FronteraFest 2022

Theatre from the Edge

"The fringe theater event of the Southwest!"
-Austin American Statesman

With great regret, we’re announcing the cancellation of FronteraFest 2022.

In August 2021, when the Delta surge was still hitting Austin hard, we decided for safety reasons to postpone FronteraFest 2022 from its usual January-February timeframe. We then surveyed recent Short Fringe participants and staff about possible times to reschedule, as well as what safety measures would allow them to feel safe and comfortable returning to the festival, which typically crowds many staff and performers together in small spaces each night. While there was no clearly preferred timeframe for rescheduling, it was clear that maximum COVID mitigation measures would be needed for performers and staff to return, including vaccinations or testing, masking, and social distancing.

We struggled with the decision for some time. But unfortunately, the logistics of such mitigation measures—coupled with the impact of rescheduling on Hyde Park Theatre’s rental commitments and ScriptWorks’ production and partnership schedule—have led us to conclude that we will be unable to hold FronteraFest 2022.

FronteraFest Producer and ScriptWorks Executive Artistic Director, Christina J. Moore said, “It is extremely disappointing to go another year without FronteraFest in the Austin arts landscape. As we considered how to operationalize the requested COVID safety measures for the unique circumstances of the festival, the layers of contingency plans and the domino effects on scheduling were untenable. When you add in the financial impacts from those things and the prospect of reducing audience size, it just didn’t make sense to produce the festival with those constraints."

FronteraFest usually presents over 100 varied performances in the four components of the festival: the Short Fringe, for short works 25 minutes or less; the Long Fringe, for work 45- 90 minutes long; Bring Your Own Venue, for site-specific work or pieces running at other venues; and Mi Casa es Su Teatro, a one-day event of performances in private homes. The festival showcases dozens of local artists as well as others coming from New York City, Seattle, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Los Angeles in recent years.

“FronteraFest is one of Austin’s greatest arts incubators. And I have been lucky enough to be involved in every FronteraFest since the first one back in 1993,” says Ken Webster, Artistic Director of Hyde Park Theatre. “It’s a tremendous opportunity for new playwrights, directors, and actors to try out new work, revive old work or simply refine existing pieces. We are deeply saddened that we have to cancel the festival this year."

We look forward to the return of FronteraFest in 2023, with applications available by September 1st, 2022.

FronteraFest is produced in collaboration with ScriptWorks, a group dedicated to supporting emerging playwrights and developing new dramatic works.

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Many thanks to our season sponsor:
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This project is supported in part by the Cultural Arts Division of the City of Austin Economic Development Department, by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts, and by an award from The National Endowment for the Arts. Art Works.

HPT is also funded by grants from The Still Water Foundation and Tocker Foundation.

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