When I moved from Hartford to Seattle in April of 1994 (a day or two before Kurt Cobain’s death), I knew Seattle was the perfect, exciting and creative place to get into the theater scene. At that time theater, film and television productions were growing by leaps and bounds. The recent college graduates, and those who bypassed L.A. for work in the entertainment industry, were establishing new fringe theater companies. While in Seattle I got involved with International Seattle Fringe Festival by first working in the administrative office. I had never heard of a fringe festival. It was based on the same premise of the Granddaddy of all fringe festivals - The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Edinburgh's festival has been in existence for over 70 years, and is where theater companies come from all over Great Britain, Europe, and around the world to perform. I was so excited to be a part of this creative outlet that I was inspired to present my first play, A Fine Line. The next year I joined the festival and had so much fun that I did the festival four more times.
I dreamed that when I moved back East that I would bring this type of a performing arts festival to Hartford. It would introduce new and established local and out-of-state artists on a platform dedicated to creating adventurous new works. After working on other theater projects under my production company Pearwater Productions for 19 years, we decided to initiate our first Hartford Fringe Festival. It was well worth the wait to bring to Greater Hartford area this exciting venture.
Hopefully next year we’ll be able to expand this festival to other venues around Asylum Hill. In the meantime, enjoy the first annual Hartford Fringe Festival!
Artistic Director/Founder of the Hartford Fringe Festival and Pearwater Productions
WHEN IS THE HARTFORD FRINGE FESTIVAL?
October 17-26, 2019
WHERE IS THE HARTFORD FRINGE FESTIVAL?
The Carriage House Theatre, 365 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT 06105
The Carriage House Theatre is operated by HartBeat Ensemble and is located directly across the street from The Mark Twain House & Museum and adjacent to Immanuel Congregational Church.
WHAT IS A FRINGE FESTIVAL?
The first Fringe was in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1947. Theater groups not invited to the famed Edinburgh Arts Festival organized their own happening along outskirts of town - or the ‘fringe’. This edgier work soon surpassed the original festival’s popularity as audiences championed bold, daring work from across the spectrum. The United States is home to more fringe festivals than any other country.
Hartford has a long and distinguished history of theatre dating back to its heyday in the late 19th/early 20th century. Today, Hartford is the home to several amazing professional theatres, but those spaces are oftentimes unavailable or too expensive for smaller companies or individual artists. The Hartford Fringe Festival seeks to make a stage and resources available to performers from throughout the region. In addition, HFF will present dozens of performances that show audiences the wealth of talent that can be drawn to Hartford.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PEARWATER PRODUCTIONS AND JEFFREY KAGAN-McCANN.