The CHARAS/El Bohio Community Center has scheduled additional volunteer work days in order to complete renovations on the Bimbo Rivas performance space in time to meet New York International Fringe Festival commitments.
Volunteers are being scheduled to work on the Bimbo Rivas on Aug. 10 from 6-10 PM and again during the day on Aug. 12. The Fringe Festival runs Aug. 16-20. As reported earlier, Present Company (and Fringe Festival) artistic director John Clancy and CHARAS Community Center organizer Susan Howard are pooling their resources and preparing five mini "venues" within the Lower East Side CHARAS building to stage Fringe Festival events.
The Bimbo Rivas is located in the facility's basement. The theatre's namesake, Bimbo Rivas, was a popular Lower East Side poet and playwright. The Latino Theatre Workshop was conducted in the Bimbo Rivas for several years before problems with the ventilation system forced it to close.
New York City is the seventh major U.S. city to host a fringe festival. Gotham joined Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston, Orlando and San Francisco as a fringe festival host city in 1997.
CHARAS was the former New York Public School 64. A popular community center for more than 20 years, the center's management is battling its landlord, the City of New York, which sold the property to developer Gregg Singer at auction. CHARAS claims it has a right to buy the building and the group has demonstrated every time the new owner has shown the building. Ticket information on the Fringe Festival can be obtained by calling (212) 420-8888 or by visiting www.fringenyc.org.
-- By Murdoch McBride