Orlando Fringe seeks to amplify artist voices in new downtown venue. Here’s what to expect

Grand opening of Fringe ArtSpace to be held Wednesday

ORLANDO, Fla. – New year, new Fringe.

The longest-running Fringe Festival in the U.S. is getting a revamp and opening a new venue, the Fringe ArtSpace, that will stay open year-round in the heart of downtown Orlando.

The space sits on West Church Street and occupies the same building Mad Cow Theatre once did. City officials kicked out the previous theatrical tenant last year over unpaid monthly charges and accumulating interest.

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Now, the Orlando Fringe is making the space its own, a haven where emerging and seasoned artists can meet and learn from one another.

It’s also a full-circle moment for the City Beautiful’s festival.

“That’s where Fringe started was on Church Street. So I think for our diehard Fringe fans, it’s fun to be back in that area of town and just kind of building off of those memories,” Orlando Fringe Winter Mini-Fest producer Lindsay Taylor said.

The beloved arts festival has grown a lot since its humble beginnings, taking root in Loch Haven Park and splintering into different venues around the city.

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Much like its physical expansion, the Orlando Fringe is looking forward to its creative future, giving audiences and artists more than ever before with year-round workshops, classes, mentorship opportunities and shows.

“Fringe traditionally in Orlando has been a two-week festival in May and then our winter mini-festival and some other events sprinkled throughout the year or the season. So what the (Fringe ArtSpace) means for us is a year-round venue... we are able to offer programming throughout the year and really like amplify artists’ voices and give them a space to work and produce and learn and teach each other,” said Genevieve Bernard, program manager at the Orlando Fringe Festival.

The 9,100-square-foot building’s two theaters — a mainstage with 166 seats and a black box with 40-60 seats — will serve as a nucleus for staging both productions and studio series that give artists opportunities they may not have had prior.

“We’re creating opportunities for experienced artists, producers and directors to either work with or work alongside these emerging artists,” Bernard said. “It’s a really cool way for artists to grow in our Central Florida world (and) to learn from others while we’re also giving them a space to kind of work on their own things.”

Bernard said while everything is a work in progress, the Orlando Fringe plans to host community-building events, like potluck dinners, artist speed dating, and expert meetups through the mentor library. All the educational programming is designed so people can mingle, network and find creative collaborators within the space.

While this space will debut in the upcoming 2023 Winter Mini-Fest, patrons can get a taste of the venue before that at its grand opening celebration, which serves as a fundraiser for Orlando Fringe. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, with a ribbon-cutting and features a street party, live DJ, strolling entertainment, drinks, special guest Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and two preview performances of the Fringe Winter Mini-Fest.

“I think it’s a really amazing space that we are able to offer these artists and I think (audiences) can definitely see what we’ve done with this space and how we’ve made it our home,” festival producer Tempestt Halstead said.

Below you can find a list of the current Fringe ArtSpace Programming for 2023, with more productions, workshops and opportunities to come. For more information on the new space, click here.

Fringe Winter Mini-Fest

Jan. 12-15

The 7th annual 4-day theatre festival cherry-picks the best of past festivals, new works by fan favorites and brand new artists scouted from the international Fringe circuit. This year, 18 artists will be performing several times throughout the weekend, offering plenty of opportunities to experience a Fringe you’ve never seen before at the new ArtSpace.


Jan. 26-29

Brought to you by Fringe favorite Blue LaLa, the show is an extension of her previous production, “VarieTEASE On The Move,” which documents the closing of Orlando’s The Venue and the four years that followed. In the dance performance designed specifically for the new ArtSpace, Blue explores growth and healing amid a plot that often “makes no sense.”

“Carrie the Musical”

Feb. 3-5

Based on Stephen King’s classic thriller novel of the same name, this stage adaption tells the story of Carrie White, a teenager from a small town in New England, who is relentlessly bullied at school and harshly controlled at home.

This also is the first collaboration between Fringe ArtSpace and the William Daniel Mills Theatre Company.


Feb. 17-March 5

This deeply moving and funny new play by acclaimed writer Will Eno explores the universe of a small American town and the friendship that develops between one of its longtime residents and one of its new arrivals. Modeled after Thorton Wilder’s “Our Town” and featuring Orlando Fringe Festival Lifetime Achievement Award recipient David Lee, this show is sure to draw together artists from across Central Florida.

A Quarter of A Century...and then some!”

March 9-11

In this production, which mixes comedy, drama, rap, R&B, spoken word, dance and songs, we watch as Arius grows as a young, Black, queer artist in 2022 and what his 25 and more years on this Earth have taught him... and not taught him.

“Our Lady of the Tortilla/Nuestra Señora de la Tortilla”

March 17-19

This comedy tells the story of an intergenerational, Latinx family in the U.S. struggling with tradition, culture, language, love, and… each other! Everything changes when the pious tia (aunty) sees the Virgin Mary on a tortilla and family ties are put to the test.

Emmy and National Hispanic Playwright Award Winner Luis Santeiro tells the story in Spanglish with both Spanish and English supertitles, as well as live music.

“The Sound Inside”

March 17-19

This show tells the story of Bella Baird, an isolated creative writing professor at Yale who begins to mentor and form a bond with one of her brilliant but mysterious students, Christopher. As their lives become intertwined in unpredictable ways, Bella makes a surprising request of Christopher that neither knows if he can fulfill. Brimming with suspense, this play explores the limits of what one person can ask of another.

“La Divina: The Last Interview of Maria Callas”

April 7-9

This one-woman show inspired by the life and work of the 20th century opera singer Maria Callas won the 2022 award for Best One Woman Show at United Solofest Off-Broadway, among other accolades.

In it, the audience is invited to eavesdrop on an interview between La Divina and a nonexistent Mr. Wallace, as they discuss the singer’s trauma and explore how her art kept her alive during World War II. It’s a show set to her soundtrack, treating audiences to operatic gems like “O Mio Babbino Caro”, “Habanera”, and “Vissi d’art.”

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival

May 16-29

The longest-running Fringe Theatre Festival in the United States is back to celebrate 32 years as “Orlando’s Most Unique Cultural Experience.” During the 14-day run, patrons can find the purple and teal venues at the new Fringe ArtSpace.

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