The Washington Post

Capital Fringe-cabulary: Comedy. Love. Hedgehogs.

How to describe this year’s Fringe offerings? With the help of Wordle, a tool that generates word clouds, we learn that the 2011 Capital Fringe Festival’s shows are, unsurprisingly, about comedy, women, life and love.

Arts Post dropped the show descriptions from each of the more than 100 plays in this year’s Fringe into Wordle, which gives prominence to the words used most frequently. The word “comedy,” always a huge part of the Fringe, comes out on top, but some other words that made it into the cloud are telling. “Sex,” naturally, is a big part of a festival that allows you to filter your show-search results by “nudity.” “Apocalypse” is another emerging theme — will it be more prominent in the 2012 Fringe? And “war,” “death,” and “murder” bring out the Fringe’s more serious side. As for the word "hedgehogs," front and center: That belongs to the show "Hello Hedgehogs!" an all-ages show featuring two spiny stars, Felicity and Pinkie Moon, and their human handler, storyteller Ellie Shinham. The live hedgehog show could be described by another frequently used Fringe word: “Extravaganza.”

Maura Judkis covers culture, food, and the arts.


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