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In November, Adrienne Guldin - our Managing Director - and I travelled to Montreal for the Fringe World Congress. What a treat to connect with Fringe producers from around the world who are united in creating a space for boundary-pushing artists to connect with adventurous audiences. I left feeling so inspired, but also so proud. Despite many challenges 2016 threw our way, we persisted. We produced a raucous, raunchy, and rebellious festival. We presented 5/fifths of The Princess Bride and what a silly and jubilant evening it was. We were floored that so many neighbors and patrons stepped up because they believe in this Festival.

In Montreal, we learned much, but also had much to share like: how we guarantee a diverse lineup of shows, how we engage our volunteers, and how we have learned and grown. Thank you for being a part of our journey. Every artist, volunteer, donor, board, and staff member has played a role in getting us here. Despite the bumps, together we produced a Festival filled with exploration, laughter, compassion, and surprise. Read on to celebrate what we accomplished together in 2016! - Anne Cauley, Executive Director

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The Edinburgh International Festival (EIF) began in 1947 as a post-war initiative to reunite Europe. Attracted by the crowds and press, six Scottish and two English companies turned up uninvited to perform on the edges of the EIF. The next year more companies showed up and a reporter coined the name.

"Round the fringe of the official Festival drama there seems to be a more private enterprise than before... I'm afraid some of us are not going to be often at home during the evenings." - Robert Kemp, Edinburgh Evening News

Soon the Fringe gained a large and loyal following, outstripping the mainstream EIF and becoming the largest arts festival in the world and the biggest tourist draw in the UK. Fringe migrated to Canada in the 1980s. Today, Canada boasts festivals from coast to coast - including the Edmonton Festival, the largest in North America. In the 1990s, the United States embraced Fringe. According to the United Association of Fringe Festivals, there are currently more than 50 active U.S. Fringe Festivals. The first Chicago Fringe Festival took place in 2010. We believe that Chicago needs an uncensored and un-juried Fringe Festival designed to meet the needs of our city: Creating a fun, immersive place where local artists can interact with both professional and amateur performers from around the world. Encouraging performers and patrons to travel outside their comfort zone. Enabling patrons to see up to seven shows in one day. Helping lesser-known groups to find their audience. Furthering Chicago's place on the map as a major theatrical center.



Chicago Fringe produces an annual performing arts festival devoted to celebrating an inclusive community of adventurous artists, volunteers, and patrons.

Our shows are uncensored and un-juried. 25% are accepted on a first come, first served basis. The remaining 75% are selected through a lottery.

TICKETS Our ticket prices are reasonable in order to encourage nontraditional audiences to take a risk, try something new and see several shows in one day. Patrons pay a one-time festival admittance fee of $5. Then all shows are $10 or Pay-What-YouCan. Kids tickets are just $5, no button required.

We select 50 performing groups total, 25 local and 25 non-local. We employ a diversity sublottery to ensure that a variety of voices are represented at each festival. Participants pay a $25 lottery fee upfront. Then, if selected, they pay a participation fee of $250 - $650 depending on whether they opt to perform three, five, or seven times. In exchange, the artists receive: Box office assistance Festival marketing support A low-risk opportunity to test material Access to a vibrant community of artists and patrons 100% of their net ticket sales.








FRINGE CENTRAL: Costa Cafe, 4801 N Milwaukee CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF JEFFERSON PARK Meeting Hall, 5320 W Gidding The Gym, 5320 W Gidding JEFFERSON PLAYHOUSE, 4766 N Milwaukee Ave THE GIFT THEATRE , 4802 N Milwaukee WINDY CITY MUSIC THEATRE , 5340 W Lawrence




Under 18 18 - 25 26 - 32 33 - 40 41 - 48 49 - 56 57+

2% 13% 9% 11% 11% 11% 21%


African�American Asian Hispanic Mixed Race White Undisclosed

1% 2% 6% 1% 60% 30%


Female Male Non-Binary

46% 32% 22%



WHAT THEY HAD TO SAY "Fringe is just so weird and lovely." "Such a sense of community." "Unique fun! On my feet fun.." "Great chance to introduce the kids to theater."


Income Corporate & Foundation Support (grants, sponsorships, advertising, matching funds)


Festival Driven Revenue (tickets, merchandise, concessions)


Artist Driven Revenue (lottery fees, participation fees)


Individual Support (donors, special events)




Expenses Festival Expenses (venues, equipment, front of house, printing, merchandise, concessions)


Artist Payout




Administrative Overhead


Staff Stipend




Payment to Cash Reserves




5/fifths of THE PRINCESS BRIDE Filament Theatre | May 19, 2016. Our new madcap fundraiser was a blast! Performers: American Theater Company Apprentices InGen Productions | Johnny Garcia Lights Out Theatre Company | pH Comedy Theater

Photos by: Lydia Hoover


Attendance increased by 40% with the expansion of family friendly programming to two weekends and the addition of a free event in Wilson Park. At the Festival, Kids Fringe featured four incredible shows. We welcomed 200+ kids and their families to come see shows, play games, learn theater, and make crafts! Workshops included: mask making, improv, dance, and storytelling.

ARTISTIC AWARDS ARTIST | VOLUNTEER | PATRONS' PICK Ellieida (Studio Playhaus) MOST CREATIVE USE OF SPACE Penny (Nico Fernandez and Kearstyn Keller) MOST DECEPTIVE SHOW TITLE 40 Minutes to Howard (Spartan Theatre Company) LOUDEST UPSTAIRS NEIGHBORS Karaoke Night at Al Capone’s House of Pancakes (Coffee & Whiskey Productions) CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE Velour (Schedule C Productions)

Penny - Sarah Larson

That's F'ed Up - Andrea Zelen

Betsy Bingo Palace - Bob Taylor


The Gift Theatre Jefferson Playhouse

Magic In Heels: Coincidence (Kayla Drescher)

Meeting Hall

Filthy Habit (Third Eye Theatre Ensemble)

The Gym

Windy City Blackbox Kids Fringe

Mary Shelley Show Andrea Zelen

For the love of Pie Andrea Zelen

Superhero (Nick Dimaso)

Mary Shelley Show (Undiscovered Countries) Joe Hernandez (Kolski presents) The Big Balloon Show (Smarty Pants)

On the Spectrum Bob Taylor

Magic in Heels Feier Lai

Things R Looking Up Sarah Larson

THANK YOU to our generous donors, sponsors and partners!


Anonymous Diana M Ewert Linda Harrison Timothy J. Lyman


Amanda Dodge *

Chris & LeighAnna Sodac * Frank & Susie Suerth Joe & Elaine Thomure

Anne Cauley Emily Brouilette * Sophie Dye Dean Everett Elaine Frei Marisa Goldberg *

Bridget Hennessy * Tom & Suzy Jackson Jim Lundmark Daniel Madden & Tuny Mokrauer Joshua Markou


Douglas Beaton

Amir Syed


Danielle Boyke Sarah Brown * Eileen Cauley Elizabeth End Michael E. Hans

Cathy Lorber & Philip Crittendon Linda McMillan Lois Stedl Katherine Okon Jim Wrzala


Mary & Michael Bezanson Justin Brady Patricia Conroy Christine De Luca

Robyn Flakne Amy Ganser Anneke Higgins Emily Martell


Caitlin Bieda Stephanie Chu Marsha Jacobson

Allen Kodish Lauren Mathews Emily Sinegal


* denotes CFF board member

CFF would not be possible without its board and year-round volunteer staff along with its crew of festival staff, volunteers and interns. During the festival alone, volunteers put in an incredible 2,000+ hours to help set up, run and take down the festival. THANK YOU!

FFATS 6102

Anne Cauley - Executive Director Adrienne Guldin - Managing Director Jillian Abbinanti - Education Coordinator Abbey Bobzin - Marketing Manager James Chapman - Publicity Manager Amanda Dodge - Artist Relations Director Cecilia Falter - Volunteer Coordinator Brian Foster - Technical Director Kristi Keorkunian-Rivers - Billeting Coordinator Amancay Kugler - Fringe Central Daytime Manager Steph Niro - Kids Fringe Manager Stacey Schriber - Box Office & Database Manager Amber Southall - Artist Liaison Rachel Staelens - Production Manager Fareine Suarez - Fringe Central Manager

BOARD OF DIRECTORS Bridget Hennessy - President Amanda Dodge - Secretary Emily Brouilette - Treasurer

Sarah Mikayla Brown Marisa Goldberg Hannah Kardon Leigh Anna Sodac

ADVISORY BOARD Diana Ewert Todd and Marrakesh Frugia Deborah Granite Vincent Lacey

Howard Lieberman Brian Loevner Holly Payton Tracy Wray



Production Assistant Emily Hitmar

Kids Fringe Amy Bornman

Master Electrician David Trudeau

Publicity Claudia Alpert

Sound Engineer Joe Palermo

Audience Services Hannah Baker

Assistant Technical Director Tom Chandler

Technical/Stage Management Tom Chandler Melanie Williams Ethan Nevidomsky

Website & Graphic Designer Charles Riffenburg, Grab Bag Media Public Relations James Juliano, SHOUT Media Jack/Central Production Assistant Rob Cortes

Business & Admin Kate Hawbaker-Krohn

Stage Management Sarah Bell Roxanne Dobbs Shelby Madey Raquel Torre Jamieson Werling Holly Willinski

2016 FESTIVAL VOLUNTEERS VENUE MANAGERS Doug Beaton Allie Bugajski Rob Cortes ** Shellie Disalvo *** Adam Elliot Devon Katheder Nathan Kuffel *** Nikki Marie ** Catherine Miller Danielle Mosley Karen Murphy I lliana Perea Ray Peruyera *** Carla Salvo Raymond Wenk ** STAGE MANAGERS Kat Barrett Shellie DiSalvo ** Margaret Lee Bree de souza Keith Gatchel TECH VOLUNTEERS /STAGE MANAGERS Noah Baskes Samay Gheewala ****** TECH VOLUNTEERS Anna Lucero** Noah Schriber

FRONT OF HOUSE TEAM Brandi Alexander Shujaat Ali Bruce Bogart ******* Abby Boler Paul Brandt Jacob Broschart Katie Brown ** Sierra Buffum David Caracheo Karina Cochran Pamela Conroy **** Jake Cowan Nick DiMaso Noah Drewke Susanna Ernst Ozden Esme Liz Ferguson Casey Freund Keith Gatchel Zack Galvin Chris Golden Lindsay Gonzales Ashlee Grant Michael Anna Gray Kelly Haramis Jessica Hinds-Bond Perry Hunt Madison Jones Jeffrey Jones Samantha Joy Matthew Kivel Niklas Krausse Jessica Krust

* =Â Indicates each previous year volunteered

Carrie Lawlor ** Chloe Leguisamon Jana Liu Bondurant Shelby Madey Janet Magnuson Trisha Mahoney Jacquelin McCollough Anthony Millspaugh ** Tracy ODowd Debbie Parkhurst Gwen Pentland Amy Phillips Halleen Phu Raven Robledo Aga Sarrafian Allison Schier Cindy Schriber ** Mikaela Schriber Briana Schwartz Philip Schwartz Abhimanyu Singh ** Anya Solotaire Becky St Clair Louise Tripp Robert Van Hook Anne Ward Sarah Whitcomb Melanie Williams Gabrielle Wilson Kelly Wren Deborah Wright PHOTOGRAPHERS Feier Lai Sarah Larson Bob Taylor ** Andrea Zelen VIDEOGRAPHERS Julie Ihlenfeldt ******

VOLUNTEER AWARDS Fringe Spirit Award Rob Cortes The Bruce Award (Front of House Award) Ray Peruyera

The Will Staelens Award (Production Award) Tom Chandler

Burning The Midnight Oil Award (Award for Volunteer Hours) Melanie Williams (100 hrs, Production) Nikki Marquardt (65 hrs, Front of House)


Growing OUR AUDIENCE After hovering around 4,000 seats filled for years, our strategic plan is challenging us to grow. By year ten we are aiming to have doubled the number of button buyers attending the Festival. That means a hefty investment in marketing, community outreach, and partnerships over the next few years. Ultimately, we are aiming to increase the dollars we return to artists and the business we bring to local businesses while also enhancing the Festival atmosphere.

Prioritizing SUSTAINABILITY CFF is run entirely by volunteer staffers, some of whom receive a small stipend in exchange for their hundreds of hours of work each year. We continue to strive to build a sustainable model for our nonprofit in order to make working with Chicago Fringe a rewarding opportunity to both improve the Festival and also grow professionally.

Emphasizing PARTNERSHIPS in the 45th Ward Our Festival is based in the 45th Ward and we want our growth to stem from our neighborhood first. In 2017 we will focus our outreach efforts more than ever on the Northwest Side. We will be adding a staff position dedicated to community outreach, so expect to see us out and about in the neighborhood this summer!






Profile for Chicago Fringe Festival

ChiFringe 2016 Annual Report  

ChiFringe 2016 Annual Report