The Orlando Fringe Festival had a banner year, its first under new producer Michael Marinaccio — breaking several records.
More than $250,000 was earned by the performers this year, an all-time high, reports Fringe general manager George Wallace. That's sharply up from last year's earnings of $190,153. Individual productions receive all of the money from ticket sales. Although the maximum price for tickets was raised $1 this year, to a maximum of $11, that big a jump in total revenue still means many more tickets were sold to the more than 80 Fringe shows at Loch Haven Park.
Another huge number: More than 10,000 patrons attended Kids' Fringe, the free weekend event aimed at children. Kids' Fringe expanded its activities this year, under the leadership of Genevieve Bernard, and moved to a new location outside the Mennello Museum of American Art.
Other signs of what Fringe officials expect to be record-breaking attendance: Sixty shows sold out during the run of the 13-day Fringe. And more than 20 pieces of artwork in the Visual Fringe were sold.
Final attendance and other sales figures have yet to be calculated, but Fringe officials estimate attendance will be at least 30 percent higher than last year, when about 25,000 people took part in some show or event at the Fringe.
The Fringe handed out its awards Sunday night in an outdoor ceremony at the park. Previously called the Fabbys, they now have the more descriptive name of the Closing Night Awards.
The biggest winners of the night were Terry Olson, director of Orange County Arts & Affairs, and Wallace, the Fringe general manager.
Olson, a longtime supporter of the Fringe, was presented a lifetime achievement award named in his honor — so future recipients will receive the Terry Olson Lifetime Achievement Award.
Wallace received the Beth Marshall Spirit of the Fringe award. It was named in honor of the Fringe's former producer, who helped stabilize the finances of the festival during her eight-year tenure and oversaw moving the downtown festival to the more comfortable facilities in Loch Haven Park.
Here are the other award winners:
• Most Tickets Sold: Wanzie Presents' "Celebrity Squares"
• Marketing Award: "Little Shop of Horrors"
• Visual Fringe Award: Anna McCambridge-Thomas
• Kids' Fringe Award: Genevieve Bernard
• High Tech Award: "Dog Powered Robot"
• Low Tech Award: "Tangled Ribbons"
• Tech Appreciation Award: Heather Sladick
• Staff Appreciation Award: Carla Davis, box office; and James Wolf, information technology
• George Award: Tod Caviness and Michael Wanzie
• New Producer Award: Lindsay Taylor, for "Lil' Women a Rap Musical"
• Veteran Producer Award: Screw You Entertainment, for "The Screw You Revue Presents Lady Winifred for President"
• Naked Award: "Skill Focus: Burlesque Does Fringe"
• Over and Above Award: Nicole Ledbetter
• Adrienne Blattner Patron Award: Shirley Peters and Christopher Pain
• Mary Lou Rucker Volunteer Excellence Award: Paige Muscello
• Barry Miller Board of Directors Excellence Award: Kevin BanksCopyright © 2015, CT Now