X Marks the Spot for Cincy Fringe Festival

Get ready for a treasure hunt

May 27, 2009 at 2:06 pm

Starting Wednesday evening, you need to strap on a backpack with some snacks and a water bottle and head to Over-the-Rhine for the sixth annual Cincy Fringe Festival.

Fringe veterans know that the best way to enjoy this 12-day celebration of things theatrical and artistic is to come back again and again and see as much as possible. At the end of each evening, they stop by Know Theatre’s Underground Bar to compare notes with other festival junkies. And then they’re ready for the next day.

Professional actress Amy Warner (whose performance piece, The Edge, can be seen on five different evenings at Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati) says, “For the audience, the coolest thing about these festivals is that you get the sense of being one group of people. It’s like everyone in the audience, they’re all friends of yours. There’s this discussion that goes on about what’s good and what’s hot and what to avoid. Inhibitions are dropped because you’re all down there exploring. It’s kind of a treasure hunt.”

Most of the entries run less than an hour, which Warner says adds to the variety one can see on any given day.

“You’re not investing a lot of time in any one piece,” she says. “If you go for an afternoon and an evening, you’ll see three or four different things. One or two of them might be really good, and one or two of them might be not quite your thing, but that’s OK. You can take more risks as an audience member.”

Risky theater. That’s what the Fringe is about.

• Find previews of all 31 productions at CityBeat's Fringe Festival Central here. Reviews will be posted as soon as our writers (Julie York Coppens, Jane Durrell, Nicholas Korn, Tom McElfresh, Julie Mullins, Rodger Pille, Mark Sterner and myself) can attend performances.

• Read my overall preview of the 2009 Cincy Fringe Festival here.