11th Annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival comes to a close – Another year of growth for the 2014 Festival

The eleventh annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival came to a close on June 7th after another year of growth in both attendance and quality of productions. The 2014 Festival featured 34 productions (30 Performance Fringe and 4 FringeNext) as well as 7 special events.

“Once again, we’re reminded that the City of Cincinnati loves its Fringe Festival”, says Eric Vosmeier Outgoing Producing Artistic Director.  “We saw increases in almost every measurable category and the feedback we’ve received so far from our artists has been outstanding.”

2014 Cincinnati Fringe Festival by the numbers:

  • Attendance was 8,777, an increase of 4% over last year’s attendance
  • The Festival featured 157 total performances
  • Average attendance at productions was 55.9, the highest in Festival history, and among the highest nationally among Fringe Festivals
  • A record number of 41 performances sold out, or 26% of all performances
  • Single ticket sales increased 12%
  • Full frontal sales reached an all-time record, with an increase of 5.5%

Vosmeier adds, “We were delighted to see so many single ticket buyers this year. This is a number that generally indicates new attendees trying out a show or two. In the past we’ve realized that single ticket increases in one year, generally leads to pass sales increasing in the following year as those first time buyers come back for a few extra shows. The continued growth of the Festival is directly tied to finding new audiences and we’re pleased that this year’s sales indicate that we saw a whole bunch of newbies this year.”

Audience members travelled from Dayton, San Francisco, Columbus, Indianapolis, Atlanta, Toledo, Lexington, Bloomington, Louisville, Minneapolis, Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago and Juneau, AK.

This year’s Festival involved artists not only from Cincinnati, but the whole of the United States: Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Jonesborough, Tennessee; Chicago, Illinois; New York, New York; Lexington, Kentucky; Cleveland, Ohio; Indianapolis, Indiana; Tucson, Arizona, and more; and around the world: Liverpool and London, United Kingdom and Tel Aviv, Israel, Overall, more than 230 artists from around the world performed their at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival.

The fourth annual FringeNext series included four incredible performances produced and presented by Greater Cincinnati area high school students. FringeNext is aimed at providing opportunity to the next generation of artists. FringeNext featured productions from Newport Central Catholic High School, theSchool for Creative & Performing Arts with guest artists from Anderson High SchoolSt. Xavier High School, and Highlands High School.

This year’s FringeDevelopment provided opportunities for the artists involved in the Festival to work together and collaborate on other productions and the development of new works. Fringe veteran Kevin Thornton workshopped and performed a new show, Bryyann Loves You and Animal Engine from NYC returned to workshop and perform Dog Show. Both shows enjoyed near sell-out performances. In addition, two workshops were held for the general public with and OTRimprov workshop and Rebecca Kling’s Being an Awesome Ally to the Transgender Community. Artists presented and attended workshops on storytelling, dancing, yoga, and more!

Special Events
Special events included True Theatre’s second annual presentation of trueFRINGE, featuring artists and staff from this year’s Festival. Improvisational comedy was represented with Jackson Street Market group and Know Theatre’s house improv troupe OTRimprov’s performance . Ensemble Theatre’s intern company produced Crumble by Sheila Callaghan and Authorial Intent by Itamar Moses and New Edgecliff Theatre produced Tragedy: a tragedy.  Kevin Thornton hosted a showcase with his stand-up comedy class that also featured fellow artist Paul Strickland.

The Fringe Bar Series
The Bar Series provided a post-show gathering place for the community of artists, staff, volunteers and audience members at Know Theatre’s Underground every night after the performances. Kicked-off each night with the Channel Fringe Hard-Hitting Action News Update, the evening followed with themes such as the Fringe Olympics, Preview Night, Night without Technology, Segway Night, Fringe Prom, Fringetoberfest, Craft Cocktails Night, Game Night, and Fringe-A-Oke. Guests enjoyed food generously provided by local restaurants; Arnold’s Bar & Grill, Washington Platform, Madisono’s Gelato, Shanghai Mama’s, Lavomatic, A Tavola, Bouchard’s, Venice on Vine, and Avril Bleh and Sons. Food trucks WAFFO, Eclectic Comfort Food, and Hungry joined the festivities as well.

Visual Fringe
The Visual Fringe this year involved a mural created by Higher Level Art’s mural artists, Jules Itzkoff, Robby Burgess, Eric Lowenstein, and Matthew Dayler on the North Wall of Know Theatre of Cincinnati.

2014 Picks of the Fringe
At the closing night awards and celebration, many Fringe productions were recognized as Picks of the Fringe. See below for productions recognized:

Critics’ Pick of the Fringe – Sarge from Clifton Performance Theater
Artists’ Pick of the Fringe – Slut Shaming from Trey Tatum
Linda Bowen Full Frontal Pick of the Fringe – Traffick from Pones Inc.
Audience FringeNext Pick of the Fringe – Ikelus from Next Step Productions
Audience Pick of the Fringe – BLOGGING BEHIND BARS from Unity Productions
Dr. Robert J. Thierauf Producers’ Pick of the Fringe – Around Dark Matter from Mica Dvir AND Traffick from Pones Inc.

Vosmeier says, “We were so proud of the work of all of our Fringe Artists this year, but especially the local producers. They dominated this year’s Picks showing once again, that the performance scene in Cincinnati continues to get stronger and stronger.”

Of producing his last Cincinnati Fringe Festival, Vosmeier adds, “As I’ve said a number of times, I feel so privileged to have had the chance to work on this extraordinary event, and to run Know Theatre. This place has become my home and the staff my surrogate family. I will miss this place and these people more than I can express.”

“I look forward to coming to Know Theatre as a patron and seeing what kinds of innovations Andrew and the crew will be pushing forward. He’s always been my choice for taking the helm of this organization and I’m anxious to watch Know Theatre evolve and improve under his creative leadership. Know Theatre is poised to accomplish some amazing things and I have complete confidence that Andrew will pilot the ship in exciting and surprising directions. I can’t wait to sit in the audience and watch the show.”