September is the most wonderful time of the year if you are a theater artist in Philadelphia. We are well into the start of Fringe, where there are 5 – 25 daily theatrical happenings all over the city. It is a theatre-goer’s paradise; however, like any major celebration, it also can be incredibly stressful. Like going to a Walmart at 1AM to get the best holiday deals, Fringe can be both thrilling and daunting.
If you are asking yourself, what should I see? Who MUST I see?? Where do I even start??? Hopefully this post will aide you in having the fringie-est fringe yet.
So grab your handy dandy Fringe Guide and allow me to share my 2 cents on exactly how you can make the most out of your Fringe season.
1. What is a Fringe Guide, and where can I get one?
Newbie or Veteran, having a fringe guide is the ultimate resource for making Fringe decisions. You can find guides pretty much in every neighborhood across the city where fringe is happening, in coffee shops and theater venues, and you can even view it digitally on the Fringe website.
2. Accept that you are not going to see everything you want.
Having an ambitious, lengthy MUST-SEE list is great, but don’t stress yourself out trying to see everything. Shit happens: shows will sell out, life things will come up. Fringe is great but it’s not the beginning and end of exciting new theater in Philadelphia.
3. See things that you actually want to see; not just things that your friends are in.
Know that almost every single one of your friends will at some point in their careers be producing in Fringe, acting in Fringe, or producing and acting in Fringe. While it’s great to support your friends or network with artists you want to be friends with, make time to see the weird thing you have no connection to because dammit, you’re worth it.
4. One Day At A Time
If you are easily overstimulated like I am, looking at the guide in its entirety can be extremely overwhelming! I love using the fringe day-by-day calendar alongside my planner to figure out what I actually can see on the days I am actually free.
5. Support new work.
Nothing says risk like a small company or artist producing their own work for the very first time. Whether they or out of town, or local, know that it takes a lot of money and courage to produce in the Philadelphia Fringe. Don’t forget to donate and support the little guys!