Cobain is dead, but the Kingdome still stands, and Seattle’s just a kiss away from its inevitable fall from grunge grace. A composer, his brother, a lilac queen and a soon-to-be widow all join the vicious delicious game of blurring the line between predator and prey.

FringeACT was jointly developed three years ago by Seattle Fringe Theatre Productions and ACT Theatre to celebrate the rich array of playwriting talent in Seattle’s own backyard. The mission of the FringeACT Festival of New Original Work is to provide exposure and support for new work by local playwrights and other generative theatre artists who demonstrate the potential for artistic excellence. This is an amazing festival that recognizes and celebrates the terrific talent of local playwrights! It features 28 playwrights, 56 performances on 4 stages in 4 days.

Here are the details:

What: Third Annual FringeACT Festival of New Original Work

Thursday, April 1, 2004 6pm-11pm
Friday, April 2, 2004 6pm-11pm
Saturday, April 3, 2004 12pm-11pm
Sunday, April 4, 2004 12pm-8pm

ACT Theatre, 700 Union Street at the corner of 7th and Union in downtown Seattle.

$12.50 for a one-day pass; $37.50 for a 4-day pass.
To purchase tickets, call the ACT Ticket Office at (206) 292-7676 or visit

For play information, a list of participating artists and a complete schedule, you can A) visit, B) look for a copy of the schedule in area retail stores and coffee shops, or C) pick up a copy of the Seattle Weekly on Wednesday, March 31st and pull out the schedule insert.

Whether FringeACT can ultimately be counted a success depends on several factors:

  • At least one of the plays premiered in staged readings at the festival needs to go on to a nice healthy production life either in Seattle or in other cities around the world.
  • Local critics need to start taking Seattle’s playwriting talent base more seriously. The simple fact is, Seattle has always had an artistic inferiority complex, and writers for local publications such as The Seattle Times, The P-I, The Stranger and The Seattle Weekly have done little if anything to change this sad fact.
  • People need to show up. Audiences are like sunlight to developing plays. Ultimatly, the only way to tell if a particular script is working (is it funny? moving? coherent?), is to hear in as an audience does and gauge their response. This is an art in itself, and not every playwright, dramaturg or director is adept at it. I’ve seen playwrights completely shut themselves off to an audience's response to their work, as if listening and reacting to the crowd’s reaction would somehow poison their process. Go figure.

The blurb above is for my entry in this year’s FringeACT, The Don Juan Cult Concerto, which will be read April 3 @ 8:45 pm and April 4 @ 2 pm at ACT Theatre in downtown Seattle. The cast includes James Chesnutt, Alesia Glidewell, Basil Harris, Heather Curtis Mullin, and Susanna Wilson-Lapan.

If you’re in the neighborhood, come see and introduce yourself after the reading. We’ll make in an unofficial nodermeet.

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