EdgeFest gets an audience boost

About 7,000 theatergoers attended 48 performances and special events that were part of last month’s Edge of the World Theater Festival, according to festival organizers’ estimates, which were based on attendance reports from some of the participating small theaters.

About 500 theatergoers bought $15 “passports” to the L.A. festival -- almost twice as many as last year -- and another 100 were given away to people who couldn’t afford them.

Co-executive director Ray Simmons said that the festival will expand by five days next year, running Oct. 4-19, 2003, and will feature “a much more aggressive curatorial approach” -- a direction that was apparent this year. “Everybody felt the quality was better this year,” he said, although he also noted that “there were a few splendid failures -- shows that sounded like good concepts but didn’t quite come off. There was no way to know it in advance.”

The festival’s attempt to expand beyond its core Hollywood-downtown area by using more far-flung venues for round-table discussions “didn’t work so well,” with outlying events attracting few participants.


-- Don Shirley