Magazine article American Theatre

Christina Augello: Queen of the Fringe

Magazine article American Theatre

Christina Augello: Queen of the Fringe

Article excerpt

Don't let Christina Augello's earth-mother appearance fool you. Fifteen years ago, Augello, San Francisco's 50-year-old, redheaded mistress of the fringe, chose to situate her storefront venue, the EXIT Theatre, in the Tenderloin, one of the city's most disreputable neighborhoods. At the time, Augello crossed her fingers that audiences would come. They did.

Augello has pursued disreputable forms of theatre ever since she can recall. She came of age as an actress in the small-theatre movement of Buffalo, N.Y., but eventually abandoned her hometown in favor of New York City, and then San Francisco. Performing opportunities came and went, but her love of theatre persisted - until a year spent in Los Angeles trying to make it as a movie actress snuffed it. "It was the worst year of my life," Augello says flatly. That experience prompted her to give up any hope of developing an acting career and she returned to San Francisco demoralized, determined to lead "a real life with a real job."

A few years later, when Augello was working for a social-services agency in the Tenderloin, she began directing amateur-theatre productions with her distressed clients. Suddenly, the theatre bug was back, but this time Augello yearned to take on the role of producer. "I really wanted a theatre," she says. "I wanted theatre people around me again." Vacant storefronts were staring her in the face every day as she walked to work. "When what you want is right there, why would you look somewhere else for it? The space was available, it was cheap. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.