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The League of Fringe Theaters was established in Seattle in 1989. The league brought together small, independently operated, financially limited theater companies into a community dedicated to promoting original productions and advocating for artists. Over the years the league established the Seattle Fringe Theater Festival (the first fringe theater festival in the U.S.), the League of Fringe Theaters General Auditions, and the League of Fringe Theaters Hotline (a phone line listing productions and auditions at fringe theaters). In 1996 the league received a grant from the city to develop a Warehouse for the Arts, a project to pool and store available materials for rent to local performers.
League membership included upwards of 25 theater companies, most of which remained linked to the league as it allied itself with other organizations. After the success of the First Annual Seattle Fringe Festival in 1991, the league formed a sister organization for the specific purpose of organizing and running the festival. In 1996 the league joined forces with the Arts Resource Center and finally merged with Theater Puget Sound, a primarily equity theater group. The League of Fringe Theaters Hotline maintained the league's moniker until it was discontinued in 1999.
The League of Fringe Theaters records consist mostly of newsletters and updates to members. The mailings include descriptions of the league's structure, activities, and projects. Also included are minutes, a budget, and ephemera.
The creator's literary rights have not been transferred to the University of Washington Libraries.
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