Ten years ago, David Ortolano didn’t really know what a Fringe festival was. Until he was put on a city committee tasked with increasing the arts in Boulder; he sought advice from founding partner Alana Burman, and ten years and lots of word of mouth later, the Boulder International Fringe Festival is going strong as a must-attend for those touring the international Fringe circuit, and has become a yearly must-attend for patrons of the performing arts locally and otherwise..
Boulder is home to not only a myriad of artists, but two universities known for their performing arts, and as such the Boulder Fringe has no trouble booking a wide variety of artists for the two weeks it runs. But the festival isn’t only limited to locals. A true international event, our Boulder Fringe boasts performing artists from all across the country, and even as far away as Australia.
Here’s how it works: each December, performing artists enter their prospective shows into a lottery, from which is randomly chosen the year’s line-up. There is no adjudication, only a drawing, so the shows are as extremely wide-ranging in theme and quality as a random draw allows. Each performer either signs up for a large venue, small venue, or what’s called the bring-your-own venue. Some performers are recurring characters in the Boulder Fringe scene and bring their own following with them, others are colorful newbies. Shows vary from one-person shows to full blown plays, from clowning to dance to multimedia dance theatre. Workshops are also available for those who want a hands-on learning experience from the performing artists. Boulder explodes with performance those two weeks in September, and there is something for everyone, things happening all day and into the night.
Boulder’s Dairy Center For the Arts is the central hub for all things Fringe this year–stop by and pick up a program (the treasure map to all the activity), purchase your passes, then plan your two weeks accordingly. Boulder becomes an art amusement park during the span of the Fringe. I recommend getting a pass to admit you to as many performances as you can.
Boulder Fringe Fest Benefit: Five 5ths of the Wizard of Oz
August 22nd is the day to remember as a pre-Fringe event called The Five 5ths of The Wizard of Oz kicks off the Fringe season with a benefit. Five performance companies perform five sections of the show, resulting in a kaleidoscope of Oz. Cocktails and a silent auction happen first, so don’t miss this first Fringe event of the special tenth season!
Just the Facts, Ma’am
The Boulder International Fringe Festival is held in venues all over Boulder
For more information, programs and tickets, call or visit the Dairy Center for the Arts.