August 8 – 24
This festival was born, quite literally, while our country was on the brink of war. When we were going through adjudication process for FringeNYC 2003, determining which companies would be invited to join us this summer, the talk on the radio and television was about the seemingly inevitable destruction that was about to occur.
And yet those of us at the Present Company found ourselves surrounded by bags full of applications for FringeNYC 2003. Applications from artists from all over the globe who wanted to be a part of this festival… in New York City… in August. Artists planning and dreaming of creating something. Making something happen. Applying to this festival last February (in the snow!) was a blatant act of hopefulness on the part of these artists.
And we felt so privileged to have the task of adjudicating this festival last February. In a time of scary images and duct tape and plastic, my job was to review these applications. My job, was to pour through these bags of hope. And I’m so grateful, to each of these artists, for that.
Now as a former Girl Scout, I have always prided myself on being prepared. On being “ready”. But it struck me that this year we were all so busy trying to be “ready” for tomorrow that we weren’t able to enjoy today! We were overlooking the present! We were being asked “be ready” and in doing so were sacrificing what has become ever so precious. These days. These moments. This time.
And that got me thinking about Mr. Chaikin. You see, not long ago we lost a man who had an extraordinary influence on the founders of The Present Company, Mr. Joe Chaikin. Now… our company is named The Present Company, so being present is not an uncommon subject around here! But it started with Mr. Chaikin’s words, which are what we strive to embody each August. We are never more present or more alive than when we gather this community of artists and audience in the last weeks of summer for The New York International Fringe Festival.
So it is our privilege to share this work with the world. It is our privilege to lift it up. To celebrate it. And it is my privilege once again to work side by side with the most talented and dedicated group of people I have ever known. And with your help, 2004 will be just the same. Or perhaps better. Maybe in 2004, our international applications will triple! Maybe in 2004, FringeNYC will be a celebration of the extraordinary peace with which our world has been blessed.
So here we are, New York. We’re PRESENT. We’re READY! We invite you to join us GET READY! Ready to celebrate! Ready to party! Ready to enjoy everything this festival has to offer.
GET READY… for something good!
GET READY for FringeNYC!
And thank you, Mr. Chaikin. We won’t forget.
Elena K. Holy Producing