recovers and the vaccine continues to roll out in communities, I am hopeful for the days and months ahead. It is my mission to create a community culture of innovation, collaboration, and inclusion. Festivals like yours foster a quality of life and climate that are thehallmarks of a diverse and thriving arts community.

Again, welcome to the Orlando Fringe Festival, and I wish you all the best for a successful event!

Sincerely, 

Jerry Demings
Mayor of Orange County

Photo of Commissioner Robert Stuart

from commissioner stuart

Welcome to the 30th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. Being the longest-running theatre festival of this kind is no short order! Orlando is fortunate to be home to so many talented, innovative, and intrepid creatives. Fringe is a product of that. 

This kind of artistic expression can bring life and healing to our City after a tumultuous year. Everyone has been affected by COVID-19 in some way. Artists have especially been affected. I can also say that this is a time where we need their work more than ever. Art has a way of unifying, healing, and sharing the parts of life we can’t put into words. 

This year’s theme is Celebrate. If we look deep enough, everyone has a reason to celebrate. Our City celebrates that we are here; we celebrate what each person has to give; we celebrate yesterday, tomorrow, and what is to come. We also celebrate beauty. If we choose to show up and see it—in the words of Fyodor Dostoevsky “beauty can save the world.” 

Thank you for attending and ENJOY THE SHOWS!

Warmest Regards, 

Robert F. Stuart
City Commissioner

from commissioner bonilla

Welcome to Orlando’s 30th Annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, which is known for the longest-running Fringe Festival in the entire country. Another extraordinary fact is that the festival gives 100% of the ticket sales to the artists.
Since 1992, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival has combined live music, arts, and culture for a family-friendly outdoor event unique to Orlando. I’m thrilled to invite you to an event that demonstrates how much of a melting-pot Orlando is. Every year this festival serves as a reminder as to why I love living in Orange County. This event unites local, national, and international artists with the diverse Central Florida community. For 14-days there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Thank you to all those who work tirelessly year-round to make sure this festival continues to make its mark on our Great City. It is only because of their dedication, hard work, and perseverance that we all have a chance to enjoy such a wide variety of talent in such an accessible way. Home to an inclusive, accessible, and safe space, we welcome you!

Your Commissioner,

Emily Bonilla
Orange County Commissioner, District 5

Photo of Matt Broffman

from our board president

As we embark on our 30th year, Orlando Fringe has a lot to celebrate. We can celebrate expanding our diversity and inclusion efforts, ensuring that the art represents our community and that everyone can enjoy the festival. 

We can celebrate the 30th year of providing Orlando with 100% uncensored, 100% unjuried, 100% accessible and 100% inclusive theatrical performances. We can celebrate the thousands of people it takes to put on the festival, from staff and artists to volunteers and sponsors.

We can even just celebrate the opportunity to get out of our house and connect with friends.

We also want to celebrate you, our patrons. Through one of our most challenging years, our patrons have helped by supporting our organization and the artist community and being our cheerleaders and champions and understanding as we host our first (and hopefully last) socially distant festival.

So while we won’t walk up and hug you or shake your hand, we do want to celebrate what makes this organization thrive, and that is you.

In Celebration,

Matt Broffman
President, Orlando Fringe Board of Directors

Photo of Alauna Friskics

from our executive director

This past year has been flat-out horrible for so many people, and I am proud to be a part of an initiative that slowly and cautiously brings people back together. To connect. And celebrate. We’ve redesigned almost every element of the festival with safety in mind. A few of the new things you will see this year: We added a stage to the Shakes courtyard, as well as reserved cabanas, or Party Pods, on the lawn.  Capacity has been reduced in the venues, so to supplement this we invested in camera equipment so we can professionally record the shows and serve them to you in a new digital festival, called Digifringe, June 4-18. We’ve redesigned our website to make up for not having printed programs this year. And through all of this, our goal was to keep clearing the path for artists to get back on stage and create incredible art for you to see. So many Fringe artists have been hit hard this year, so I hope you invest in them by seeing shows and donating generously. Wear your mask.

Happy Fringe, 

Alauna Friskics
Executive Director, Orlando Fringe

Photo of Lindsay Taylor

from our theatre producer

We’re back, baby! I began my Orlando Fringe experience in 2012, and I am thrilled to represent this organization as the Theatre Producer for my first in-person festival this year (finally!). I can confidently say that our artists are ready for you, and I can’t wait for you to experience the festival again. 

Performers continue to travel here year after year from all over the world, and this year is no exception, with artists traveling from as far as Sweden and Japan internationally, and coming in from all over the US, a true testament to the dedication our artists have to this organization.

With the recent addition of our Inclusion, Diversity, and Accessibility committee that was formed last summer, amplification of underrepresented artists has become a major focus in our programming and Festival experiences. From hosts at our Festival Managed events, to indoor theatre, and the Outdoor Stage, you’ll begin to see a reflection of the inclusive environment we are working towards every day. This year we were proud to increase our Amplified Voices Lottery from 3 people to 30% of participants drawn, and you’ll experience more ASL Interpreted shows, along with Audio Description for the very first time. 

I have a challenge for you. Take a chance on a show by an artist you’ve never seen before. Let’s sell out every show in the festival at least once. This is the year to do it. Risks are rewarded here at Orlando Fringe. 

Thank you for being a part of our 30th Anniversary, I promise it was worth the wait! 

Happy Fringe, 

Lindsay Taylor
Theatre Producer, Orlando Fringe

Photo of CAFF President Lucy Eveleigh

from caff president

I am beyond thrilled to write a welcome letter to the Orlando Fringe community, who are fortunate enough to have a Festival this year including in person shows!

It has been such a difficult year for Fringe Festivals around the world and the Orlando Fringe team has worked tirelessly to stay connected to its artists and patrons over that time. Their ability to safely produce the Festival this year is definitely something to be celebrated.

The Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals (CAFF) has over 30 member festivals across Canada and the USA and we exist as an organization to unite, support, empower, and strengthen our member festivals in order to cultivate and foster independent artistic exploration for artists and audiences across North America.

CAFF has been taking the time over this last year to reflect upon what our organization is doing and can do for the theatre artists of the world and we want to thank you, the audience, who come out every year to support Fringe Festivals. Your support is integral to these artists. In these ever-changing times of a global pandemic, precarious funding, expensive living costs, and the day-to-day struggles many artists face, especially now, having people show up to see their work is more crucial than ever before.

So please take the time to get involve however you can, and especially safely. You are ambassadors for these artists, and your support has a meaningful effect on their careers.

Thank you for joining us in this global movement of the FRINGE!

Sincerely, 

Lucy Eveleigh
President, Canadian Association of Fringe Festivals