100 Colorado Creatives: Dave Ortolano of the Boulder Fringe Festival

Elise Watt
"A Midsummer Night's Dream," Band of Toughs.
#46: Dave Ortolano

Dave Ortolano is both a theater Renaissance man and a friend of theater. Naropa-trained and a collaborating member of Boulder's Band of Toughs company, his first love and major creative focus is his role as executive director of the Boulder International Fringe Festival, which kicks off another year of unjuried theatrical mayhem beginning on Wednesday, September 18.

See also: Boulder International Fringe Festival

This year, Ortolano hopes to raise the Fringe bar a little higher by pushing the dates back a month to take advantage of a new audience of returning University of Colorado students and by entering into a partnership with the new Agora at the Riverside, which will serve as Fringe Central for the multi-venue twelve-day event. And in spite of the flooding in Boulder, the Fringe must go on: Ortolano says many performers have been affected by the Colorado deluge, but will still be hitting Fringe stages this week.

What makes a guy dedicated to performance experiments and the joy of theatrical revelations tick? We asked Ortolano to tackle the 100CC questionnaire, and his answers follow.

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Dave Ortolano: Albert Einstein. He not only seemed to be a pretty smart person, but he also had a great sense of creativity and vision for the future. It would be really great to have him on the team to just hang out, talk about fundraising, scheduling and go see shows together. He understood that relative creativity existed at the center of everything, inside the atom, like Peter Brook's Empty Space.

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Barack Obama is pretty damn interesting right now, to see him go from "hope" to "hopeless" in the hands of our great American system of government. He represents both hope that we can become more culturally competent and failure, which gives us quite a fascinating view into one of the root causes of the breakdown of American society. Our conflicted two-party problem will keep any president from doing the job that we all know needs to get done, but can't because of the machine that we've built that is now ruling our culture by way of economic neediness. His hope campaign has helped us all understand that we all need to step up and do something fast -- because he can't. Yes, we can.

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

Teddy bears with a sexy tongue hanging out...

Continue reading for more from Dave Ortolano.

Location Info


Agora at the Riverside

1724 Broadway, Boulder, CO

Category: General

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