by Matthew A. Everett • July 28, 2008 • I am falling victim to the pitfalls of both producing a Fringe show (and thus, being prop load-in and load-out guy), and wanting to see (and write about) a bunch of other Fringe shows.
Before each of our shows, we have a ten minute window in which to load-in the show before they let the audience in to see it. That ten minute window starts right after the show before us loads out – in ten minutes.
Right after each of our shows, we have to load out in ten minutes, so the next show can load in during the ten minutes after that, and they have ten minutes to let in the audience for their show, before the whole thing starts all over again.
Don’t get me wrong. I want to be there for every one of my shows. I’m not so rampantly produced (by any stretch of the imagination) that I had anything close the opportunity to become jaded about seeing my work performed onstage. (“Oh dear, another of my scripts being produced? Must I go, really?” – yeah, when you hear that come out of my mouth, just slap me, please. I’ll deserve it.)
But because of our schedule, I need to stick close to the Rarig, five out of the eleven days of the festival. Particularly in the slots right before and right after our show performs. Thankfully, there are tons of great shows at the Rarig, since there are four different theaters with about a dozen companies each in rotation throughout the festival on every stage. And the Southern isn’t that far away, neither is Mixed Blood.
But there are also a ton of great shows in venues far from the Rarig, and on top of distance, there’s the time issue.
One show I really want to see, for instance, has its first two performances in exactly the same day and time slots as our first two performances. The last two performances they have are in slots immediately before or after our final two performances – halfway across town. So those are out, too. That leaves just their middle performance of the run. I’m putting them down for that, but it bums me out that even if I love the show and want to see it again, I basically can’t.
There is, unfortunately, a whole lot of that this year. Makes the usual Fringe puzzle just that much more challenging.
(Again, I realize I should be grateful to have this problem – and on a certain level I am – “Oh gee, I’d love to go but *my own* show is performing then and I have to be there.” Just making me scratch my head right about now, that’s all. So all you Fringers out there, if I don’t make it to your show, this conundrum may be part of the reason why. Mom and I shall do our best.)
Entering his sixth year of blogging about the Minnesota Fringe Festival (and bringing Mom along for the ride as a guest reviewer), Matthew A. Everett is also a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at matthewaeverett.com.