Framework

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Checking her costume in the mirror of the Hollywood Fringe bathroom, volunteer coordinator Liz Steele prepares to head out onto the streets of Hollywood to help promote the 2011 Hollywood Fringe festival on June 18. Hollywood Fringe art director Gavin Worth created the Freak mascots, which are said to be based on the co-founders mothers.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Dressed up as the "Orange Freak," volunteer coordinator Liz Steele hits the streets of Hollywood in an effort to promote the 2011 Hollywood Fringe festival. Now in its second year, the annual fest celebrates theater.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

"Orange Freak" Liz Steele, right, and "Red Freak" Abby Burgess promote the fest.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Liz Steele makes an appearance outside the Complex theater.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

"Orange Freak" volunteer coordinator Liz Steele lends a hand to promote the theater festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Members of the 4 Clowns troupe: Juliet Kevin Klein, center, Alexis Jones, right, and Raymond Lee prepare for a performance during the 2011 Hollywood Fringe festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

4 Clowns members Alexis Jones and Raymond Lee stretch and hang out before going on stage at the ArtWorks Theatre to perform their version of "Romeo & Juliet."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

4 Clowns members Alexis Jones and Zach Steel share a moment backstage.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Raymond Lee, a 4 Clowns member who plays Mercutio in the troupe's "Romeo & Juliet" staging, takes a moment to check a few props before his performance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

4 Clowns member Alexis Jones makes some last-minute adjustments before a performance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

4 Clowns members Kevin Klein, Raymond Lee and Alexis Jones perform "Romeo & Juliet" during the Hollywood Fringe Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

In an alley behind Fist Theatre, Julie Civiello practices her craft before heading inside to perform "Maizy: A Fable."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

With her wings spread wide, Julie Civiello runs through a portion of a scene before the audience arrives to watch "Maizy: A Fable."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Playing Maizy, Julie Civiello runs through a portion of a scene minutes before the performance.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Raina Lafond applies some finishing touches to her makeup before performing in "Maizy: A Fable."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Audience members wait for the start of "Are We Not Human?" performed by the female clown duo Duckbits at the Lounge Theatre.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Ilana Gustafson Turner, left, and Keirin Brown of the female clown duo Duckbits prep for their performance of "Are We Not Human?"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

After forgetting her wig and only minutes before the clown duo is to perform their act, Keirin Brown, left, teases Ilana Gustafson Turner's hair. "This is actually good" says Turner of her new hairdo.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Ilana Gustafson Turner during a scene in "Are We Not Human?"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Duckbits' Keirin Brownand, left, and Ilana Gustafson Turner bust out the running man act in "Are We Not Human?"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Keirin Brown gives audience members a laugh during "Are We Not Human?"

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Kasey Rose, contortionist and member of the FreakShow Deluxe, warms up before performing during the second annual Hollywood Fringe Festival.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

FreakShow Deluxe member Amy Amnesia shows off her ability to withstand pain as she places a screwdriver in her nose during a performance at the Note Theatre.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Vincent Wolf of FreakShow Deluxe displays his sword-swallowing skills.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Married for 26 years, interracial couple and stage duo Hassan and Epstein perform their comedic act "The Black and the Jew" at M Bar in Hollywood.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

"Lost Moon Radio" member Michael Wells sings for the crowd. "Lost Moon Radio" entertains the audience with a 1960s radio show accompanied by live commercials, radio promos and skits provided by a seven-piece band and a company of actors.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Audience member Jeff Gilliland can't contain his laughter during a performance of "Lost Moon Radio."

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

Now in its second year, the annual Hollywood Fringe Festival celebrates the theatre by bringing together a wide variety of shows and artists.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Mariah Tauger

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A glimpse of the Hollywood Fringe Festival

On any given day or week in a city such as Los Angeles,  you can find something new and outside of the regular routine to do.  From June 16 – 26, the Hollywood Fringe Festival takes over various spaces in the slight area of one square mile in Hollywood.  Photographer Mariah Tauger spent a couple days cruising this scene to capture a glimpse of what this year’s festival has to offer.  She spent time behind the stage, following the “freaks,” taking in the shows and walked away experiencing passionate and creative people in this city.  I think this is a must for next year.

Take a look at her photographs above and read her account of the experience below:

Bursting out of the front door, dressed head to toe in an orange one-piece costume, accompanied by a very large head that can only be described as alien(ish), the “Orange Freak” makes her way down Santa Monica Boulevard in an effort to bring awareness to the cause. The cause?  Why, it’s theater, my friends.

Ten days, 21 theaters and more than 200 different shows; for the second year in a row, the Hollywood Fringe Festival opens the playhouse doors and invites the community to experience the many facets of theater.

Over the course of two days, I experienced six performances including the colorful makeup and laugh-out-loud performance from “4 Clowns: Romeo & Juliet” on the ArtWorks Theatre & Studios’ main stage, and the daring, and sometimes hard-to-swallow acts of FreakShow Deluxe inside the small and intimate Theatre of Note. I went from the theater to the candlelight of the M Bar, where my  laughter was illuminated by the insightful and  humorous dialogue of interracial married couple Epstein & Hassan  in “The Black and the Jew.” I learned that white girls can rap during the fun, hilarious act of “Lost Moon Radio” and found that in a town that asks its women to be flawless, there are two female clowns who are willing to let their authenticity fill the air instead of an abundance of words in the very funny performance of “Are We Not Human?” Backstage at the Fist Theatre, a makeup artist takes a long nap as the women of “Maizy: A Fable,” did some last-minute preparation before putting on a beautiful and heartfelt performance.

My Hollywood Fringe Festival experience allowed me to become immersed in a community of talented and kind individuals, sharing in a love for the arts as well as life that went well beyond the stage.  

 

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