The West Michigan area has a number of high-quality, small budget, non-profit theatre companies producing outstanding work. With relatively small budgets, it is sometimes difficult for these companies to create broader awareness of their work. These theatres seek to provide their programming to local audiences at a cost that makes theatre affordable and accessible to a broad spectrum of audience members, so maintaining inexpensive ticket prices is of utmost importance.
The Lake Effect Fringe Festival is organized by several small theatres from the greater Grand Rapids area, combining their efforts to create a month-long festival highlighting locally produced, performer-focused, live performance with affordable ticket prices. By banding together, these theatres seek to cross-promote their work to each other's audience pools, create awareness in regional media of the broad variety of local theatre, and engage the community in celebrating local arts programming.
The festival will reach 800-1000 audience members with 15-18 performances by 6-8 Michigan based theatre companies, providing members of the Grand Rapids community with the opportunity to see a variety of performances, from new plays to classics, for affordable ticket prices. 8-10 local playwrights will have plays produced for the first time. The festival will bring large numbers of attendees into the performance venue's neighborhood, creating potential patronage for other local businesses.