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September 23
1948 - Agua Dulce Women's Club organized [timeline]
Women's Club


[KHTS] – Anyone with an admiration of the performing arts is invited to attend the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival, an open-access artistic celebration featuring hundreds of productions by local, national and international arts companies and independent performers with all levels of experience.

SCV Performing Arts Admirers Invited To 2015 Hollywood Fringe FeAttendees can walk the streets of Hollywood throughout the month of June to see shows of every genre imaginable hosted at fully equipped theaters, parks, clubs, churches, restaurants and other places people may not expect.

“The way I see it, theater has gotten this perspective where it’s this serious, topical thing you go to and it’s heavy art and it’s incredibly expensive,” said festival Founder and Director Ben Hill during his appearance on the KHTS AM-1220 show, “Wade Beyond the Courtroom.”

“Certainly we have serious themes at the Hollywood Fringe, but one of the things as far as the experience of going to the festival is we’re trying to put ‘play’ back in plays– trying to put the fun back into it.”

Shows are usually relatively short, less expensive than typical theater productions and often serve alcohol, giving attendees the chance to see four to five shows a day, bouncing around from venue to venue in a casual, fun atmosphere without spending exorbitant amounts of money.

The Hollywood Fringe Festival was inspired by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which was launched in Scotland in 1947 in protest of the limited selection of artists allowed to participate in the debut of the Edinburgh International Festival.

“That’s the way it is with most curated events,” Hill said. “Deliberate or not, there is an aesthetic, there is an idea that they want to get across, and if you fall outside the bounds of this aesthetic or this idea, then you don’t get to participate.”

In contrast, “open-access” art, or fringe, festivals allow anyone and everyone who wants to share their artistic expression with others to participate– whether performers have never done a show before or have decades of theater experience.

Dozens of fringe festivals began to appear around the world following the massive success and infectious energy of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, with the festival style making its first appearance in Los Angeles in 2010 at the launch of the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

“Going to Edinburgh in August is like visiting one of the wonders of the world,” Hill said. “It’s just amazing being there amongst that energy and excitement. I think (we) were just inspired by all of that, this total entrepreneurial style that Edinburgh has going on, and that’s when we decided to bring that particular model of fringe festival to Los Angeles.”

Though relatively new, the Hollywood Fringe Festival debuted as one of the largest fringe festivals in the world and the largest open-access festival in the United States.

Over the last five years, it has increased its number of shows from its initial 200 to more than 300 total shows across a countless number of genres– from comedy to cabaret to burlesque to opera –and subject matters, be it politically liberal or conservative; reverently religious or not.

“When you go to a fringe festival you’re seeing a moment in time in art,” Hill said. “Naturally there will be themes developing because of things happening in the world or in the world of art, and as a result you have these really violent changes from year to year… We’re not pushing an aesthetic or an ideal or a brand or anything like that. What we’re pushing is what’s happening in the world of performing arts right now.”

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