While you’re waiting on hours-long lines for tickets to the last few weeks of Shakespeare In The Park, perhaps you should think about stepping out and giving a bit more… eccentric theater a try. In other words, give the 15th annual New York International Fringe Festival, which begins this Friday, a shot! Never heard of it? If you’re a fan of theater that’s a shame since the Fringe Festival will encompass 12 days, 20 venues, and a total of 194 performances, the largest arts festival in North America.
The New York Daily News has done a piece mentioning some of the more, well, curious pieces, including “Jersey Shoresical: A Frickin’ Rock Opera,” “Jeffrey Dahmer Live,” “Zombie Wedding,” and the sure-to-be-classic “Flaccid Penis Seeks Vaginal Dryness”. After all, the world is still looking for the next Mel Brooks (let’s face it, the two dudes who did Vampires Suck and Meet the Spartans aren’t close to cutting it), so you might get a chance to see some great talent in development.
But just because it’s “fringe” theater doesn’t mean it has to be offbeat and silly. In fact, the Daily News doesn’t neglect to point out that the 1999 Fringe Festival is where the 2001 Tony Award winning play Urinetown debuted, especially since the creators behind Urinetown, Greg Kotis and Mark Hollman, are back at the festival this year presenting a new play, Yeast Nation.
But the Fringe Festival offerings run the gamut from one-man shows, such as Dan Horrigan’s “The Big A,” or serious plays from 52 year-old former lawyers like Paul David Young, or “Smoking Section,” written by Brian Pollock, an New York Police Officer. The Fringe Festival is an opportunity for people from all walks of life to get their productions on stage.
Most importantly, however, the Daily News piece highlights the sacrifices that those behind the Fringe Festival plays have to take on to produce their dreams: there’s a slim chance of breaking even, so those behind the plays are fueled by their dreams and chances at exposure.
In the New York area over the next few days? Check out the Fringe Festival schedule at fringenyc.org!
Lance here – Just wanted everyone to know my friend, Charlie Smith, is performing in the play Keepers. For more info and tickets, click here!