Spring… I hear it’s coming. And with it the crack of Chris Davis’ homeruns, the JFX Farmer’s market, and the beginning of a new year for Charm City Fringe. This is going to be an exciting year for independent theatre in Baltimore, friends.
I saw two incredible pieces of theatre recently. The first was Twelfth Night at Centerstage. It’s open for a few more days. If you enjoy the bard go see it for its wit, lovely acting, and perfect concept. If you prefer, you are likely to find the cast hanging out afterwards at Midtown BBQ & Brew. More interestingly, I saw the final local performance of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society’s Grundlehammer.
I am a theatre snob. There, I said it. I’ve seen hundreds of plays and musicals over the years. I worked on Broadway. I have two degrees and thousands of additional training hours. Currently, I am a professional production manager. I want shows that are clean, well-directed, efficiently told. On the surface, the BROS don’t meet the myriad of high standards I typically have. Transitions are slow, audio is often not mixed well, story lines are sometimes suspect at best. Grundlehammer is three hours of all of these things and the unadulterated joy of the entire company and the sold out house.
There is something amazing about what I saw on Sunday. The spirit, creativity, ingenuity of the Baltimore Rock Opera Society took me outside of my bubble, and made me forget about my standards. I was so entertained by their passion for their project. Everyone from the band, to the guy under the set who you could hear opening his beer can in a quiet moment, to the leads had me from the get-go. This kind of work is why I love and support small, independent artists and theatre companies. It’s why I believe in things like Fringe Festivals.
I’m hoping that 2014 continues stretching artists in the direction of their passion and stories. I'm so excited to see what kinds of artists and projects we will be cultivating this year at Charm City Fringe. This is a chance for a performer/company to take a risk and produce a piece they’ve been thinking about. Get something in front of an audience so it can continue on with its growth process. Throw some spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. Beginning April 1st, we will be looking for this year’s Fringe Stars. I, personally, can’t wait to see what you send us.
This year we also have a few additional opportunities to get involved. We are opening up a free application process to Bands and Comics who are interested in performing at our After Hours events and parties during the Festival week. Currently, we have a poster contest going on for this year’s Charm City Fringe Festival Poster Design. I’m thinking about entering myself… We are also in the process of talks with venues to ensure the most professional experience possible for our 2014 artists this year.
I gotta say, I’m STOKED to be working on this year’s Charm City Fringe Festival. And we are always open to getting more people involved. Drop us a line if you also want to be a part of creating and engaging in independent theatre in Baltimore. Let’s show the world that we are more than just Natty Boh, Raven’s Football, and The Wire! Our city, our stage!
Production Manager and Indy Theatre Lover