The East Sider

Theater on the Fringe

Recent transplant Elizabeth Craig steps into Providence Fringe Festival leadership in its fifth year

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Elizabeth Craig may be a recent transplant to the East Side, but she has jumped enthusiastically into her role as a stage manager for The Wilbury Theatre Group, and she’s also serving as Festival Manager for the fifth annual Providence Fringe Festival (Fringe PVD), a week of theatre and performing arts that will take place at multiple locations from July 30-August 4. Stepping into a leadership role for the largest Fringe yet, and serving as point of contact for more than 50 different companies coming to Providence, Craig certainly has a full plate.

Craig is an actor herself and studied at Bowdoin College, citing Tennessee Williams as her favorite playwright. She has appeared in one Wilbury show so far, but enjoys being “both behind the scenes and in front – because why not?” Before moving to Wayland Square last October, she worked at a storytelling festival on the French island of Corsica, and last year she studied at Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Although she grew up in many different places, Craig possesses long-term ties to Rhode Island; she has been visiting family in Newport all her life and attended Brown summer school as a teenager.

The Wilbury Theatre Group is known for a minimalist aesthetic approach while it pushes traditional theatrical boundaries by reimagining classics and experimenting with new methods. Last year, the group went from being a more underground, roving troupe to finally landing a beautiful new space in a converted mill in Olneyville.
Craig shares that WaterFire – now also headquartered in Olneyville – is a major Fringe partner, and that the Steel Yard will host a night of music. Craig is particularly excited about Family Fringe Day, which will take place on August 4. “We’re trying to get more kids involved, and to get as many people from Olneyville and the surrounding neighborhoods as we can.”

Although she works on the West End, Craig loves walking the trails in Paterson Park and eating at Haruki, Garden Grille, and Salted Slate. Her husband, Michele, is from Italy and has taken up rowing at the Narragansett Boat Club on River Road, which offers classes that can lead to solo scull rentals. The pair has jumped into Providence life with gusto in the short time that they’ve lived here.