August 20, 2009

Boulder International Fringe Festival: 12 Days of Artistic Merriment ~via Jodee Spalding.

Lewis Carroll had the right idea by designing his own language to create a sense of an enlightened, otherworldly playfulness where Websters’ words could not.

I, too, am struggling to find words compelling and colorful enough to properly describe the Boulder Fringe Festival.

The diverse Boulder Fringe draws actors, dancers, singers, filmmakers, musicians and other performing artists from around the world to its own local stages. I say stages because, in the traditional Fringe Festival spirit, the shows are featured throughout the town in a wide variety of interesting venues (from prosceniums to bathrooms) with an even wider variety of platforms. Unconventional is the most fitting way to describe this spirited festival.

The festival is a 12-day performing arts extravaganza, with each performance group averaging 6 shows and many artists offering workshops as well. All in all, by the end of this wildly fun run, there will have been 180 shows performed by 130 artists. This is heady stuff. But the best part is that ticket prices are kept very low to keep the audiences coming, and 100 percent of the ticket sales go straight back to the artists.

Each year the festival is dramatically different (pun intended), with artists chosen by a lottery drawn from a hat. In this manner, and true to the Fringe mission of providing uncensored and unjuried art venues, every new year sees unique and surprising productions that tend to outdo prior events.

Although the performers and their works are ever-changing, there seems to be a consistent humanistic undercurrent, turning spectators to face all that is joyful, tragic, harmful and heroic in the world. The audience is treated to a bird’s eye view of new realities, old realities and the inexplicable spaces in-between.

The Boulder Fringe was founded by two talented local artists who share the belief that creativity enhances culture and awareness. They may be on to something here: Just last weekend I sipped scotch with a Brazilian who had a penchant for Greek art and a love of Nepalese food, which he discovered during the Boulder Fringe.

There are no coincidences. As Lewis Carroll might say, it’s frintastical funtillation and you really oughtn’t miss it.

Be a part of the Boulder International Fringe Festival from August 12- 23. Programs can be viewed online at: www.boulderfringe.com or, if you’re like me and you like to take notes, you can pick up a copy at The Laughing Goat Coffee House in Boulder (1709 Pearl Street), which also happens to be the Box Office where you’ll be buying all of your surprisingly affordable tickets.

Photos courtesy of www.boulderfringe.com.

~by Jodee Spalding

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