Alternative Independent Creative Bold
By Kathleen B. Lowenstein
Fringe San Miguel Performing Arts Festival will return for its second year February 20-28, 2015. Fringe San Miguel is the first bilingual Fringe in Latin America and the only one in Mexico.
Fringe festivals offer audiences the chance to experience fresh, original, experimental performances and to celebrate the uninhibited creativity of emerging, innovative artists. Another key element of the Fringe philosophy is maintaining accessibility to a diverse community.
The first Fringe happened spontaneously in Edinburgh in 1947, on the “fringe” of the established Edinburgh International Festival. It is now the largest arts festival in the world, and in August 2014 was host to 3,193 shows in 299 venues. The concept of Fringe is contagious—today, 270 different Fringe festivals can be found in cities on five continents. All of these festivals are independent, but they share a common commitment to a new generation of artists, a passion for original and alternative performance, a lack of censorship, and a celebration of diversity, creativity, and accessibility. A few highlights of the program for Fringe San Miguel 2015 include:
Juana la Larga: A cabaret performance by Jesusa Rodríguez, one of Mexico’s most important living performance artists, and her long-time partner, Liliana Felipe, an internationally recognized singer and composer.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit: Forbidden to leave his native Iran, Nassim Soleimanpour wrote this play, which traveled the world in his place. Every performance is unique with a different performer each night and a script in a sealed envelope on stage. This internationally acclaimed show is a potent reminder of the transgressive and transformative power of theater.
Fringe San Miguel has various programs with year-round activities, in addition to the nine-day festival.
An annual program of co-productions and original productions that supports the work of recognized talents in the world of Mexican theater. This year there will be two productions: El Año de Ricardo, co-production with La Fábrica Teatro of Querétaro, written by Ángelica Liddell, adapted and directed by Alonso Barrera, starring María Aura and Juan Velázquez Blanco; and Desde el callejón, co-produced, written and directed by Erando Gonzalez, also starring Citlalli Muñoz and Montserrat Verdugo. Both shows will be performed at Fringe San Miguel 2015.
A special event during the festival, a day of free outdoor performances scheduled for Sunday, February 22, 2015. This event is dedicated to the community; a day for families to enjoy theater, dance, and other performances together. Local vendors will participate and set up stands selling food and drinks to create a festive, carnival-like atmosphere. We have selected street performing groups from our submissions to perform at this event and will welcome local performers to join in as well.
This program includes performing arts training workshops, and the development of new plays. In this year’s festival, there will be seven different workshops during the week. Highlights include a cabaret workshop taught by Jesusa Rodríguez, a modern dance workshop taught by Danza Viral member Andrea Holguín, and a movement workshop for actors taught by Vicky Araico Casas.