The Fringe Alternative Incubator (FATI) provides artists with the opportunity to take their productions to the next level and inspires new works by producing mini-events that couple successful Fringe Festival shows with new commissions. FATI provides artists with training and opportunities to take their productions to the next level and inspires new works by producing mini-events that couple successful Fringe Fest shows with new commissions.
How FATI started
When we first launched the New Orleans Fringe Festival in 2008, we were astounded by the enthusiastic response from the audience, performers and community. Attendance was almost double what we expected and the feedback was very positive. While we knew we had a lot to improve, it was clear that we were providing New Orleans and Louisiana with theater that people want and opportunities that artists need.
We thought a lot about how the Fringe can create more opportunities like the Festival and how we can get more people involved in Fringe. So we created a vision that embraces the Fringe Festival and takes it further. That vision is the Fringe Alternative Theater Incubator (FATI for short): a year-round effort to catalyze innovative, challenging, excellent original theater, with the Festival as the flagship event. The FATI concept resonates with the artistic community, and it has established Fringe as an organization with a vision beyond the Festival.
FATI in 2011
FATI activities in 2011 include the launch of Interstate Fringe, where New Orleans Fringe teamed up with Houston Fringe to present a two-weekend two-city lineup of shows from both towns. Audiences saw the return of two hugely successful shows from the New Orleans Fringe, including the outrageously funny “Our Man” by Goat in the Road Productions and the passionate, beautiful and clever “The Divine Feminine” by Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre. Houston Fringe brought two of their own audience favorites with “Yes, Cassandra”, the wrenching introspections of the doomed priestess, and “Rogue Improv”, inventive, side-splitting one-of-kind group improv.. All four pieces were presented in New Orleans March 18-19 and then the following weekend, March 25 and 26, the same lineup appeared in Houston on the stages of FrenetiCore, the host of the Houston Fringe.
FATI activities also included the third annual Adult Petting Zoo, June 11-19, when Desiree Burch, New York writer, performer, and alt-comedy diva, returned for an encore performance of the 2010 New Orleans Fringe hit 52 Man Pick-Up, coupled with 5 local performances.
The Pack the House Promotions Workshop, September 11, brought hands-on practical training in do-it-yourself promotions to 40 Fringe artists. 8 experts in media and promotions provide their insights for three hours in a panel and break-out group format.
FATI in 2010
FATI activities in 2010 include remounting successful Fringe productions throughout the year, providing training workshops for Fringe artists, and getting theater in front of people who do not usually get to see it. We remounted Adult Petting Zoo, with all new performances, May 6-8, featuring the Fringe hit Rigorous Disco of Doom with five new commissioned pieces by artists Goat in the Road Productions, Skin Horse Theater, Gabrielle Reisman, Monique Moss and Alyson Perry.
In June 2010 FATI heard that Antonio Garza was planning on taking his 2008 Fringe show Men in Uniform on the road to tell Arizonans what it is like to grow up hassled by authorities who did not think he looked American enough. We could not imagine a more site-specific way to take a great solo show with a powerful political message to audiences who need to hear it. So FATI offered to provide Antonio with backstopping support to help him out. FATI provided publicity, online fundraising and a fundraiser event at the Shadowbox theater on June 25 that raised needed resources and generated media attention. See the article in the Gambit here: Men in Uniform - Gambit, June 24, 2010 - Antonio Garza, New Orleans Fringe, FATI and "How can we nurture the arts in a more powerful way?", by Jennifer Kilbourne.
In September 2010, Fringe will hold workshops on theater promotion to benefit Fringe performers as they gear up for the Festival.
For the November 2010 Festival, Fringe launched its Audience Development and Access Program (A-DAP), which underwrites free tickets to be distributed to underserved populations in New Orleans. ADAT is line item in the Fringe budget, and Fringe is also searching for counterpart funds to increase the reach to make sure that everyone who wants to see theater, can.
We are also gearing up for Fresh-Air Fringe, where Fringe produces outdoor productions in parks in under-served neighborhoods in New Orleans. Date and location to be announced!
See the Gambit article on FATI: Men in Uniform - Gambit, June 24, 2010 - Antonio Garza, New Orleans Fringe, FATI and "How can we nurture the arts in a more powerful way?", by Jennifer Kilbourne
First FATI Activities in 2009
With the support of the Louisiana Cultural Economy Foundation, we piloted two FATI activities in 2009, including the Adult Petting Zoo (held March 12-14), a mini-Fringe event that showcased a successful Fringe show Sex Crimes Cabaret with several new works with challenging mature content. The Fringe Encore (July30-August 1) presented an evening of puppet-themed performances of several types, showcasing the Fringe Festival success The Tragical Ballad of Black Bonnet with a FATI commissioned new work by Ratty Scurvics, The Legend of Suzy Sidesaddle. Turnout to the events was excellent, with a total of 450 in attendance. FATI events generated $4000 for performers and $1500 for cultural workers such as designers and technicians.