Funding on the Fringe: A Professional Development Blog by Olivia Cordell

The current graphic design for my show


A little less than a year ago, I wrote a play while traveling through Europe. Inspired by the amazing and fresh new works I saw while studying theatre in London, it only took me about three days to come up with a working first draft.


Within about six months I had a draft that was ready for submission, and amazingly, my first submission (ever) was successful! The USC student production company Brand New Theatre chose my play out of a fairly large submission pool to mount a full production in March of 2017. The production received great reviews from audience members, but I was already thinking about the next step – I wanted to mount a production beyond the student level.


The original BNT poster for my show


For the last several months I’ve been preparing to take my show tothe Hollywood Fringe Festival, which is a month-long, open-access performance event for “celebrating freedom of expression and collaboration in the performing arts community”. If you’ve ever heard of (or been to) theEdinburgh Fringe Festival, this is very similar, but smaller. It’s a great way for small companies or production teams to mount low-budget fringe theatre, with opportunities for making connections within the LA theatre community, winning awards, gathering press coverage, or even show extensions!



In January, I began the process of creating a page for my show and applying to venues. In February, my production manager and I toured venues and chose the one that we felt best fit our needs (and had the nicest audience restroom!) which was the Stephanie Feury Studio Theatre space on the edge of Larchmont and Hollywood. In March, we interviewed directors, selected an awesome young director named Aubrey Rinehart, cast the production, had a first read, and started fundraising.


Now things are really ramping up as we prepare to reach out to press, schedule rehearsals, print our publicity materials, network with other Fringe producers, and fundraise (which is arguably the most important part of this process). April 1st was the deadline for registering for the official Fringe guide, which costs $250, and that’s what I decided to use part of my professional development scholarship for!


With a bare-bones Fringe budget, every penny helps, and since I want to use this as my opportunity to dive into the LA theatre community, I think it’s an ideal use of my artists’ professional development fund. I also hope to garner some press for myself as a writer and producer, and to potentially find literary representation – or at least get some leads on how to do so. Both of those things would be great for my career as an artist and a writer!


If you are at all interested in my play, which is a thoroughly millennial exploration of emotional defense mechanisms through the lens of British minimalism (I swear it’s not as pretentious as that sounds) check out this article! And if you are feeling generous, please consider giving to our fundraiser – every dollar helps make art happen.


Tickets went on sale May 1st! Feel free to contact me at with any tips, ideas, or collaboration proposals. Fringe On!

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