FronteraFest producers have announced that its annual showcase of emerging performing arts will be cancelled for a second year. FronteraFest is usually held in January.
In an email announcement festival organizers — leaders from Scriptworks and Hyde Park Theatre — said that it was just too difficult to produce the multi-week festival given the ongoing complications brought by the pandemic. The logistics of COVID mitigation measures along with the impact of rescheduling Hyde Park Theatre’s existing rental commitments and ScriptWorks’ production and partnership schedule has proved too difficult.
“It is extremely disappointing to go another year without FronteraFest in the Austin arts landscape,” said Christina J. Moore, FronteraFest producer and ScriptWorks Executive Artistic Director. “As we considered how to operationalize the requested COVID safety measures for the unique circumstances of the festival, the layers of contingency plans and the domino effects on scheduling were untenable. When you add in the financial impacts from those things and the prospect of reducing audience size, it just didn’t make sense to produce the festival with those constraints.”
FronteraFest usually presents over 100 varied performances in the four componentsL the Short Fringe, for short works 25 minutes or less; the Long Fringe, for work 45 to 90 minutes long; Bring Your Own Venue, for site-specific works; and Mi Casa es Su Teatro, a one-day event of performances in private homes. The festival showcases dozens of local artists.
“FronteraFest is one of Austin’s greatest arts incubators,” said Ken Webster, artistic director of Hyde Park Theatre. “And I have been lucky enough to be involved in every FronteraFest since the first one back in 1993. It’s a tremendous opportunity for new playwrights, directors, and actors to try out new work, revive old work or simply refine existing pieces. We are deeply saddened that we have to cancel the festival this year.”
Moore and Webster said they anticipate having FronteraFest return in 2023.