Monday, August 28, 2006

It’s Monday morning, my best friend is in the New York Times and I have an idea.

Oh, I’m sort of new by the way – Kari G., audience development manager, local actor and a refugee from Los Angeles. Nice to meet you. You look lovely. That tie/blouse/pajama top really brings out your eyes.

I have spent my whole life in the theater and film industries, at 31 I have already vested into my pension with the Screen Actors Guild. But before I figure out how I’m going to spend my $84.37 monthly allotment, I have a little bit more art in me.

Back in the glory days of theater school, when we were young, fair, fit and had livers of steel, my best friend John Pinckard and I knew we would be rich, famous, and take pleasure in being deliciously cruel to the miserable lovers in our lives who failed to see our greatness and dumped us (usually in exotic locals like a filthy pool hall in Gainesville, FL).

Almost ten years later, I open the Sunday arts section of the New York Times, only to find out that there are some former paramours of John who might want to get comfortable with the phrase, “Pucker up, buttercup.”

His idea? Why not take the best shows of the NYC Fringe Festival (now celebrating 10 years of showcasing bizarre, twisted, controversial and hilarious original productions) and give them an opportunity to extend the life of their show? Brilliant!

Fringe is only a festival after all, and often the most interesting and popular shows sell out before the population at large can enjoy them. Good buzz on a Fringe production can mean that the allotted six or so performances each production is given sells out almost immediately.

My brilliant best friend John lays out his vision for FringeNYCEncorse in the Arts section of the New York Times!

Ten of the audiences’ and critics’ favorites from the current festival will run in repertory at two downtown theaters through Sept. 24 in what the organizers, Britt Lafield and John Pinckard, say will become an annual showcase called FringeNYC Encores. For the Fringe, this provides another opportunity for its shows to be noticed by producers and earn a possible commercial transfer.

What a great idea for Tampa! Why can’t every local theater company get together at the end of the year and remount our favorite (or most successful) production(s) in rep for a couple of weeks? Patrons can purchase a single pass, good for all shows and then, let the encores begin!

Sure, it would be a logistical nightmare. Sure, there are a million reasons why we shouldn’t. Sure, we have limited resources. But on a Monday morning, over a really bad cup of coffee, I’m just going to sit and dream. An encore presentation of the best of local theater…


I should probably answer some of my voice mail.

- Kari G.

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