Culture Worthy of Your Calendar: Pull on that FRINGE … NOW!

by Josh Garrick / May 17, 2010 / 0 comments

Culture Worthy of Your Calendar: Pull on that FRINGE … NOW!

Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival
I told you it was coming – to set aside time for the hundreds of performances that make up the excitement of FRINGE at Loch Haven Park (where it takes place) -- 12 days (May 20 to 31) of theatre, art, dance, music, and madness. 


FRINGE is Orlando’s craziest and most inventive theatre festival with:
Theatre – 70 different theater (using the term loosely) companies, each in multiple performances with everything from stand-up comedy to dance to improv to intense drama.  And at this Festival, ALL shows start on time, and there is NO late entry!
Fine Art – Called “Visual Fringe” and curated by the uber-fabulous Anna McCambridge, is a real (and varied) (and FREE) art exhibit in the halls of the theater.
KidsFringe – each Saturday and Sunday, all KidsFringe events are FREE, and they’re about education and fun for Kids Pre-K to 5th grade.

Purchase tickets at or at the Fringe Box Offices located inside the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre and the Orlando REP, where you may also purchase your Fringe Button. (To attend FRINGE, ya gotta have a button!) Box Office hours are weekends from 10 am to midnight and weekdays from 4 pm to midnight.  

Hats off to Beth Marshall, Producing Director of Orlando Fringe for making this all happen.  If you can imagine managing even one theatre company, just TRY and imagine keeping 70 ‘experimental’ groups on a tight schedule!  Put simply, she is a miracle.
Visit for the full schedule … and so much more.

One of 70 Productions
The biggest question facing FRINGE’s audience is WHICH of the 70 shows should we see?  I can answer that question for at least one of the shows, because it features Orlando’s BEST Director; it stars Orlando’s BEST Actress; and is written by one of Orlando’s BEST theatre writers.  That one show is … Peg O’Keef Fixes the World – starring the real Peg O'Keef in a hilarious "time-traveling tour-de-farce" written by Orlando Weekly's own Steve Schneider and directed by the omnipresent John DiDonna.


Peg O’Keef Fixes the World

Mr. Schneider has found (in our Ms. Peg) the “one woman in all of time who could change the course of history,” and fortunately, Ms. Peg is available to take on said task.

Ms. Peg will save our world on Friday May 21st @ 7:10pm, Saturday May 22nd @ 7:30pm, Sunday May 23rd @ 4:50pm, Tuesday May 25th @ 10:30pm, Saturday May 29th @ 1:40pm, and Sunday May 30th @ 7:10pm.  
I put all those times in so you could see how FRINGE theatre happens at all hours!  Performances take place at the Lowndes Shakespeare Center; Tickets at or at onsite Fringe box offices in Loch Haven Park.



Frank’s Frogs
Local artist Frank Beifus, a former scenic painter with Disney’s Animal Kingdom, has a major fascination with frogs, and he’s had the distinction of having his paintings exhibited at the Columbus and San Diego Zoos.  Now his colorful paintings of multi-colored frogs are displayed at the Orlando Science Center right next to 20 species of the real thing. Beifus takes what you cannot see with the naked eye and paints magnified versions of tiny ‘Poison Dart Frogs,’ capturing every detail of the creatures.

And since you’ll have extra time between Fringe performances at Loch Haven Park, this is a great time to view Frank’s art with a visit to the Science Center. Frank’s paintings will be on display until September 3rd, which makes them a perfect summer “fun-learning” experience for the little ones as well. You may view Beifus’ paintings with admission to the Science Center’s four floors of exhibits. Call 407.514.2000 or visit



Orlando Hosts HUGE Travel Show
It’s an often unspoken fact that, living in Central Florida, the fate of our Arts community is intrinsically tied to the fate of the tourism industry.  Nowhere is this more obvious than in the can’t-be-soon-enough ground breaking for our much-needed new PERFORMING ARTS CENTER! (A significant part of the new Center is supposed to be paid for by tourist tax dollars.) The good news is that the Orlando/Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau just hosted the U.S. Travel Association's International Trade Show at the Orange County Convention Center.  With more than 5,000 delegates from 90 countries, the OCVB estimates that Orlando should receive sales of $400 million over the next three years – directly from the show. Hooray and Hallelujah! The show is the travel industry's largest generator of international travel to the United States.  Should you wish to give them a personal ‘congrats’ for a job well done, send your note to Brian Martin, communications director at brian.martin[at]



Josh Garrick is the Florida Arts Editor for Wandering Educators