Fringe 101

a message from the SF Fringe Production Manager

Fringe Performers, Cast and Crew should read this carefully and often.

1. It’s never too early to GET ON Fringe Time. See #2 & #3 for more detail.

2. You are guaranteed 15 minutes for load in, 15 for load out. You cannot NEED more. If you are fortunate enough to get more – even once – well then… hoorah.

3. Your show must end on time. You have a 60 minute time slot and if your show runs over 59 minutes and 60 seconds, your Festival provided technician is given the responsibility to cut the stage lights and/or open the house. You must not run over your allotted time, even by a minute. Please make sure to time your show before you reach the festival.

4. You MUST provide your own stage manager (different from the Fringe provided technician outlined in #5 below) so that tragedies such as those hinted at in #2 and #3 are leapt over. You may ask, “Do I have to provide my own S.M.? (my show is very simple/I’m coming from Bulgaria/I find no one who’ll work for free/etc.)”. I understand your concerns, but it is very important to have someone committed to your show, other than you. If you are concerned about providing a stage manager, please talk to me early and we will come up with the best solution together.

5. The Fringe provides you with ONE technician. This person is responsible for operating your lights unless you make prior arrangements with me. That is where their job description ends. Any other operators (i.e. SOUND, PROJECTIONS) are supplied by YOU. You will most often find that (while I don’t advocate that you EXPECT this) the technician will be more than willing to pitch in wherever needed. Appreciate this. In terms of time, technicians are only called (and expected) for the specific time period of your tech slot and for the time period from one half hour before to the end of your performances (barring disaster, your production will have the same technician for rehearsal and ALL shows). Any additional time is outside of their job requirements and outside the bounds of our pay structure. In terms of responsibilities, a technician is only required by the Festival to make sure all tech equipment is working correctly at the beginning of their shift, serve as board op. for their specific shows, and report any equipment problems to me at the end of each shift. Everything else should be considered your responsibility (though, again, it will not hurt you to ask for assistance).

6. You will be loading in/out EN VISTA. This means, when your show ends, your audience goes out and the next comes in. The house will NEVER be closed between performances. You will be loading your set in and out in front of an open house. There is no “holding of the house.” Please don’t ask. Many of you will likely be seeing the load-in path (and its limitations) for the first time at your tech. Realize this (& #2) when thinking about “set” elements. And remember, there will be three shows loading in and three shows loading out, all using the same hallway as audiences entering and leaving, in the 30 minutes between shows. So having a set with a couch, a bed, and a refrigerator is probably not a good idea.

7. You should look at your Venue Info and specs thoroughly, consider all technical elements, and ask me every question you have… Seriously… PARTICULARLY if you have any doubt that the venue can support your plan in its current state. If you show up with a surprise… well, just please don’t. Say, for example that you show up with …

8. …a small elephant that you’d like to store. We can promise NO STORAGE at ANY of the venues. If you NEED it, you must contact me by August 15th. If you don’t, it will certainly be too late to do anything once you’re here.

9. Speaking of getting here, your tech rehearsal is just 2.5 hours. Plan accordingly, eh? In the time provided, you’ll be checking in with me (for about 20 minutes), practicing your load in/out, learning the space and building/running ALL light/sound/etc. cues. It’s a lot to do, but it can be done – regularly, in fact – when planned. Sometimes that isn’t the case. Perhaps you’ve seen shows like that?

10. And to HELP you in this endeavor, You are LIMITED to 30 Light Cues and 30 Sound Cues. If you try and test this, someone is sure to wind up in a sobbing puddle on the floor. Yuck.

11. Due to all the variables, Tech Schedules will be determined and communicated by August 1st. Note – All technical rehearsals for local companies will take place between Sunday September 1st and Wednesday September 4th. Generally the Wednesday September 4th tech rehearsals are reserved for out-of-town groups. Plan on EVERYONE involved with your show to be present at the tech rehearsal. Plan on having all set elements and props at the tech rehearsal. Please let me know if you will be missing people and/or technical elements at your tech rehearsal, in advance. I will not allow things that haven’t been teched to be added in the 15 minute load-in. I promise to work my heinie off to accommodate all of your scheduling needs. HOWEVER, Labor Day B-B-Qs and baby sitter issues and sundries of that ilk, can’t be considered if sanity is to be maintained. Apologies, but you know what happens when you work your heinie off… don’t you? (Note – those that get their tech form into me sooner will be more likely to get requested tech time.)

12. You must bring 2 extra copies of your script (preferably marked) to the tech rehearsal. One is specifically for your technician, one is a back-up. If you can only bring ONE, MAKE SURE you do. If you do not, who knows what you’ll get when it comes time to perform. For those of you who do not have a traditional script please bring as much information about your show as possible. (i.e. set list and/or a general outline of show)

13. Your light plot will be basic but adequate for a decent number of looks. I will provide you with specific lighting information upon request. This should give you an ample hip to shoot from for the moment. Let me know if you expect/desire to do any “squiggling.” Special focuses, gels, or ability to bring in “extras” are generally not available, but are absolutely IMPOSSIBLE if you don’t contact me by Aug 15th.

14. The EXIT does not have any projectors, screens, furniture or props that can be used for your show. We will be able to help you out with a chair or two and/or a table. You must ask me in advance if you would like to borrow anything. If you need a piano, or other music instrument, that will be loaded in and out for each performance.

15. If you are bringing a computer to run your sound it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED that you also being a back-up sound CD in case your computer mal-functions.

16. The fire policy is as follows – No Fire.

17. Tours and rehearsals are available between Sunday 8/18 and Saturday 8/24. Cost is $30/hr, there is NO ACCESS to any tech equipment, and times need to be specifically scheduled though me. Despite the Draconioliciousness, there is still, often, a high demand for these slots, so you’re encouraged to make requests early and to commit to them. Cancellations will be accepted up to a week in advance without “penalty” – otherwise a $30 fee and karmic, sporadic nausea will ensue. There is no opportunity for additional rehearsal in any EXIT space prior to 8/18 or after the 8/24 (that is, other than your tech rehearsal). On the warm fuzzy hand, TOURS are possible in EXIT Theatre, EXIT Stage Left, and the EXIT Studio any time between now and 8/24th. Contact me to set up a time (please don’t just show up, assuming that someone will be around). As always, catching a show is a great opportunity to see your space in action. All of that said, please realize that the spaces will be in various stages of preparedness as we get closer to the festival. What you see now may not be exactly what you will see when you walk in on your tech.

18. You have to turn in your Tech form by July 1st. The form asks some basic questions about your show. It will also asks for your preferred tech time. This will give me time to answer and address any questions you may have about tech. I don’t expect you to have all the answers to all of my questions. I would just like to start the conversations.

19. It is nifty to smile at your Production Manager and to a slightly lesser extent, EVERYONE else.

20. That all notwithstanding, you are the coolest person I know.

That’s it for now. If I’m forgetting something, I know where to find you.
And you, me.

Amanda Ortmayer
Production Manager of the SF Fringe (Please be sure to put my name, AMANDA, in the subject line)