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hollywood fringe 2016 footlightsFootLights is proud to be the premiere print magazine for theatre in Los Angeles. We serve more theatres and provide more information about theatre than anyone. While that has always been our goal, about a year ago, we brought Tracey Paleo on board to help us with our digital development and she proved to be so good, so efficient and so productive that we have asked her to become an Associate Editor. Fortunately for us, she accepted and we are now benefitting from her skills and experience editorially and many other areas as well. If you see her about, and she does get around, give her a shout out, and give her a warm welcome in her new position.

One of the results of Tracey’s work, is that we have gotten to know our Theatre community better. Take a look at all of the stories and articles on our website, Our interviews, our profiles our examination of issues have all benefitted from her experience accomplishments at her own digital enterprise,

As part of Tracey’s efforts, she has brought a keener focus to each issue, one that we believe will only enhance your appreciation of the magnificent theatre that is brought to us by our very large and diverse theatre community. So in keeping with that thought, much of editorial content this issue, will again be dedicated to the biggest annual theatrical event on the west coast, The Hollywood Fringe Festival.

For months, in some cases years, an army of artists individually and in small groups have been planning for their participation in the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival. Starting on June 9th, and continuing through the 26th, nearly 300 different productions will be mounted in some 30 different venues, mostly within a few blocks of legendary Theatre Row near the intersection of Wilcox and Santa Monica Blvd.

If you’ve never been to a fringe festival, and they’re becoming increasingly popular, you’re in for a totally different experience. Different in that you as an audience member are closer to the heart of the material. These performance in some cases are still looking for the right notes, they’re in the process of change, looking for the right line, the right mood, the right chemistry. Sometimes, it’s like going to a construction site and watching a new building rise. And the pay off for the artists, is that some of these productions, continue on with lives in intimate theatre, some move on to larger productions, and all hope that it’s the next big step into their future.

There are fully realized productions, shows that have been developed and scripted and the pet project of some producer/director/actor, but no matter how realized, what they will not be is theatre as you know it. There are some important factors that come into play. There’s a certain vibrancy that comes to the stage when every show has half an hour to set up each performance, then have to strike their entire set so the next production, a totally different show, different company, can get set up for their performance. It’s all topsy turvey and frantic till the show opens, and then you have raw energy spilling on to the stage.

While there will be set pieces, traditional sets are not likely. While some shows manage a few special lights, most have to work with a lighting plot that’s already there. It’s different, it’s unique, it’s a hell of a lot of fun, if your willing to grasp that in most cases, this is theatre on less then micro budgets. But the payoff is so big for the audience, in that we get to participate in the creation of an art piece.

Walking into a Fringe Show, is somewhat like walking into an artists studio in the midst of creating a project. What you see on the canvas may or may not be discernable, it may be nearly complete, or it may be just the initial sketch on a canvas. What we get to see, is that magical moment, when we witness the artists struggling to corral their effort, shape it into the expression of their soul.

So, grab your water bottles, put on your walking shoes and go to the Hollywood Fringe Festival, for details check out many of the shows listed at, or go to, for complete information.









About Peter Finlayson

Peter Finlayson is the Founder, Publisher and Editor-in-chief of FootLights magazine and While working on a prelaw program at the University of Michigan, he happily got involved with the theatre program. Much to his mother’s chagrin, law school never happened, but in a career spanning more than 4 decades, Peter has performed, directed or designed more than 150 productions. In his spare time, he is working on a new play. You can follow him on Twitter @Thtrdog .

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