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2017 San Diego Fringe Awards

Diversity of awards reflect the eclectic nature of Fringe

Photo caption:

Photo by Beth Accomando

Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre won Outstanding World Premiere for the second year in a row, this time for "Echoes of Gallows Hill."

San Diego International Fringe Festival closed its fifth year Sunday night with an awards ceremony at the Spreckels Theatre.

San Diego International Fringe Festival closed its fifth year on Sunday night with an awards ceremony at the Spreckels Theatre.

The variety of awards given out reflects the diverse nature of Fringe itself. There were a number of companies that grabbed multiple awards including Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre, Ellipsoid Players and Theatre Group Gumbo from Japan.

There were also repeat winners with Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre taking home Outstanding World Premiere for a second year in a row, the company won this year for “Echoes of Gallows Hill” and last year for “Mythos.” Theatre Group Gumbo garnered Outstanding Comedy again for “Are You Lovin’ It?” and last year the crazy Japanese troupe won for “Will You Swear Your True Love for Me?” Theatre Group Gumbo also took the Artists’ Pick Award and the actors definitely were the favorite of all who met them.

Photo caption:

Photo by Beth Accomando

Theatre Group Gumbo won Outstanding Comedy for the second year in a row, this time for "Are You Lovin' It?" Audiences obviously did.

There was a wonderful sense of seeing artists mature at Fringe. Jacob Surovsky was only 17 years old when he made his debut at the 2015 San Diego Fringe Festival with “My Mother’s in the Audience.” Now 19, his Ellipsoid Players showed his development as a playwright and his increased ambition in what he wants to do. This year Ellipsoid Players took Outstanding Opera or Musical as well as best director for Jason Maddy.

Another young talent we have seen mature at Fringe is Lexii Alcaraz and Lighthouse Circus Theatre. The company won Outstanding Circus Arts last year for “Embers” and this year won Audience Favorite for “Incandescent.”

Although Fringe is over and you will never have another chance to see most of these shows ever again, there are some that will likely be mounted again in San Diego. Turning Tydes will definitely be back during Comic-Con week with "Into The Walker Woods" and last year's "Phantom of the Empire" at the Geoffrey Off Broadway. Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre is looking to revamp and stage “Echoes of Gallows Hill” later this year. And Bodhi Tree Concerts is looking for a venue for its provocative and immersive theater experience “8 Songs for a Mad King.”

Other shows looking for a chance to perform again are “Incandescent,” “Big Kitchen,” “The Banza,” and “Specific Gravity.” Hopefully they will find the funding and venues so audiences will have a chance to see these wonderful shows if they missed them at Fringe.

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Alfie Ordinary

Alfie Ordinary won Outstanding Artists in a Comedy for "Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous."

2017 San Diego Fringe Awards

Best Of Fest: “8 Songs For A Mad King” (Bodhi Tree Concerts)

Audience Favorite: “Incandescent” (Lighthouse Circus Theatre)

Critics’ Pick: “Flight” (Curbside)

Artists’ Pick Award: “Are You Lovin' It?” (Theatre Group Gumbo, Japan)

Outstanding Drama: “To Fall In Love…” (Jeneric Melpomene)

Outstanding Comedy: “Are You Lovin' It?” (Theatre Group Gumbo, Japan)

Outstanding Opera Or Musical: “The Banza” (Ellipsoid Players)

Outstanding Artist In A Comedy: Alfie Ordinary, “Help! I Think I Might Be Fabulous” (UK)

Outstanding Actor In A Drama: Ingrid Garner, “Eleanor’s Story: An Amercan Girl in Hitler’s Germany”

Outstanding Actor In An Opera Or Musical: Walter DuMelle, “8 Songs For A Mad King”

Outstanding Ensemble: “Into The Walker Woods" (Turning Tydes Theatre Company)

Outstanding Dance Performance: “Hip Hop Cabhooray” (Melissa Adao)

Outstanding Site-Specific: “There's No Place” (Althea Theatre, UK)

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Ellipsoid Players

Ellipsoid Players won two awards this year for their musical production, "The Banza."

Outstanding Direction: Jason Maddy, “The Banza”

Outstanding Writing: Jeneric Melpomene, “To Fall In Love”

Outstanding Magic Or Mentalist Performance: Mark Tolland, “Mark Toland — Mind Reader” (Chicago)

Outstanding Physical Theatre: “Beau & Aero: Crash Landing” (A Little Bit Off)

Outstanding Solo Performance: Patrick O’Brien, “Underneath The Lintel”

Outstanding World Premiere: “Echoes Of Gallows Hill” (Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre)

Outstanding Performance: Yvonne, “Searchin’ For The Write”

Outstanding Storytelling: Jassem Ink, “From Como To Homo”

Outstanding Aerial Or Circus: “Echoes Of Gallows Hill” (Astraeus Aerial Dance Theatre)

Outstanding LGBT Performance: “Princes” (Boy+Monster)

Outstanding Production: “The Lioness” (BkSoul)

Outstanding International Artist: Giorgia Mazzucato, “Lifegate” (Italy)

Photo caption:

Photo credit: Blindspot Collective

The Jonathan Dunn-Rankin Scholarhip Award and Creative Arts Initiative For Supporting New Works went to Blindspot Collective for it drama about mental illness, “Untold."

Jonathan Dunn-Rankin Scholarhip Award / Creative Arts Initiative For Supporting New Works: Blindspot Collective for “Untold”

New Zealand Fringe Tour Ready Award Winners: A Little Bit Off

Emerging Fringe / Creative Arts Scholarship Program First Place: “Nirvana,” Sweetwater High School, Bunch Of Kids.

Second Place: “Dream Of Life,” Canyon Crest Academy, Jacob Soble

Third Place: “For The Love Of Theatre,” Steele Canyon High School, Mary Rose Vadeboncouer and Rosie Barrack


The Golden Fringello For Outstanding Service: Rae Newoman

Volunteer Of The Year: Michael Morris (50 hours of volunteering)

You can see clips from some of the award-winning shows here.


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Beth Accomando
Arts & Culture Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksI cover arts and culture, from Comic-Con to opera, from pop entertainment to fine art, from zombies to Shakespeare. I am interested in going behind the scenes to explore the creative process; seeing how pop culture reflects social issues; and providing a context for art and entertainment.

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