ORLANDO, Fla. – Orlando Fringe festival is here, bringing with it two weeks packed with theatrical performances from local and international artists.
The festival begins May 14 with a teaser show followed by an opening party the next night. Come May 16, the performances will be in full swing at venues across Orlando's Loch Haven Park neighborhood.
With more than 140 shows and hundreds of performances, there's a lot to know when it comes to planning your festival experience.
Below you'll find all the information you need to Fringe to the fullest.
Loch Haven Cultural Park will be the hub for Fringe Festival activity, so if you want to get the most bang for your buck, that'll be the place to go. On weekdays, the festival grounds open at 5 p.m. and close at midnight, while on weekends, the grounds open at 2 p.m. and close at midnight. There you'll find food vendors, a beer tent, a full-service bar, the outdoor stage with free performances and the "Before I Die Wall," where guests can write and share their aspirations.
From the park, attendees are within walking distance of the cultural establishments that host the color-coded venues. The pink, brown, purple, yellow, red, orange and blue venues are inside Lowndes Shakespeare Center; the green and silver venues can be found inside Orlando Repertory Theatre; and the gold venue is at the Orlando Museum of Art.
There are four additional spots to see shows: the black venue at The Venue on Virginia Drive, Breakthrough Theatre of Winter Park, The Starlight Room at Savoy and the rainbow venue at The Center.
From comedy to musicals to spoken word and dance, there are endless performances to attend. The selection can be a bit overwhelming, but luckily, there's a tool to help. The masterminds behind the festival designed the Fringe-O-Matic website to help you plan your festival schedule. To use it, go to the list of shows and choose the options that interest you the most. You have the option to filter by genre and age rating to help you narrow the titles down. Once you've made your selections, you can generate a schedule based on your interests and availability.
Keep in mind that some shows do feature nudity, flashing lights, adult themes and more, so you'll want to chose shows that are most suited with your comfort level.
Among the standout titles are "Florida Man," an interactive comedy based on the Sunshine State's anti-hero; "Winnie’s Rock Cauldron Cabaret," featuring the Sanderson sisters from the Disney Halloween classic "Hocus Pocus;" and "American Homelessness," an immersive experience designed to highlight the perils a homeless person faces all while educating the audience on how they can help solve the epidemic.
Featured events include local comedian Rauce Padgett, who you may recognize from his parody video about the I-4 eyesore and his spoof Orlando movie trailer, hosting a 90-minute "Tonight at Midnight" performance done in a late-night talk show format that promises to bring laughs and the Flashlight Cabaret, which bills itself as a "variety show like no other" where the sole lighting is provided by audience members clutching flashlights.
To see a full list of shows, click here.
There are two things you need to get into any Fringe show: a ticket and a button. Artists set the price for tickets, ranging anywhere from free to $12. A $1.25 fee added to the cost of the ticket is given to the ticketing company, while the base cost goes directly to the artist. Buttons are available for $10 each and can be used to get into multiple shows, meaning you don’t have to buy individual buttons the way you would tickets, so one button can last you the duration of the festival.
Tickets can be purchased at the venue, at any of the boxes and online in advance, which is recommended for popular showings. Children 12 and under don’t need a button but do need a ticket, while babies don’t need either. Ticket sales are final, so the only time a refund will be issued is if the performer cancels.
Even if you have a ticket, you won't be admitted into the venue if you're late and there's no re-entry if you decide to leave at any point during the performance, so make sure you get there on time.
For full details, visit OrlandoFringe.org.