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Theater

Response to Fringe festival good so far; applications still being taken

| Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

Some 30 theater companies and performers already have applied for a slot in Pittsburgh Fringe, the area's first fringe festival.

That's already more than co-founders Daniel Stiker and Xela Batchelder need for their quota of 20 events to fill the 60 performance slots next year in the festival that will run May 2 to 4 and 9 to 11 at multiple venues on and around Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside.

Modeling Pittsburgh Fringe after established festivals in cities such as Edinburgh, Scotland, and New York City, Stiker and Batchelder hope to provide a platform for the area's emerging theater artists and widen audience awareness of mid-size theater companies.

“I want people to be aware there are places where companies on the fringe of established theater can be seen,” Stiker says. “The impetus is to help middle-ground theaters.”

The theater groups he's thinking of are companies such as Off the Wall Theatre in Carnegie and 12 Peers Theatre, which performs at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, Downtown. These companies have a professional approach to performing but are either starting out or not widely known.

The deadline to apply for a festival slot is Jan. 1.

Although one or two groups might be chosen in advance, most of the festival participants will be chosen the evening of Jan. 16, from 6 to 8 p.m., when the un-juried names are drawn at random.

“This gives brand-new people a chance as well as (those more established),” Stiker says. “It's exciting and scary at the same time.”

Details about the festival and how to apply for a slot can be found at www.pittsburghfringe.org.

Alice T. Carter is the theater critic for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7808 or acarter@tribweb.com.

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