The "Whats" and "Hows" of Taking a Show to Edinburgh Fringe

self-producing Nov 10, 2023

Dominique Salerno, one of the many talented artists we work with, took her one woman show, THE BOX SHOW, to Edinburgh Festival Fringe this summer where it was critically-acclaimed. So many folks we work with look for the opportunity to go to Edinburgh so we seized on the opportunity to talk with her about what it was like to take a piece to one of the world’s largest, most influential new work showcases. Dominique is a true multi-hyphenate, a comedian, actor, writer and producer, always juggling multiple projects and wearing many hats along the way. We’re proud of her and hope this interview gives you insight into the whats and hows of performing at Edinburgh Fringe. 


Edinburgh Fringe is considered one of the most influential, important festivals in the world. It has kicked off many careers and has seen countless transfers to Broadway and the West End. What does it mean to you to have had the opportunity to take your show to the Fringe Festival?

It was a pretty surreal experience to be a part of this massive, world renowned festival! And then to be listed on the Telegraph’s funniest 56 shows of the Fringe was also so unbelievable. I mean, I do a show in a box where I play all the characters, control the lighting, and fumble around in the dark in between scenes. It’s not glamorous. The fact that I got to perform this weird little show as a part of this international bastion of art and culture is such a blessing, and I’m so grateful! 

How did the opportunity to take THE BOX SHOW to Edinburgh come about?

It was super organic! I was already working with Kevin McCollum’s incredible production company Alchemation on a different project, and they saw a performance of the show when I was doing it at La Jolla Playhouse and thought it would be a good fit for them to produce in Scotland. It all just evolved from there! 

What are three things you think artists should know or consider before embarking on their own efforts to bring a show to Edinburgh?

I think one of the most important things to consider is the venue. I was a Fringe newbie, but Alchemation had a really good sense of where to put the show, and they picked an incredible venue at The Pleasance Courtyard. I would recommend any artist getting in (at even the smallest space) at one of the big three venues: The Pleasance, Gilded Balloon, and Underbelly These are by far the best venues for attracting audiences at the Fringe Festival

I would also pause to consider the cost of producing a show. I was so fortunate to have an amazing partner in this venture because the costs are pretty astronomical! I don’t know if I would have done it if I were producing the show on my own. Just take a breath and really price everything out to be sure it’s the best choice for you! 

What was your highlight of the festival experience?

Performing to packed houses was pretty great. The Box Show sold out almost every performance, and hearing audiences laugh at and love this weird and wacky show was so fulfilling. I always feel like I find my people when I perform this solo show, and this Edinburgh run was no different.

What was your biggest challenge in getting the show up and running?

I got covid for the first time right before I was supposed to leave for Scotland. It knocked me out so hard that I was out of commission for three full weeks, so that wasn’t great. Right when I was hoping to be rehearsing and re-writing this super physical show, I was instead lying in bed, struggling to lift my arms. That was tough! Fortunately I recovered just in time to travel, but it  was a good reminder that we can’t control everything (or anything, really!) and forced me to enter into the festival with a ‘whatever will be will be’ mindset. Sometimes life hands you lemons, and you take those lemons across the Atlantic and make people laugh with  them. 

What surprised you most about your experience?

I don’t know if it was surprising, but the best part of my experience was making some incredible new friends on Alchemation’s ‘boots on the ground’ team and connecting some amazing audience members and industry professionals who now want to work together. Finding new collaborators is always the best part of any artistic venture for me! I may do a solo show, but at my core I am a collaborative animal who would much rather share the stage with others than stand alone in the spotlight! 

Do you have any future plans for The Box Show?

I have other projects coming up that I need to focus on, so the box is in storage for now. If an outside party wanted to give me time, space, and resources to rewrite the show – something I have wanted to do for years! – then I would be thrilled to climb back into the box and see what emerges. I’ve learned never to say never with this show!


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