Everyone needs to start on their journey to the bigger stages somewhere, and fringe theater is a great place for many fledging theater companies to cut their teeth.
Ever since the first Edinburgh Fringe Festival in the late forties, the popularity of the fringe arts festival has been on the rise, and now many cities across the globe host their own live events festivals attracting theater companies, comedians, children’s entertainers, and so much more.
But if you run your own theater company, how do you go about staging your own production and what do you need to know?
In this helpful guide, we’ll let you know how to get your own fringe production onto the stage- and attract an audience.
Writing and Rehearsing Your Show
The first thing you’ll need to do if you want to be a part of a fringe program is to write, cast, and rehearse your show. Often, because of the nature of fringe festivals, you’ll need to either pay your cast on a deferred basis once ticket sales have been recouped or ask them to work for free.
For many actors and writers, the fringe theater is a stepping stone in their careers. Many artists are willing to forgo any fees so they can use the platform as a stepping stone to bigger things.
Finding a Venue
Once you have a show, you’ll need to find a venue. You can either directly approach a venue yourself to see if they have any slots free during the festival, or you can hook up with an agency to help you find the ideal venue.
Most venues will have performances throughout the entire day during a big festival. You’ll ideally want to get in with a venue as close to the center of the festival as possible. Try not to get a time slot that’s too close to prime time, as you’ll be competing with the biggest acts on the program.
Get on the Program
Once you’ve got a venue lined up, you’ll need to ensure your show is listed on the program of events for the entire festival. This will help you get an audience for the show. There may be a small fee to ensure you’re listed.
Promoting Your Play
Whether you’re writing a fringe play or a comedy show, you’ll need to start promoting it months in advance.
Get flyers and posters designed and invest in poster printing. Don’t underestimate how many posters and flyers you’ll need. The more of these you can get put up in and around the various venues involved in the festival, the more likely you’ll be to get seen.
Start off by building your social media presence for the event. As you move closer to the date, send our press releases to newspapers, magazines, art journals, and anyone else of relevance.
Finally, when the festival starts, you’ll need to spend any time that you’re not on stage promoting the show by flyering on the streets and outside venues.
Producing a Fringe Theater Show
Producing a fringe theater show is hard work. However, if you put in the effort, you’ll see the return; large audience numbers. Once you commit to your show, start hunting down venues, and get the word out there about your show.
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