How to Fringe

Tips and tricks for making the most of your Fringe Fest experience

In 2013, the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival spreads out across the Ivanhoe Village area. In addition to the main campus at Mills Avenue and Princeton Street, comprising the Orlando Shakespeare Center, the Orlando Repertory Theatre (aka the Shakes and the Rep) and Loch Haven Park, shows are also playing at the new Gold and Black venues. The Gold Venue is Theatre Downtown, at the corner of Princeton Street and Orange Avenue, and the Black Venue is the Venue, 511 Virginia Drive (also known as the home of the VarieTease Troupe).

Moving out of the Shakes and into its own huge home this year is Visual Fringe, which will occupy a 13,000-square-foot warehouse space at 1427 Alden Road (which recently hosted the Snap Orlando photography festival). This year’s Kids’ Fringe shows are again presented in the Mennello Museum of American Art, 900 E. Princeton St. Check out show details, festival policies and venue maps at, where you can also buy tickets.

Bars and restaurants
The expansion of the festival means there are now ample opportunities to stop for a drink or a bite to eat along the way. (See “Rounding out,” page 10).

Go first, because there’s no re-entry if you leave a show.

Beer (and wine) (and liquor)
Buy a ticket at the ticket tent, then trade in your ticket for a drink. This is good to know before you stand in line at the beer, wine or liquor bar.

Box office
This year, there are four: one in the lower lobby of the Shakes and one in the back lobby of the Rep, as always, and also at each of the new venues (Gold, 2113 N. Orange Ave., and Black, 511 Virginia Drive).

The $9 button is a one-time purchase that funds Fringe’s operations – ticket sales go to the shows. It can only be purchased at a festival box office. Without a button and a ticket, you will not be admitted to any show, so don’t lose it.

Bring it. The on-site ATM tacks on fees and gets cleaned out fast on weekends.

It’s always free to hang out on the Loch Haven lawn, where there are local bands playing throughout the festival (see “Not to be upstaged,” page 11).

Food trucks Food Truck Bazaar will serve the Visual Fringe building during both weekends of the festival; see Tip Jar, page 17, for details.

Take flyers from artists. One of the best parts of Fringe is the conversation that comes out of those exchanges, and you can tell a lot about a show by the person promoting it.

Green Lawn of Fabulousness
Between the Shakes and the Rep lies a grassy swath; here you’ll find the beer and wine tent, food vendors, an ATM, a Poetry Vending Machine and a seething mass of theatrical humanity.

Even if you’ve paid for a ticket, once the doors close, you’re not getting in. Arrive at Loch Haven Park at least 30 minutes before your showtime and leave plenty of time to walk to your venue; it may be on the opposite end of the complex.

Make-out spot
We’re not saying how we know this, but the best place for a secret snog session is the Mennello Museum grounds.

See Visual Fringe, below.

Limited, to say the least, but you can always bite the bullet and pay to park in the Orlando Science Center garage. If you absolutely refuse to pay, get there before 10 a.m. to try and park in the Shakes lot, or hoof it from Alden Road above Orange Avenue or the Lake Virginia neighborhood. Better yet, ride your bike. This year there’s a bike valet parking service!

Follow Fringe on Facebook and Twitter for late-breaking announcements, pictures, and dare we hope … gossip?

Popular shows will sell out, and the box office lines can move slowly. Save yourself some hassle and buy online. Use Orlando Weekly’s reviews to plan your purchases – our critics are risking life and limb to see as many shows as possible. Find their reviews at starting Sunday, May 12.

Visual Fringe
Greatly expanded this year. In the Alden Road warehouse, expect not just the usual gallery of local artists but also weekend art markets, food trucks and even an artist-created mini-golf range.

Don’t forget: hat, sunscreen, umbrella. If you don’t score a seat in the shade, prepare to bake while sipping your beer on the lawn. And until the sun falls out of the sky, there will be afternoon rain showers in Central Florida.