Feb 3, 2017

Defining Fringe Theater or Art in General

When my insomnia turns or decides to try and be productive and DO something, this is what happens: 

All while trying to write a new business description for Heartsinpyre Entertainment, I wondered if "fringe" might be a good new buzz word #hashtag to describe our services since we are not a big top circus, nor theater company, nor catering service... but now I'm considering re-writing or writing an edit for the wikipedia article for "fringe theatre" because the one I found that currently exists is completely biased sounding and vastly incorrect to the best of my own personal knowledge, understanding, and experience which of course could be incorrect...?

From what I understand, using the term "fringe" to describe any artist, artistic form or format (theater, film, dance, sculpture, etc), art piece/product/ production or event and even when including a collection such work (fringe festival) means it is anything adding to the periphery of mainstream. The term is reserved for works inspired by a form but not held to that form in every aspect of it's traditionally known restraints in that of structure, staging, content, creation, character, flow, format or follow through, dialogue or delivery, principle or purpose, and particularly that of participating entities be they part of the contributing body or audience receiving in terms of role, idea, education, expression, compensation, and level of experience. Fringe theater can be all plot, and no story line.. Waiting for Godot fits this precisely. Or fringe theater may lack a script, a stage, a character, a cause, a concept, or purpose which doesn't mean it is less than what was meant by it. Lacking safe solid traditional structure does not automatically mean it was produced by bad artists, or strictly amateurs, nor under funded companies, nor poorly screened art collectives. The writer or the found wiki page seems to think "fringe theatre" is like "community theatre" only without auditions so anybody can play a role and get paid even less for doing it which of course is possible in theater it's called a "stipend".

In short "fringe" is anything on the outskirts of mainstream. 

It's not the main freeway but a contributory stream. It's not opening on Broadway, but it is musical theater in a box with an imaginary 4th wall or people may not sing at all because that's realistic which may or may not add or subtract to its entertainment value and fanatical or financial success or sudden death. Just think once upon a time some crazy person thought what if we miniaturized the *theatre stage and multiplied them into take home mini-boxes. Yup, television was fringe once and it had nothing to do with budget limits, bad writing, bad plots, bad concepts that fail to congeal or turn into mush we call abstract art. Not by a long shot! It was just fringe entertainment possibilities outside the realm of mainstream theatre that didn't stick to a traditional theatre format when it changed mediums because it evolved. Radio, however didn't change story telling from single read novels or playwright read scripts. Honestly the writer of the subject wiki link seems to only think in terms of "festivals" which makes me believe they're an amateur film director instead of having anything to do with theatre or else they're a union grip. My reason for this is personal experience with trying to write/direct/and stage my own production and coming to the conclusion that it's impossible to get an art grant unless you're already rich enough to not need it and bored enough to start your own non-profit to pool your wealth into exorbitant corporate shaped systems where you develop volunteer programs to save you money on paying artist so you can employ a herd of non-acting union workers because you think in terms of building railway lines and not in connecting people with art. Employees of bureaucracies seem to focus solely on finding it in their budget to hire an assistant to their work for them which was given to them by their superior who was never assigned to do anything for the City but the budget of the department. How many people does it require to comprise of an art festival jury or to determine the winner of an annual grant? Why do I get a weekly newsletter about non-profit art organizations that only issue one grant per year but constantly announce new program titles and administrative hires to over see them which typically requires them to hire a social media intern, marketing assistant, blah blah blah.. communications specialist to write a new newsletter about all the meetings and conventions they are having for admins to talk about more hashtag catch phrases and niche minority demographics to branch into or specialize.

I've never known a theatre festival nor a film festival that was produced for picking winners or casting best of award placards. Is this norm or am I truly just that fringe of a human with a fringe career in art? I've yet to mention fringe science but there's a whole show on the subject with an IMDB and everything so #suckit

*pss.. when I use re instead or er for theater it means I'm referring to stagecraft opposed to cinema. example: Shakespeare is theatre, Spielberg makes movies for a silver screen that's hung in a theater.. usually I tend to not be pretentious and admit I'm American, not European but on rare occasions when it becomes necessary I instantly revert for distinction, as do all those who have been trained in acting or get paid to deal with actors

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