2011 Capital Fringe Festival

Photo courtesy of

courtesy of ‘erin m’

Last night I got tied up to two people. We were force fed food through a syringe. Several people ate bugs. A couple needed the Heimlich. It blew all our minds.

Welcome to Fringe!

Judging by the happy crowd buzzing through the heat at the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent last night, the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival is off to a great start. Now through July 24 you can enjoy (or not enjoy, that’s part of the experience too!) 18 days of over 100 risky productions by over 2,000 artists performing genres from theater, music, puppetry and dance. It’s chaotic, and it’s meant to be that way – anarchic challenging fun. Venues are spread out from the core in the Mount Vernon Square, with home base at Fort Fringe, 607 New York Avenue NW. Tickets are available in singles of $17 a show or in packs of 4 ($60), 6 ($80), 110 ($120) or all-access ($300). A Fringe Admission Button is required as well, a one-time purchase of $7 (kids 12 and under don’t need one, and yes, though Fringe can be raunchy there are shows for kids too!). There’s also plenty of free events and crazy people-watching at the Baldacchino Gypsy Tent, which serves as the hub with food and drink throughout the festival.

Last year was my first time really diving into Fringe madness, reviewing eight plays over eight days in collaboration with the fantastic folks at DC Theatre Scene. It was exhilarating, because whether I liked a production or not, every one pushed boundaries in that way only Fringe can. This year I’ve got seven plays over fourteen days to tackle. DCTS has assembled a team of 21 crack reviewers (or, we’re all on crack, depending on your view) to ambitiously cover every show, with reviews going up within 24 hours of opening. Fellow WLDC author Patrick Pho is also in on the game, and you’ll see our reviews both here and at DCTS. We’re ready for a fast and furious immersion into the world of experimental performance. So get your button and join us!

Based on what I experienced last night (the futurist food frenzy of the Tactile Dinner Car), it’s going to be one hell of a wild ride.

As one of the founding editors of We Love DC, Jenn’s passions are theater and cocktails. After two decades in the city, she’s loved every quirky, mundane, elegant, rude minute of her DC life. A proud advocate for DC’s talented drinks scene, she’s judged the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s ARTINI contest, the DC Rickey Month contest, the Jefferson Hotel’s Quill Cocktail competition, and is a founding member of LUPEC DC. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama program, she toured the country as a member of National Players, and has been both an actor and a costume designer before jumping the aisle to theater criticism. Writing for We Love DC restored her happiness after a life-threatening illness, and she’s grateful to you, dear readers. Send your suggestions to jenn (at) welovedc (dot) com and follow her on Twitter.

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