The Sydney Fringe has announced The Essence of Fringe, a digital program that will be presented from 10 September – 1 October to support and create new opportunities for artists in the wake of the cancellation of the 2021 Festival. The program will feature nine highlight music and theatre events from the planned 2021 physical program, three Australian premieres by award-winning American performance artist Brian Feldman and two works by acclaimed Australian artist Jon Bennett, alongside a masterclass program of seminars and workshops focused on artist career development.
With both free and ticketed events, The Essence of Fringe forms part of Sydney Fringe’s ongoing advocacy work supporting the independent arts community affected by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic including its new We’ll Fringe Again fundraising campaign, which asks the community to ‘buy a ticket’ to the cancelled festival to support local artists via a programming fund for their 2022 festival.
Sydney Fringe CEO and Festival Director Kerri Glasscock said, “As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on our sector, Sydney Fringe knew it was important to bring our artists and audiences together digitally. The Essence of Fringe offers a glimpse into the incredible 2021 program, but more than that, it showcases the wide range of work we do all year-round supporting artists and organisations. We are delighted to be able to present this program of brilliant international and Sydney-made performances as well as important discussion and education opportunities. We hope that they can bring some relief to all those in lockdown as well as a fantastic opportunity for audiences to engage and support artists right from their living rooms.”
Drawing on the highly successful Global Fringe program in 2020, Sydney Fringe will present the Australian premieres of three live-streamed works by internationally acclaimed performance artist Brian Feldman, including #txtshow (on the internet), a live, interactive performance that takes place on Zoom, originating from Feldman’s home in Washington, D.C.; The Feldman Dynamic: Brekkie for Dinner, the Australian premiere and latest instalment of a long-running performance piece that sees Feldman virtually have dinner with his real-life family; and VFF, which explores friendship through one-hour video chats. Sydney Fringe will also present two works by celebrated Australian storyteller Jon Bennett, including How I learned to Hug and Fire in the Meth Lab.
The festival’s Made in Sydney will be held from 20 – 26 September. This program showcases new and celebrated tour-ready work by leading independent Sydney based theatre-makers including Weird Nest’s new dance work Infinite Item; Symphonie Fantastique, a dark symphony from the 1800s made contemporary by Little Eggs as a live queer theatre work exploring party-culture, psychedelia and violence; Live from Lockdown from Alice Terry and Billie McCarthy; physical theatre company Clockfire’s We, the lost company; and Oliver Mol’s part monologue, part performance art and part essay Train Lord.
Sydney Fringe will also include free concert program Fringe Ignite, Acoustic Ritual Fridays, The Women’s Club Meet the Artists Fringe Season, Festival of Professional Development and more.
Tickets for Sydney Fringe are now on sale. For full program details, visit sydneyfringe.com.