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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…