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The Question of Fringe

I had considered applying for the Ottawa Fringe Festival since about the first year I knew it existed. I’d been out for one show in ’08 to see the show of an actress I knew and I saw three shows in ’09 which is when I was really introduced to what the Festival was. So I guess the first year I’d considered it would have been 2010. I was neck deep in production of Survive the House at the time so had no idea about the timing of the lottery until after it had passed. It hadn’t been financially feasible to put in an application the following two years, which brings us to the 2013 Ottawa Fringe Festival. The first time I actually did apply.

When lo and behold, I ended up one for one. Valley Wind Productions was one of fourteen local companies randomly selected for a main venue birth. Not sure out of how many applicants but I do know the waiting list was capped somewhere above forty with an unknown number of companies not even making that.

Not that it being a first time application has any causal affect on a random drawing, but colour me shocked nonetheless. I’m more than a little delighted to have won a spot, of course, and I certainly didn’t forget about it, I just had so many other things on my mind, I hadn’t really been thinking about it.

Question of Fringe-Image

Your one guarantee is that whatever I end up doing, it will at least be this awesome.

So, now, as surprise wanes and the truth settles in, an important question is going to need answering:

What the heck am I going to produce and/or direct and/or write for Ottawa Fringe Festival 2013?

Don’t get me wrong. This wasn’t a blind application. It’s not like I don’t have ideas. I had a half dozen alternatives planned before the applications were even announced. I came up with two possibilities in the last two days and another just last night. I’m Ideas ‘R Us.

For a while around application time the lead contender was an already produced and fairly popular international one-act musical. For various reasons, including wanting to do something original here, I decided I’d rather take on the musical with a more traditional run if I ever did it.

What’s still in consideration? One requires a specific performer I know with very specific skills who would need to learn an entirely new branch while we built the story and show around it. One is a pretty stylized show that includes story-telling, music, and movement components. One would be a short version of a full length play I’m writing in the new year.

There’s also one of a half-dozen more straight-up one-act plays I’ve got in the proverbial drawer or the one-act drama I’ve already got written. The current front-runner though, by a high margin, is a concept for some high energy comedy with some actors I’ve worked with in that capacity before.

All of the options are quite different. Meaning that what I really need to figure out is what I want to be working on, what I want to put up, and even who I want to work with. I do feel that some of the concepts I listed need more time for development and may be a few years off, but they’re still in the running for now.

There are lots of things I don’t know yet. Here’s one thing I do. It’ll probably be a big deal. ‘Cuz I just don’t go into things thinking small.

And once I’ve made a final decision, that’s when I get to step three. 1) Surprise. 2) Decision. 3) Excitement.

Then step four. Work. Which I greatly look forward to.