In 2002, a play named Matt and Ben
opened at the New York International Fringe Festival
. It followed a fictionalized Matt Damon and Ben Affleck after the script for Good Will Hunting
was completed, starred a young Mindy Kaling, and went on to have an Off-Broadway run
at P.S. 122.
Years later, in her book Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?
, Kaling describes how the success of that very show helped launch her now wildly successful career. And over a decade since Kaling took the stage, the New York International Fringe Festival
is opening for the 13th time, with 200 different shows on its roster, ranging from musicals to drama to stand-up.
In celebration of the festival's kickoff today, we spoke with some of the female writers and actresses launching their shows on stages across the city. Among the creators is a recent college grad, a Daily Show
writer, and a former illustration student — any of whom might just be the next big Mindy.