Theatering on the Fringe in D.C… Capital Fringe Festival

Capital Fringe lights up the night scene at the Gypsy Tent...

Experience something like nothing else before; a place of performance and theater that holds no judgment and standard. Capital Fringe Festival, running from July 7 through July 24, is a show spectacular with over 200 productions including comedy, dramas, puppetry, dance, music, and every other genre possible, even ones that don’t exist. Variety for families, new theater adventures, or old critics, Fringe is an all day adventure down the rabbit hole of performance and production.

Leave your traditionalism behind because once you enter The Fort (the ticket office and administration building) famously known from past Capital Fringes. Get ready to lose all concept of theater when you enter The Gypsy Tent, the main social area for viewers and performers with a bar and grill, dancing area, live music and performance space.

A few blocks from Chinatown and the Convention Center, Capital Fringe is an escape from D.C. daily adventures. Actors and viewers alike comment that the best part of Fringe is the people. “Everyone is so nice and energetic,” says Michael Bergman, the producer of “Moby Dick, An Adaption for Theater,” husband of one of the actresses in “Moby Dick” and father to technical manager of the play.

Fringe festivals started back in the mid-20th century in Scotland, where performance companies that were not allowed to perform on regal stages, banded together and created a place where they could perform. Here they were free from societal censorship, and were welcoming to all who wanted to participate. Somewhat castaways from society, they were on the fringe; hence the name.

With great Happy Hour specials, “sublime” food (according to Freelance Visual Art Critic and Curator David Tannous, an avid Capital Fringe viewer) the heart of the Fringe, The Gypsy Tent is where it’s at. Not only is it a social scene, but it also is the central location of performance, with three venues on location.

Having already seen more than 10 shows, Fringe has blown all of my expectations out of the water. What seems too many theater purists as just a hipster post-contemporary production, I think that Fringe has just as much credibility as Shakespeare or the American Ballet Theater.

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