The 10th annual Atlanta Fringe Festival continues to elevate emerging artists
The Atlanta Fringe Festival is known for showcasing things off the beaten path, and this year they’re back in person celebrating their 10th anniversary. To discuss this year’s festival, which kicks off on May 16, Fringe Festival Executive Producer Diana Brown joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes via Zoom and one of their featured artists, Flora Le.
The 2022 Fringe Festival will showcase 20 theatrical performances from all over the country and 22 audio productions for Fringe Audio — a special network for audio theater and podcasting. This year, a new feature is Saturday morning’s family-friendly performances, open to the public for free. “That’s kind of our first theater for young audiences that we’ve ever done,” said Brown. “We haven’t really tried to welcome toddlers before, so I’m very excited about that.”
Flora Le presents a one-woman show, “Sadec 1965: A Love Story,” referencing the provincial city Sa Đéc in South Vietnam. “It’s a very important place in my show because it is where everything started back in 1965,” said Le. “It’s also where my six-week solo motorcycle trip ends and where the show ends … It brings the story full circle.”
In “Sadec 1965,” Le explores her own family history, from the catalytic moment of her mother and father’s first meeting as teens. She also delves into her father’s enigmatic personality. “He was a very mysterious and difficult man,” Le said, “and my show is about me trying to make sense of our relationship and going back to Vietnam to piece together the story of his life.”
Another featured show at this year’s Fringe mixes things up with an unexpected style of a reboot. “Five/5ths of Back to the Future” will present a retelling of the classic 1980s comedy “Back to the Future,” broken up into five sections. A different theater group will perform each section in their own reinterpretation. “It is my favorite show of all time,” said Brown. “They can be really free with it since people really know the story … They can kind of do whatever they want with their section, and then in one night, we come together and see the most unique retelling of all time.”
Brown explained her view on how the Fringe Festival managed to evolve over its 10 years in operation and counting continually. “We’re just a very artist-centric organization,” she said. “Our first priority is, what do the artists like about this? What do they want to change about it? What would they like to see more of? … Every year we’re just refining and refining and trying to make it the best that it can possibly be.”
Tickets and more information about the 2022 Atlanta Fringe Festival can be found at atlantafringe.org. The festival takes place May 16-22 at 7 Stages, Neighborhood Church and The Marianna.