I gleefully stumbled upon Fringe the summer of 2015, when Mrs. Tracy Bono asked me to dress in eighteenth-century garb for the Fringe’s annual 5/fifths fundraising event. That particular year, the theme was "The Life and Times of Marie Antoinette." Dressing up was incredibly fun, but I didn’t have a clue what, exactly, I had gotten myself into when I agreed to volunteer.
Looking back, I now see what a superstar volunteer I was, rolling in at 2 p.m. in the afternoon to an empty, dusty bar with barren walls. The joy of watching the venue turn into a pop-up art gallery with a five-segment performance mystified and enthralled me.
All of the mediums of art were balanced so perfectly at this event. There were dancers, one-act performances, a String Mountain band, and two painters that sat on either side of the stage and completed a work of art during the performance. And now I could proudly say that I was a part of it. My role you ask? I was the helper at the "pin the head on the Aristocrat" station and I only dropped my French accent twice. From that night on I was hooked.
That year I was asked to host Fringe Family at the Festival, and that fall I was asked to join the family. I live in the most western corner of St. Charles County, and Fringe has brought me back to the city. I love the opportunity the Festival provides for me and other artists, and my particpation as part of the St Lou Fringe team has me enthused about curating shows and reigniting my desire for culture and art of all mediums.
It was the unleashed voices and unique art that the Festival presents that reignited my enthusiasm and prolonged my interest in Fringe, and it’s what keeps me coming back. Since rediscovering my passion for theater and the arts at Fringe, I make it a point to surround myself with theater, seeking out opportunities to use my talents and encourage artistic expression.
Last year I was the volunteer coordinator and this year I am the director of artist services. Fringe has sunk in its teeth into me. Someday I would like to produce a new Fringe Festival, but for now, I like to help ensure the magic happens for other dreamers.
In a word, St Lou Fringe is simply Wonderbar!
KATY FRY, Fringe Staff: St Lou Fringe's director of artist services and the theater manager for O’Fallon Theatre Works, Katy keeps busy making and promoting the arts in many mediums. A professional musician for 15 years, she brings abundant talent, endless energy, and an ever-present smile to the Fringe.