Its maiden-voyage press release is below the jump. The major points: It will happen in September in various venues on Capitol Hill Artists. Participating artists will be chosen by lottery. (In general, curation is a superior way to run a festival, but the lottery is a good political move for the first year to get buy-in from the theater community and avoid any perception of cronyism.)

The driving personalities behind it include Pamala Mijatov (of Annex Theater), Meaghan Darling (of Annex, but has worked with tons of local companies), Sean Ryan (of On the Boards), Ryan Higgins (of Balagan), Annie Fanning ("mother, anarchist, and tree ambassador"), Matthew Echert (formerly of WET), and others.

The last Seattle fringe festival crashed and burned in a dramatic way back around 2003, when artists barely got a fraction of their box-office revenue for that year, the festival did a poor job of explaining what exactly wrong (which always makes everybody else suspicious), and people were angry.

But the accumulated wisdom of the crew mentioned above is promising: Many of those folks have been knocking around in the trenches of well-regarded Seattle theaters for many years. And simply reviving the fringe festival shows encouraging optimism—and maybe a new center of gravity—for theater in Seattle after years of tough times and meltdowns.

Good luck, everyone! More details as they come.

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RELEASE: Wednesday, April 4, 2012
Seattle, Washington

Return of the Fringe

The Seattle Fringe Festival returns to Capitol Hill this September. With five days of new work by local and nonlocal, established and emerging artists, Seattle Fringe Festival opens Wednesday, September 19, 2012 and runs through Sunday, September 23, 2012.

During five days of closely packed programming, the Seattle Fringe Festival’s schedule offers audiences many opportunities to experience a range of live art—from raw and untested to perfectly executed. You can catch a variety of performances in a fun hodgepodge of genres and styles. Every show runs an hour or less. Tickets are priced affordably at only $10.

(More info on festival admission options will be available through an upcoming media launch announcing the full roster of the festival.)

To house the upcoming festival, the steering committee for the Seattle Fringe Festival has secured several prominent Capitol Hill venues, such as Annex Theater, the NW Film Forum, and Odd Duck Studio. Centrally located on Capitol Hill, all performances will be accessible and within walking distance of each other.

Perform at the Fringe

For artists who wish to perform in the 2012 Seattle Fringe Festival, applications for submission are available now at www.seattlefringefestival.org.

The easy online application requires a nonrefundable $20 application fee. Artists will be chosen by a non-adjudicated lottery. For questions regarding the Seattle Fringe Festival application process, email info@seattlefringefestival.org.

The application deadline to perform in the 2012 Seattle Fringe Festival is Monday, May 7, 2012.

The Seattle Fringe Festival will announce the 21 participants (13 local and 8 non-local) selected by lottery at the FRINGE LOTTO, Sunday, May 13, 2012, starting at 7pm at On the Boards Studio Theater in lower Queen Anne. Please join us for the festivities.

Connect with the Fringe

Up to the minute information about the Seattle Fringe Festival can be found on our Facebook page. Check in frequently to find news about our artist lottery, events, and the Seattle fringe community.

Support the Fringe

To make a tax-deductible donation to the Seattle Fringe Festival, please go to seattlefringefestival.org and click on Be A Secret Admirer. All donations will be processed through Theatre Puget Sound (TPS), who has agreed be our fiscal sponsor. Although all donations go directly to support The Seattle Fringe Festival, donors should be advised that they will be giving through TPS, and as such they will receive notification from TPS that their tax-deductible donation has been received.

Kickstart the Fringe

On Monday, April 16, 2012, the fringe steering committee hosts BINGE WITH THE FRINGE, an informational gathering at Saint John’s, the new bar and eatery located at 719 E. Pike St. on Capitol Hill.

Starting at 7pm, the BINGE WITH THE FRINGE event marks the official launch of our Kickstarter Campaign! We’ll introduce the steering committee, share our vision for the festival, and answer any fringe-related questions. We will be looking for eager volunteers to help with the 2012 festival—so bring your calendars.

We’ve named our event BINGE WITH THE FRINGE to encourage people to drink for the cause: $1 from each sale of a specialty drink will be donated directly to the Seattle Fringe Festival courtesy of Val Kiossovski and Billy Gould—the owners of Saint John’s and Solo in lower Queen Anne.

Steering the Fringe

As the future producing entity of the Seattle Fringe Festival, Seattle Contemporary's mission is to produce quality programs that engage artists, communities, and culture—through festivals and artistic representation.

Seattle Contemporary is comprised of a steering committee consisting of representatives from the theater, performance art, dance, and the business community of Seattle. The steering committee has secured professional consultants to help with development, accounts management, web development, volunteer coordination, and production management.

Theatre Puget Sound has agreed to be our fiscal sponsor and assist us with helping secure the future of Seattle Contemporary as a legitimate non-profit within the Seattle arts community.

Seattle Contemporary Steering Committee:

Meaghan Darling (committee member) is Production Director at Annex Theater. As a stage manager and production manager she has been producing theater in the Seattle fringe theater community for 14 years with such groups as: 14/48, One World Theater, Open Circle Theater, Macha Monkey, and Printer's Devil, to name a few.

Matthew Echert (committee member) is Annual Fund Manager at ACT Theatre. He is a former company member of Washington Ensemble Theatre and has been a freelance writer, stage manager, fundraiser, and advocate for various Seattle arts organizations since 2005.

Annie Fanning (committee member) is a freelance writer and editor. She is also a mother, anarchist, and tree ambassador.

Ryan Higgins (committee member) has enjoyed working and organizing in Seattle's theatre community for close to 7 years. As a local actor, director and Co-Artistic Director of Balagan Theatre, Ryan has found an artistic home in Seattle that he feels is unique and special.

Grant Evan Knutson (committee member) has worked production and admin jobs at Seattle area theatres, including Annex, Macha Monkey and the Seattle Children's Theatre. His own Minion Productions has spent the last few years helping independent artists fundraise, produce and tour to fringe festivals across North America.

Alyson McCrink (committee member) is a graphic designer and illustrator who is new to the Seattle area. She was a modern dancer for the Balance Dance Company and has an affinity for the performing arts and promoting awareness of new work.

Pamala Mijatov (committee member) is an actor, director, and the Artistic Director of Annex Theatre. For over 12 years she has developed and produced new plays, and performed extensively in Seattle and at festivals in Canada and Australia. She is passionate about supporting new art and engaging new audiences.

Beth Raas-Bergquist (committee member) is the artistic director of Ghost Light theatricals, a fringe company in Ballard, and wrote her thesis on the old Seattle Fringe Festival for the MFA Arts Leadership Program at Seattle University.

Sean Ryan (committee member) is On the Boards Regional Programs Director producing 12 Minutes Max & the NW New Works Festival for the past 8 years. As an arts administrator, theater director and movement artist he is dedicated to building Seattle’s contemporary performance profile within the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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