[Ed. Note: This post was written the day after Fringe ended, so pretend it’s June 12th and this post will make a lot more sense.]
It’s a quiet night here on Slane Avenue. The first quiet one in two weeks. I wouldn’t say that it’s unfortunately quiet (growing artists do need their beauty sleep) but it’s a lonely silence none-the-less.
For the past fortnight Know Theatre’s “Off Site Storage Unit” (also known as artist housing), located in Norwood, had been the temporary home to various out-of-town artists participating in the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. For fourteen days my long journey home from the theater was brought to a close by the soon familiar sights and sounds of a new influx of thoughts, feelings, ideas, and emotions brought with our visitors and new found friends. While certainly there were nights that this unfamiliar barrage of new voices and opinions quickly tired me, especially when the marathon pace set working as a staff member for the festival started catching up to me, no encounter with these artists ever left me without some new insight into who these people were and why they were here. And that’s the beauty of Fringe Festival; it may be exhausting but you’re granted the opportunity to walk away from the experience with a rejuvenated soul. All you need now is a few good night’s sleep.
Year after year I witness out-of-town artists come to our Festival and they almost all agree upon one thing: This is a place where you are made to feel welcome. You are made to feel like a part of our family. This is perhaps the greatest asset we have to our Festival, to our artistic community. We ARE a family. Dysfunctional at times, perhaps, but a family none-the-less. We are joined together in our pursuits and endeavors, as differing in topics, styles, themes, genres, and disciplines as they may be. At the end of the day we’re all preparing pieces of living, breathing art for the community at large and it’s this passion that binds us together. I feel like we do an amazing job of fostering that communication between artists, whether we’re discussing theatre or just shooting the shit over a beer, and those encounters are worth their weight in gold.
Fringe is a special experience I look forward to every year and I’m counting down the days until our friends return to us – and our yet unmade friends arrive.