Bedlam Theatre: The soul of the Fringe

Soon-to-be homeless theater at helm of two festival performances

"I've called Bedlam personally and have assured them that city staff is working on finding a solution," Rybak wrote in an email. "They are a valuable community asset that we very much want to keep."

Bueche clearly wants to make the next stop Bedlam's last for the foreseeable future—which means resisting the temptation to rush into new arrangements.

"For the next two to three years we're envisioning ourselves as a mobile pop-up organization," Bueche says. "We want to take what we learned running this venue and focus it more clearly on the productions. We can open a space for a month or two, with a full infrastructure of food and drink and nightlife activity."

It sounds ambitious, but based on what Bedlam has pulled off since 2006, it would be foolish to question what the group can do. For the duration of the 2010 Fringe, Bedlam's work will prove an apt microcosm of the festival's diversity—not to mention the sharpness and drive of a group that belies the madness of its name.

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