City Cast

3 Questions With: The Founder of DC Fringe Festival

Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Kaela Cote-Stemmermann
Posted on July 7
“This is What You Look Like - explode the form.” (Courtesy of Capital Fringe)

“This is What You Look Like - explode the form.” (Courtesy of Capital Fringe)

The District’s annual Fringe Festival is coming back to Georgetown from July 12 - 23 with over 40 shows and 300 artists. From shadow puppetry to one-woman burlesque shows, there is truly something for everyone. We asked its founding director Julianne Brienza what we can expect this year and what shows to see.

Each performance is $15 and runs for 50 – 75 minutes.

There are SO MANY shows. How would you recommend people find the right ones for them?

“Search by genre on the Fringe site. If you like funny things – comedy is a good bet. If musicals are your thing – search musicals. For serious things – drama. If you just want to listen to music – the music genre is for you!”

Why is Fringe Festival important to D.C.'s theater scene, and what types of shows can we expect?

“Fringe is often the first job many have when they move to DC and work in technical theater. It is a way to meet others in the community and is a place where local and touring performers get to try out new ideas in a non-gate-keeping environment.

This year’s productions explore everything from drama grappling with dementia to the comedic relief of stand-up performances. There is a new two-person Romeo & Juliet, stories influenced by Indigenous, Black, Queer, and Femme perspectives, and a musical deep dive into bluegrass music.”

“Attack on Tongorono.” (Courtesy of Capital Fringe)

“Attack on Tongorono.” (Courtesy of Capital Fringe)

Any advice for making the most of the experience?

“Don’t be too judgy! Which can be hard in D.C. Know that the show you see might not be the most polished. Being polished is not the point of Fringe! The show(s) you choose will offer you ideas and stories that are raw and authentic. Be sure to chat with others in the audience. Fringe is a great, relaxed environment to meet new and old friends. Also, all the music is free at Powerhouse!”

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