Presenting 200 shows with 1200 performances by 5,000 artists from all over the world, reaching 75,000 audience members at 20 venues, and all over the course of just 16 days…it must be the New York International Fringe Festival. Running from August 13th to 29th, FringeNYC is one of the largest multi-arts festivals in North America. Particularly known for experimental and offbeat new theatre, on the "fringe" of the mainstream, the festival celebrates its 14th anniversary this year.
FringeNYC is the place to see exciting new theatre, and has hosted the premieres of future hits such as Urinetown (which went on to win three Tony awards) and Dog Sees God. Fringe festivals provide the opportunity for audience members to really try something new and step outside of their comfort zones. Taking a gamble on new shows does mean that sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, but with cheap tickets and shows all day, you're sure to find something to suit your taste.
Click here to search through this year's shows, and here to download the official program, with full listings and helpful hints on how to navigate the festival. Visit FringeCENTRAL, located this year at 1 East 8th Street (and 5th Avenue) and open from 12 – 8 pm, for more in-person guidance and help finding shows from their concierge.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door for all shows. They can be bought in advance either online, by phone, or in person at FringeCENTRAL until 24 hours before showtime. Within 24 hours of the show, tickets must be bought at the box office of the venue (cash only), starting 15 minutes before the performance. Discounts are available for senior citizens and children under 12, and frequent attendee passes are available as well. Check out their full ticket policy for more details. Most shows run about 30 to 60 minutes.
All venues are located in lower Manhattan around the East Village and Greenwich Village neighborhoods. Check out the venue map for locations, nearby subway stops, and discount coupons for local food and drink options.
There is something for everyone at this year's fringe, including shows geared toward younger audiences and free events. FringeJR is the fringe for families, with shows specifically recommended for ages 5 to 12, and FringeHIGH shows are chosen particularly for a teen audience, with a talkback after one of the performances at each show.
FringeAL FRESCO events are free outdoor performances, including two FringeNYTeasers shows (August 14th and 21st) giving previews of what you can find at the fringe from 10 am – 12:30 pm at SUMMER STREETS on Spring and Lafayette. FringeU presents free educational events with theatre professionals in the evenings at FringeCENTRAL, and FringeCLUB is the late-night, after-show hangout, where artists and audience members can mingle. FringeCLUB is hosted at the Actor's Playhouse, with a lounge on Thursdays and a variety show on Fridays and Saturdays.
With so much to choose from, it might seem overwhelming, but just jump in to explore some of the hottest off off Broadway in New York. After all, the Fringe only comes once a year.