My First Fringe


By Audrey Gab 

The curtain rises for veteran and first-time performers at the annual New York International Fringe Festival. With 182 unique shows, this year’s festival proves that the “First Fringe” experience can happen at any point in an artist’s career. 

At 78 years old, D’yan Forest is participating for the first time in FringeNYC with a solo performance show. Her past career includes a six-year run as a comedy performer and a longtime French chanteuse.

Even as FringeNYC’s oldest performer, Forest attended the very first festival “in some warehouse.”

She said at that time she thought, “This is crazy. This will never last.”

Now, 16 years later, she's performing her autobiographical one-woman show, “I Married A Nun.”

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Working Outside the Arts Can Still Take You to the Stage

By Audrey Gab 

The dream of breaking into show business is often put on hold for many artists who find jobs in more secure industries. A line of separation is often drawn between art and work, but several of this year's FringeNYC playwrights have chosen alternative careers that fuel their inspiration and enhance their playwriting.

This is the certainly the case for John Feffer, a FringeNYC playwright and political analyst since the late 1980s.

Feffer began writing plays in college but was faced with the lack of “viable ways of getting those plays produced.” He turned his efforts towards a different career and is now co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.

Using his playwriting skills and political knowledge, he decided to create the play “The Pundit.” His production is a thriller about a political pundit who is asked to comment on topics beyond his expertise, which leads him to become embroiled in a political situation that quickly spirals out of control.

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FringeNYC Artists Have Roots in Television

By Audrey Gab


Inspiration is often drawn from the most unlikely sources. This could not be truer for two FringeNYC artists who credit television for helping them get their start.

Vincent James Arcuri's solo show “Becoming Butch” tells the story of his personal journey in finding his authentic self.

Growing up in the “butch world of Queens, New York,” young Arcuri found himself idolizing Gary Coleman and the stars of “Dynasty” while other boys his age admired sports stars and action heroes. Later in life, as Arcuri attempted to make a butch transformation, he found acceptance of his true self.

One of the life lessons on this journey surprisingly came from reality television.

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