It’s been one week since the 31st annual Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival wrapped up, and the organization has just released statistics on their 2022 event. While general audience attendance was down from its pre-pandemic peak, the presence of 68 delegates from the World Fringe Conference introduced Loch Haven Park and our city’s culture to a new international audience.
Here’s the final tally for the 2022 Orlando Fringe Festival, by the numbers:
- 1,600-plus artists participated
- 759 total performances, more than 200 shows
- 7,321 buttons sold
- 28,033 tickets sold
- $414,835 paid to Fringe artists
- 447 Visual Fringe artworks sold
- 3,600-plus people attended Kids Fringe
Looking beyond the statistics, there were some stellar offerings on the Fringe’s stages this year, which the Orlando Sentinel‘s Matt Palm and I honored with our annual Critics’ Choice awards, which were presented during the closing ceremonies.
BEST SHOW: Generic Male: Just What We Need, Another Show About Men BEST PLAY — DRAMA: Constellations
BEST PLAY — COMEDY: Waiting for Gadot
BEST PLAY — MUSICAL: Star Shanties: Songs from a Galaxy Far, Far Away
BEST MAGIC SHOW: Cheating Death: Magic, Memoirs and Mortality
BEST FAMILY SHOW: Be a Pirate!
BEST SITE-SPECIFIC SHOW: Bugged Lady
BEST SOLO SHOW — DRAMA: Lies, Anger and Forgiveness
BEST SOLO SHOW — COMEDY: I Lost on Jeopardy!
BEST SOLO SHOW — MUSICAL: Peculiar, Missouri
BEST SOLO SHOW — SPECIALTY: Fury
BEST ORIGINAL SCRIPT: The Family Crow: A Murder Mystery by Adam Francis Proulx
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Gone by Naome Bradshaw, with Randy Nichols
BEST TECHNICAL ACHIEVEMENT: You Belong Here
BEST ENSEMBLE PERFORMANCE: The Spider Queen
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE — COMEDY: Billie Jane Aubertin, Stag Night
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE — DRAMA: Sarah Lockard, The Mockingbird News
BEST INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE — MUSICAL: Matt Lyinx, ‘Bullock and the Bandits’
BEST DIRECTOR: Leesa Halstead Castaneda, The Mockingbird News
Unfortunately, even though I attended nearly 90 shows and published 60 reviews, a number of first-rate productions still slipped through the cracks, including Fourth Wall’s Fruit Flies Like a Banana. The award-winning show — which blends the mobile musical mastery of Broadway’s BLAST and American Utopia with Cirque-style acrobatics and a healthy dose of family-friendly humor — returned to the Fringe bigger and better than ever, featuring colorful upgraded costumes, a clever paint swatch-inspired system of audience participation, and brand-new segments that showcase the trio’s astounding skills; the sequence in which Hilary Abigana flawless executed an intricate flute solo while being flipped and flung about by her compatriots C. Neil Parsons and Greg Jukes simply has to be seen to be believed.
You can relive several of the Critics’ Choice winners, along with a number of other worthy shows, from the comfort of your home during DigiFringe, now through June 17. Visit virtuallyfringe.com/orlandofringe for $10 digital on-demand rentals of more than two dozen Fringe shows.