Most recently, the New York International Fringe Festival and Red House Arts Center presented Patrick Burns in his original one-man-musical, From Foster Care to Fabulous as part of the 20th Annual New York International Fringe Festival.
Directed by Richard Israel, this witty and moving musical chronicles the playwright's experiences as a teenager placed in Oakland's foster care system. Created and performed by Patrick Burns, the musical takes audiences through Patrick's young life by offering a plethora of jaw-dropping and side-splitting anecdotes. In addition to playing himself, Burns also transforms into a bizarre cast of horrific, hilarious, and ultimately heartbreaking characters.
"If you go from East Bay to Broadway / The journey can be arduous / But if you don't complain and always entertain / You'll go from foster care to fabulous," Burns sings in the show's opening number. Known for his work as a performer, music director, orchestrator, and director, Burns recently completed a three season residency.
The show was initially conceived during Burns' time as an undergraduate at University of California, Irvine and first presented by the Ahimsa Collective in Los Angeles in 2010. It has since received workshop productions at the UC Irvine Festival of New Musicals, New Helvetia theatre in Sacramento, CA and most recently at the Red House Arts Center in Syracuse, NY.
The show was awarded a grant by the Puffin Foundation and had its New York debut in 2013 at the Bleecker Street Theatre as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity where it was nominated for Best Solo Production and Best Solo Performance. The show received the Planet Activist award for going above and beyond the call of duty while working with a charitable institution (Children's Aid Society) and raising awareness for a cause.
Burns has also used performed the show to benefit charities that champion causes related to youth in foster care. The Puffin Foundation funded a benefit performance for the Los Angeles-based foster care organization Fostering Imagination in March 2011. In the summer of 2011, Mr. Burns performed the show in Alaska as a fundraiser for Bay Area foster care organization Beyond Emancipation.
In October of 2014, Mr. Burns performed the show at the fifth anniversary celebration of East Bay Children's Law Office in Oakland, CA. The following spring, Mr. Burns and the show headlined the Walk the Talk fundraiser at El Prado in Balboa Park for San Diego organization, Just In Time For Foster Youth.
This new version of the show, developed at Redhouse Arts Center, features a completely original score, complete with fresh orchestration for a four-piece band.
"The fringe festival is filled with passionate, talented and exciting artists," says writer/performer Patrick Burns. "I'm so thrilled to be a part of this festival and this community. I wrote this show not only to entertain but to raise awareness of the foster care system. It's a scrappy, classy and unique show that is the perfect fringe event."