Apparently, laissez-faire artistic independence can be far more daunting than it sounds. Sure, everyone says they want to do their own thing, but when something like the Boulder International Fringe Festival comes along and they really get the chance, they freeze up. "The most difficult part is that artists are so used to a culture that says, 'You have to do it this way; you have to market it that way.' It's much rarer to create and market it all," according to David Ortolano, executive producer and co-founder of the fest. "We set forth a platform and then get out of the way."
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Of course, not everyone is crying about too much freedom. "My plan is to get out there every day on the street and promote my show," says Chris Harder, one of seventy artists performing at the twelve-day festival that includes everything from theater and dance to spoken-word, puppetry and cinema.
Opening tonight at 8 p.m. at Boulder's Dairy Center for the Arts, 2590 Walnut Street, Harder's The Centering: One Man's War on Terror is the Kafkaesque story of a political prisoner being interrogated in a Guantanamo-type prison. "As he's interrogated, he goes into a fantasy world where a clown offers escape from the present," Harder says. "The central idea is that even in the most brutal circumstances, we need to find our own faith and dignity. For the character, that clown reveals that for him." Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for seniors and students. For more information go to www.boulderfringe.com.
Fri., Aug. 17, 7 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 18, 10 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 20, 8 p.m.; Thu., Aug. 23, 4:30 p.m.; Fri., Aug. 24, 5:30 p.m.; Sat., Aug. 25, 1 p.m.