Thursday, December 22, 2011

word's on the street.

We have been getting lots of inquiries about applying to Fringe.  We're thinkin we're gonna fill up.  Fast.

Here's some words of wisdom for all our darling artists:

  St. Lou Fringe serves your art of choice.

Theatrical performers (actors, playwrites, directors, technicians), singers and musicians, Dancers, performance artists (movement, spoken word, slam), Vaudeville (circus, burlesque, mime, clowning), fashion and design, young audience performers, buskers/street performers...

Yeah. We want you.

 St. Lou Fringe proudly supports self-producing artists' growth and potential for success.  100% of ticket sales is returned to artists (60% to the performing artist 40% to supporting artists, such as designers).  Festival producers do not receive any royalties from future performances.

 St. Lou Fringe provides unbiased support to all self-producing artists.  In order to do so, STLF does not make any determinations based on content.  Selections are entirely uncensored and unjuried.  Productions are selected on a first-come, first-served basis.  Applications must be filled out correctly and completely to be considered.

 Performance submissions must follow these guidelines:
  • Performances no longer than 50 minutes
  • Tech that can be reasonably accommodated
  • Production fees, if any, (royalties, AEA performance contracts, etc) are the personal cost of the producing artist
  • Applications accepted no earlier than January 15 at 12:00am and no later than March 15, 2012

 How it works:
  1. You apply. You don't even have to know for sure what your show is...just that you're going to commit to doing one. The first 30 applications are accepted (20 from local artists, 10 from out-of-towners).
  2. You decide how many shows:
    • 2 shows for $85
    • 3 shows for $115
    • 4 shows for $150
    • Production cost due within five days of your official notice of acceptance into the festival.
  1. You do your thang, and walk away with 60% of ticket sales at the door.

What does your production fee get you?
  • Festival branding and marketing/publicity
  • Performance space, including tech, for 2-4 performances over a four day period
  • Professional staff, house managers, and technicians
  • Additional benefits for participating productions (discounted access to other productions, invites to private parties and events, etc)
  • 60% of door ticket sales

Performance space is assigned based on technical needs, and lottery if necessary.

Special needs and accommodations will be considered, are addressed professionally, and may be discussed with Festival staff at any time. 

Frequently Asked Questions
What if I'm not one of the first 30?
We have a wait list that artists are placed on in order in which application is received. If another production pulls out, violates STLF policy/regulations, or is otherwise ineligible to perform, then the first artist on the wait list will be notified.

Also, entries that are not one of the first 30 are eligible for Fringe d' Fringe performances! If it will work for your production, we're happy to help coordinate for you to do a single performance at a side venue within the greater Midtown area. We also will have busking on the festival grounds – if you can do your piece on the street, feel free to take it there.

I can't pay the production cost up front.
For a very limited number of productions, we can arrange payment plans. Remember, though, that production costs are what's used to ensure that your venue is well equipped, that marketing is solid, and that everything is set in place for you so that you can do your show worry-free.

How many people will see my show?
STLF will market the festival and get people on the grounds. It's up to you to market your production! Feel free to make fliers and posters, send out invites, and talk yourself up. We'll provide you with a STLF logo and a spot on our website.

Wait, it's a five day festival...why are there only four performance dates?
The fifth day of the festival is our HANGOVER DAY. After a whirlwind of art and madness, we will cap it off with...more art and madness. Abridged fan favorite productions, parodies, and festivities galore will bring us to a close for the season, and launch us towards a Year of Fringe in StL.

More questions? Bug us all you like: or 314-643-7853(STLF).

Thursday, December 15, 2011

it. goes. LIVE.


The streets of St. Louis will transform into a stage for the ST. LOU FRINGE Festival for the first time this summer. Slated for the last weekend of June 2012, the first annual St Lou Fringe Festival will take to the streets on the fringes of Grand Center, and in the Locust Business District.

The festival will be a five-day immersion in cutting edge performing arts, connecting brave artists with bold audiences. Organizers expect to welcome over one hundred performances by thirty local and national companies. "We are excited to see passionate artists converge to create an explosive pressure cooker of artistic expression," says festival Executive Director Em Piro.

Characterized by their original, accessible, uncensored and rapid-fire nature, and because of the enormous success of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, Fringe Festivals having been popping up around the globe. With the founding of ST. LOU FRINGE, St. Louis will join the ranks of metropolitan cultural hotspots like New York, LA, New Orleans, Orlando, Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City. St Lou Fringe is a member of the United States Association of Fringe Festivals.

Piro sees the need for fringe productions in ­St. Louis. “The response to the festival has been inspiring, even this early,” she says. “We've been approached by artists, patrons, and arts organizations eager to get involved – even people overhearing us at our planning meetings. It just assures me that St. Louis is ready and ripe for a major, collaborative arts event like this.”

Fringes are traditionally considered theater festivals, but often also include dance, music, comedy, slam/spoken word, performance art, fashion, vaudeville, burlesque, or circus arts. Patrons can pop into half-a-dozen shows on any given night to experience something new while street performers roam the festival grounds. “We want a true festival atmosphere,” says Piro. Crowds are entertained with fire dancing, aerial arts, music, poetry, guerrilla theater, urban break-dancing, capoeira, juggling, street improv, or anything else that will dazzle spectators.

Grand Center and the Locust Business District are partnering for the first time to host the Fringe Festival. “We wanted to work with both Grand Center and the Locust Business District because of the opportunity for creative and economic growth, and so that we could literally be on the fringes of the ‘Intersection of Art and Life,’” says Piro. The event boasts an unusual variety of performance spaces. Four central venues will anchor the festival grounds while restaurants, bars, shops, small businesses and street corners also become stages.

Piro has teamed up with some of the city’s most influential arts enthusiasts to create Fringe on St. Louis soil. She is the co-founder of the theatre collective Glass Monsters, a St. Patrick Center counselor and the 2008 recipient of the Grand Center Visionary Award for Outstanding Young Artist. Planning Committee members include Steve Isom (founder of the Kevin Kline Awards), Joe Hanrahan (Marketing Director of The Black Rep), Billy Croghan (founder of the St. Louis Songwriter’s Association), Tara Daniels (STLTV), Dianna Thomas (The Chapel: Sanctuary for the Arts, Glass Monsters), Robert Strasser (The Tin Ceiling Theatre), Luke Lindbergh (Flux Art/Theatre), Phillip Allen Coan (independent director), Andrew Miller (independent artist), and Carolyn Schopp (St. Patrick Center).  Committee advisors include Katie Kappel (Locust Business District), Travis Howser (Grand Center, Inc), Rachel Tibbetts (Prison Performing Arts, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble), Ed Reggie (St. Louis (improv) Festival), Todd Schaeffer (The WAPP), Kyle Cunningham (Code Incarnate Technologies), Chi-Wen Lee (independent artist), John Corbett (St. Louis Busking Festival) Christy Timberlake (independent designer), and Amy Ziegler (legal counsel). Organizations partnered with the festival to date include Grand Center, Inc, Locust Business District, Circus Flora and Fractured Atlas.

Local and national performers are encouraged to apply early for a space at the festival. Whether you are a seasoned pro or an untapped talent, now is the time to unveil the show you’ve been dreaming about. Like other USAFF and CAFF festivals, ST. LOU FRINGE is 100% unjuried, 100% uncensored, 100% accessible. Open submissions begin at midnight on January 15. Applications and guidelines can be found on the website.

STLF needs the support of arts patrons and local businesses to make the festival a success. St. Louis businesses and organizations are asked how they could partner effectively and creatively with STLF to nurture our creative economy together. Potential donors and sponsors are encouraged to contact Em Piro at 314-643-7853(STLF). St Lou Fringe is a registered non-profit with the State
of Missouri.

For more information, please visit

# # #

For press inquiries, contact
Em Piro
St. Lou Fringe Executive Director

Friday, December 9, 2011

A Healthy Needy Greed

St Lou Fringe is officially open to receive donations.  We can accept checks to "St Lou Fringe," and tax write offs are available.

Help us make this Fringe biz happen in our lovely, dusty, lively, fanatic home!  Every cent will go straight to working artists, to building the creative economy, to enriching the scene for brave artists and bold audiences. 

Because with strong financial support, we won't have to run around all the time looking like this:

Contact Fringe at 314/643-STLF with inquiries.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Look, Papa Gepetto! We're a REAL org!

I never thought I'd be so excited to get mail from the IRS. 

Even though we were approved a month ago for all the basic paperwork to establish St. Lou Fringe as a formal non-profit organization in the State of Missouri, the actual receipt of a letter from Robin Carnahan with the Great Seal (complete with duelling bears) and a sparse letter typed in courrier from the IRS still give the giddies.

We are confident in our work, thrilled at the support we've been receiving from all sides.  Seeing an actual paper trail forming, tangible documentation of our ideas and work going into action, are liberating.

And so, as we sup over cheese, obscure meats and microbrews, we grow closer to formal partnerships and final details.

And once those are hashed...yep, that's when the fun really begins.