Greensboro Fringe Festival

by Brian Clarey

What does it mean to be on the fringe?

It connotes a sense of outsiderism, a suggestion of being near the edge, on the cusp. It means you’ve got one foot on solid ground and another in the ether.

And the Greensboro Fringe Festival has been out there since its inception in 2003.

“‘Fringe’ generally means that you have little to no money,” festival organizer Todd Fisher jokes. “It means you don’t own your own theater and you can’t afford to rent one. And it means that you haven’t made it — you haven’t gotten your Academy Award or your Tony or whatever else there is.”

This year’s Fringe Festival features more than 30 original works of theater and dance created just for this event.

The John Gamble Dance Theatre, longtime contributors to the festival, bring a mélange of pieces from nine choreographers who comprise the On the Edge performances. The New Fringe features the work of six choreographers in avant-garde performances. Song of the Sirens blends theater, dance and body art to retell the story of Homer’s Odyssey.

On the theater front, Lost and Found tells the stories of items found in a junkyard.

The Box tells the story of God, Satan a box and a cat. Disambiguation is billed as “an interactive experience for audience and performer alike.” Perseus in Suburbia uproots Greek mythology and transplants it to a gated community in Phoenix.

There’s more, of course: short plays, dance compilations, burlesque… but you get the point.

“The core mission hasn’t changed,” Fisher says. “We’ve streamlined it so it’s somewhat easier for us to do. We’ve added an extra weekend, so we’re taking advantage of it.”

Events tale place at either the Broach Theatre or City Arts Studio Theater, both in downtown Greensboro. And Fisher urges everybody to come out to the Fringe..

“We just want people to come support local artists and take a chance on something new,” he says.