On the List | Seattle Fringe goes 100% local as theater festival returns to Capitol Hill

SFF_2016_Poster-1-663x1024There are two big numbers involved with the 2016 Seattle Fringe Festival as it opens this week at Capitol Hill’s Annex and Eclectic Theater. One is 22 — that’s the number of “locally sourced” producers this year’s edition of the festival will feature. The other? Let’s go with 206 — this year, the festival features an all-Seattle area roster of theater creators.

“The most important thing is that it’s all local producers this year,” Pike/Pine business owner and new addition to the Seattle Fringe steering committee D’Arcy Harrison tells CHS.

Another new element for the revived version of Fringe is an expansion off-Hill. Seattle Center’s Armory will host some of the festival’s stagings as it runs from Thursday, February 25th to Saturday, March 6th.

CHS wrote about the revival of the “wave of unpredictable performances” that make up Fringe in 2012 as a “cabal of Seattle’s theater people took a long hard look at what’s needed and possible” and restarted the festival after a nine-year hiatus.

The demise of the first version of the festival has given the organizers of the new Fringe a strong resolve to maintain the annual exploration of small theater as a sustainable, self-supporting event — even while keeping tickets at $10 a pop.

“The former version went down in flames,” Harrison said. The no frills approach also fits with the “artist first” management of the festival. “We try to make sure as much money as possible goes back to the artists,” Harrison said.

12719369_989262741156246_757824950092897967_oFor Harrison, a co-owner of E Pike’s Emerson Salon, becoming part of Seattle Fringe and helping promote the 2016 edition is also part of fulfilling a personal connection to small theater and the Seattle festival. Harrison’s friend Nicole duFresne wrote and performed as part of Seattle Fringe before moving to New York City. In 2005, she was murdered in a sidewalk mugging. Harrison says she feels a responsibility to help this new version of Seattle Fringe thrive. “I always think about her and what she would be doing now,” Harrison said.

Seattle Fringe 2016 runs this week on Thursday through the weekend and again next week Thursday through Saturday, March 5th — you can see the full schedule and buy tickets at seattlefringefestival.org.

For more things to do on and around Capitol Hill or to add your own, check out the CHS Calendar.

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