Issue: What can Hollywood Fringe Festival do to attract or to bring UK theatre companies?
Convener(s): Olya Petrakova
Participants: Clara Giraud, Caroline Peace, Flavia Fraser-Cannon, Karin Verbrugger, Jack Klaff, James Baker
Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:
The spirit of Hollywood Fringe was discussed. It has the vibe of underground ideology. What is it a Fringe to? Perhaps to so many common events that occur in Hollywood land, but that is not the main emphasis. There is something very human and real about the intentions of this festival: it is about Theatre today, about creating a ground for exchange for practitioners, and to celebrate performance arts of the world. The organizers of Hollywood Fringe Festival carry with them the principles of unavowable community.
• Montreal Fringe was brought up as an example to investigate. It is smaller than Edinburgh and has more focused attention on the participants. Lesser costs for theatre companies to incur. They also have a great opening night idea, where each participating theatre company has 1 minute to present a live “pre-view” of their performance.
• Attraction for UK companies would be the quality of professional exposure and fields of exchange (i.e. workshops, meetings, etc.)
• Edinburgh is a large Trade Fair, where presenters and funders come. Will this happen in Hollywood and how? Touring is a large concern for UK theatre companies that strive to maintain professional livelihood.
• The idea is to form “Brits in Hollywood” UK Theatre Initiative with British Council, to bring a few key UK companies to the Fringe. Olya will look into that.
• Hollywood Fringe may want to place an ad in the Arts News and Stage magazine. Write an article to expose its desire to have a larger international presence.
• There is a great new student magazine in UK, “ Belly Flop”. Is there one in Los Angeles? Way to attract young audiences.
• Awards are very important from reputable, internationally regarded sources. More research of other Fringes is necessary.
• Another resource to tap into is Prague Fringe. It started at the time when it was not yet part of the EU. Same organizers are still running it, and they have experience of attracting international companies and dealing with visas, etc.
• One of the issues that came up is Visas, etc. This is something that will need to have an expert in LA to guide theatre companies in the least costly and most efficient ways of travelling.
• Idea of a larger touring venture for UK companies, once they land on the “other “continent. Aligning with other Fringes in Northern America, or getting some venues interested in hosting them.
• Sponsorships for “Brits in Hollywood” from British based companies that conduct business in the United States or the other way around. Airline Sponsorships, if not free tickets, at least well-discounted.
• Accommodations. What kind of support may come from Los Angeles Theatre community? Fringe couch-surfing for artists. Domestic exchange. Support of basic needs to encourage this exchange.