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Cape Coral Living Magazine

Inaugural Fringe Performing Arts Festival Features Artists From Around the World

Jun 13, 2023 08:00AM ● By Francesca Block

Bill Taylor, Producing Artistic Director for the Fringe Music Festival, poses with the artists. Photo courtesy of Alliance for the Arts

An arts festival unlike any other took place in Fort Myers this past week, featuring artists from around the world who showcased their talents in performance art. 

The Fort Myers Alliance for the Arts partnered with the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater to present the inaugural Fringe Fort Myers Performing Arts Festival. The four-day show took place from June 1-4, 2023 and featured 40 different shows, ranging in genre from from storytelling, dance and burlesque to comedy, mystery and much more. The shows were performed by nine different performing arts groups, featuring 27 performers from around the world. 

Over 1,000 people attended the shows throughout the festival, which was put together with the help of 72 volunteers. The festival plans to continue its strong run in Fort Myers with its second annual festival set to take place next year from May 30 to June 2, 2024. 

Bill Taylor, Producing Artistic Director for the Fringe Music Festival, poses with Frank Blocker, winner of Best of Venue for Off Broadway Palm. Photo courtesy of Alliance for the Arts

"We are incredibly grateful for the support this community has given our inaugural Fringe Festival. With that kind of support, we have definitely laid the groundwork for a festival that will continue to attract quality acts from around the world," Bill Taylor, the Producing Artistic Director, said in a news release. 

The festival also featured a special events as a part of Kids Fringe, catered toward younger members of the Fort Myers community. Young performance enthusiasts and their families were able to enjoy a Free Family ArtLab hosted by Alliance for the Arts Instructors Veronica Tierra of Tierra & Friends and Tiani Rosado. They were also treated to a high-flying acrobatics show from Citrus Circus on June 3 and 4, and a special performance of Alice in Wonderland put together by local actress Carmen Crussard and the students of Cypress Lake High School. 

The success of the event also would not have been possible without the support of local food establishments Lovr BoysMama Marie’s and Arts & Eats Café, who fed all the attendees throughout the four-days of events. Local business What the Flock? also brought in almost 200 flamingoes to decorate the Alliance for the Arts campus, according to the organization. 

“I am delighted that Fringe was so well received and we look forward to Fringe “part deux” next year,” Molly Rowan-Deckart, Executive Director of the Alliance for the Arts, said in a news release. 

Bill Taylor, Producing Artistic Director for the Fringe Music Festival, poses with Laila Lee, winner of Best of Venue for Alliance Classroom. Photo courtesy of Alliance for the Arts

To cap off the festival, four artist groups were awarded special recognition at an awards ceremony hosted at the Broadway Palm Dinner Theater.

Below are the winners: 

  • Best Venue for Off Broadway Palm went to Frank Blocker in Southern Gothic Novel
  • Best of Venue for Alliance Classroom went to Laila Lee in The Light Bringer 
  • Best of Venue for Foulds Theatre went to Dance Bochette Presents Future Perfect 
  • Audience Favorite went to tiny_Theatre Presents The Hunt for Milo Gatto