Taking the Church Outside These Walls: Fringe Festival Recap


Well, the 2015 Orlando Fringe Festival has come to a close, and I’m trying to come up with the words to adequately describe our experience there. All I can say is, God was at work… in big ways! First, let me say I’m incredibly proud of the cast and crew of The Prodigal Musical. Many of them have been working on this show in some capacity for more than a year. They represented us well at Fringe and gave their absolute all at every performance.

I am also incredibly humbled by how the Fringe Festival community welcomed us. The festival concluded with an awards ceremony on Monday night (the Fringe Fabby Awards!). Summit Church had the honor of winning the New Producer award. What does this mean? Essentially, it means that they liked having us there. They found us easy to work with. And to me, that means we represented Jesus well. People who have never stepped foot inside a Summit campus caught a glimpse of who we are... and more importantly, who we are all about.

Over the 13 days of the festival I got to see 21 shows (which seems like a lot, but it’s really a drop in the bucket when you consider there were 130 to choose from!) and meet a lot of people.

I met Luke and Heather, a wonderful couple from New York, who were there performing a beautiful play based on the children’s book Ferdinand. They came to see Prodigal, and after the show Heather commented that the parable finally made sense to her (which, of course, was the Holy Spirit working through us).

I met a John, a stellar Fringe volunteer (Fringe relies heavily on volunteers to run, much like Summit does!) who, after seeing our show, told me to let him know when the next Summit production would be.

I met Donovan, a fellow musical writer who was also bringing an original show to Fringe. We talked about the process of writing, shared our insecurities, and offered each other words of encouragement.

I could go on and on about the relationships that were built. Every cast and crew member could tell you stories about how they saw God work at Fringe. We are looking forward to going back to Fringe next year and continuing to build on these relationships and forge new ones.

Thank you so much for supporting us at Fringe. Thank you for bringing the church outside the walls of a building… It really mattered!

Michael Murray