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FringeNYC is 15 and in the Top 5

The 15th annual New York International Fringe FestivalThe 15th annual New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC) plays August 12 -
28, 2011 at more than a dozen venues in Lower Manhattan, New York City.

FringeNYC is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, with 200 of the world's best emerging theatre troupes and dance companies. Attendance has topped over 75,000 people, making FringeNYC New York City’s fifth largest cultural event (just behind New York International Auto Show, Tribeca Film Festival, New York City Marathon, and New York Comic Con).

It has been a given for well over a century that New York City is The go-to place for live theater, so a theater festival there might almost seem redundant. But there are several good reasons for this festival.

Theatergoers are treated to productions that range from full-size stages in regular theater houses to black box platforms consisting of little more than some floor space surrounded by folding chairs (and hopes that the air conditioning holds out), in locations one might not normally go to any other time.

One can find oneself climbing the steep steps of a brownstone to reach a little theater such as the Kraine, or descend into the basement for a stage such as the [IATI Theater].

The range of productions spans the globe, from local theater companies based just around the corner to productions from across the U.S., as well as other countries -- and not just Canada and England. So this gives New Yorkers a chance to check out talent from elsewhere. After all, a lot of Broadway artists were not born in Jersey or the boroughs.

And nothing says "dedication" for an actor like plays such as these: fresh takes on old themes, original music, and chances to blaze trails and create new characters never seen before.

Many a Fringe entry has gone on to Off-Broadway or even Broadway prominence, and also scored some Obie and Tony Award nominations along the way.

And all in the space of three short weeks, which is by no means long enough. More than one Fringe show has been held over.

Here is a tiny fraction of what is in store:

Writer: Brian C. Petti
Director: Mary Ellen Nelligar
In 1981 New York, 40-year-old Jerry Sullivan is trying to rebuild his life after two months in a psych ward. He finds himself unexpectedly attracted to Cara, a young woman he meets on a blind date, but Jerry's domineering Irish-born mother doesn’t think much of her. Jerry struggles to keep his grip on reality, and what may be his last chance at happiness.

Vignettes of an I-talian American Girl
A One-Woman Show by Maria Baratta
Director: Anthony Patellis
Growing up a first-generation American in an Italian household required a delicate balancing act. Maria portrays a variety of characters as she shares her relationship with her parents and sister in her quest for her own unique identity.

The Legend of Julie Taymor, or the Musical That Killed Everybody!
Book & Lyrics by Travis Ferguson
Music & Lyrics by Dave Ogrin
Director/Choreographer: Joe Barros
The story of the rise and fall of director Julie Taymor and the behind-the-scenes scandals of Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark which has since become a modern Broadway legend. "This high-energy rock musical ... follows Julie's course through the most expensive Broadway musical of all time; facing financial problems, actor injuries, technical malfunctions, opening delays, scathing reviews, all while battling her arch-nemesis, an unrelenting theatre columnist."

A. Chekhov’s The Darling (Fort Worth, TX)
Writer: Anton Chekhovfringenyc-atheists-are-muslim
New Translation by Victor S. Tkachenko
Director: Victor S. Tkachenko
with Lisa Dalton
"Is Olenka the object of pity, ridicule or admiration? You decide! Anton Chekhov’s humorous, touching love story".

All Atheists Are Muslim (San Francisco, CA)
Writer/Performer: Zahra Noorbakhsh
Director: W. Kamau Bell
Choreographer: Coke Nakamoto
"Can Zahra have her Atheist and stay Muslim too? A tale of boy-meets-girl-meets-1000's of years of religious doctrine. You may even discover you’re more Muslim than you think."

Happy Worst Day Ever (Cincinnati, OH)
Writer: Arlene Hutton
Director: Mark Lutwak
"Unlikely 6th-grade friends struggle with self-identity, school cliques, peer pressure and the ever-present power of popular media in this new comedy by the author of Last Train to Nibroc. Winner of the 2010 Macy’s New Play Prize."

Never Look in the Mirfringenyc-nils-romaniaror When You're Dancing (Dublin, Ireland)
Writer: Kay Scorah
Director: David Keating
Choreographer: Jessica Kennedy
"There’s me and these 2 ballroom dancers. We’re going to tell you a (kind of) true story about stuff that happened, probably before you were born. 3 lives in 30 minutes; lives forged from loss, love and the occasional foxtrot."

Nils' Fucked Up Day (Bucharest, Romania)
Writer/Director: Peca Stefan
"The most obscene play in the Romanian theatre" - ... a sarcastic, existentialist take on the fucked up choices we have in this fucked up world. Outrageously presented in English by Romanian actors who won't emigrate to NY... Maybe. ,

FringeNYC also includes FringeJR, the play festival for families and children. Four shows are presented:

  • Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears
  • Happy Worst Day Ever
  • ISTWA! Storytime for a small world
  • There Was an Old Woman Who Swallowed a Fly and Other Heroines That Reach for the Sky!

Now theatergoers can enjoy this smorgasbord, and pick a show -- any show -- the odds are high that they will enjoy it. What is more, the ticket price for all productions is under $20 -- a fraction of the price for a Broadway play.

For more information visit

New York International Fringe Festival (FringeNYC)
August 12 - 28, 2011

45 Bleecker Street

Teatro SEA
CSV Flamboyan
CSV Kabayitos
Teatro LATEA
107 Suffolk Street

Dixon Place
161A Chrystie Street

The Living Theater
21 Clinton St.

Connelly Theater
220 East 4th Street

The Kraine Theater
85 E 4th St

4th Street Theatre
83 East 4th Street

The First Floor @ LA MAMA
74A East 4th St, 2nd Floor

The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ LA MAMA
66-68 East 4th St.

IATI Theater
64 East 4th Street

Bowery Poetry Club
308 Bowery

Bleecker Theatre
45 Bleecker Street

Players Theatre
115 MacDougal St.

Le Poisson Rouge
158 Bleecker Street

Manhattan Theatre Source
177 MacDougal Street

The Studio @ Cherry Lane Theatre
38 Commerce Street

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