Theater preview: FRIGID Festival returns to NYC

Executive Director Erez Ziv recommends catching Yanomi as "Miss Hiccup" in her FRIGID debut — all the way from Tokyo, Japan!  Credit: Rene Ferrer
Executive Director Erez Ziv recommends catching Yanomi as “Miss Hiccup” in her FRIGID debut — all the way from Tokyo, Japan!
Credit: Rene Ferrer

Returning to New York City for the seventh year, FRIGID Festival brings together a collection of exciting, uncensored performance art pieces ranging in theme, tone and structure from stand-up comedy to burlesque, from one-acts to full-length plays. The works take place in multiple downtown venues during the festival’s run from Feb. 20 to March 3, and artists collect 100 percent of the proceeds — along with, of course, invaluable exposure. We spoke with Executive Director Erez Ziv about what FRIGID has in store for 2013.

Congrats on seven years! How did FRIGID originate and how has it progressed?

The idea for FRIGID was first introduced to us by Christina Augello of Exit Theater, who runs the Fringe Festival in San Francisco. She and I met when she came to check out The Red Room for a possible rental, and we started talking and she told me about this festival that gives 100 percent of box office proceeds back to the artists. I thought it sounded great! It fit the mission of Horse Trade like a glove, and within a couple of months I was in Montreal meeting with all the Fringe producers from Canada. … Over the past seven years the festival has grown steadily from year to year, with more attention from press, more audiences and more applicants every year.  Growing capacity steadily has allowed us to distribute close to $30,000 to participants last year, up by more than 50 percent from the first year!

Who is the target audience? Will it appeal to people who are used to big-stage shows?

Our target audience is theater lovers, and really anyone who enjoys live performances. Regular Broadway audiences do come to the festival year after year, so they must have enjoyed what they saw the year before! Our productions are certainly not as big and flashy as the shows uptown, but we have some good shows that anyone who enjoys live theatrical entertainment will enjoy. We also have shows that appeal to people who would not normally go see a show uptown, or who can’t afford the steep Broadway prices.

There seems to be an eclectic mix. What’s the common thread?

The common thread is art! The work is new, fresh, exciting and surprising. Most importantly, it is all created and performed by some of the hardest working people in show business, self-producing indie theater artists.

How do shows qualify for FRIGID? Have they all been previously staged? Do they all join this North American “circuit” together?

The work qualifies simply by virtue of having been created.  All year long we and everyone else in town reads scripts, bios, resumes and reviews, we preview shows and examine past work we ask interns what they think, we confer with committees, we do readings and readings and then we do more readings! This is the one chance a year we get to just let things happen and see what comes out. … We pull shows out of a hat! Literally, a top hat.

What are some of the standouts this year and why?

I am excited about “Traditional Dances of Sri Lanka” — they are coming all the way from Sri Lanka, and their show promises to be well worth the trip. This is writer/performer Una Osato’s fourth year in the festival, and if her previous shows are any indication “exHOTic Other” will be great. We met and fell in love with John Grady at last years festival, so I’m looking forward to his new show, “Little Pussy.” The same goes for “My Pussy is Purrin’ Again” by 78 year old Dyan Forest, who did “I Married a Nun” last year. “A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup” is coming all the way from Tokyo, Japan! … This is her first time in the FRIGID Festival. I’ve been hearing a lot of great buzz about her, so I’m really excited to finally see her perform. But the show I am most excited about is the one I am not expecting, every year there is at least one show that really takes me by surprise and those are the ones I always enjoy the most.

Follow Metro’s theater critic on Twitter: @TMichelleMurphy.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…