2016 Fringe Festival ~ Our Guide To Top Shows

Fringe Arts Headquarters

Fringe Arts Headquarters

‘Enjoying All Types Of Performing Arts In Philly’

The 2016 Fringe Festival, now in its 20th year, is one of Philadelphia’s signature fall arts events celebrating innovation and creativity in contemporary performance from artists around the world. From September 8 to 24, the Festival will feature hundreds of dance, theater, visual arts, music and spoken-word performances in traditional venues as well as on street corners and in cars, galleries, cabarets and restaurants.

History of Fringe Festival

The Fringe started life when eight theatre companies turned up uninvited to the inaugural Edinburgh International Festival in 1947. In 1997, five Philadelphia artists banded together to create an outlet for other contemporary and experimental performers to present their works.

The first Festival took over Philadelphia’s Old City for five days, and featured 60 performing groups that presented their work in theaters, nightclubs, galleries, alleys, abandoned buildings and at least one parked car.

Since then, the Fringe Festival, which is organized by Fringe Arts, has grown into more than two weeks of high-quality, highly innovative artistic presentations.

Our 2016 Guide To The Fringe Festival

 (will be updated throughout the day)

  • September 8 |  20th Annual Fringe Festival Opening Night  |  at 7 pm $75  |  Tickets

Held at FringeArts, 140 N Columbus BLVD

Celebrate 20 years of defying expectation, challenging convention and inspiring new ways of thinking. Join them for a toast to 20 more years while supporting the mission of FringeArts. Artist reception with Choreographer Reggie Wilson, including open bar and hors d’oeuvres.

World Premiere of Citizen. Citizen is a contemporary dance that confronts the complex challenges, struggles, judgments, and webbing between anonymity and community, between ideas of individual self and of being a citizen of your homeland or your adopted homeland. ~ Details ~ Citizen can be seen September 8 – 10

  • September 8 – 11, 13 – 15, 18 & 19, 21 – 23  |  Exile 2588  |  Times Vary  |  $20  |  Tickets

Held at Painted Bride Performing Arts Center, 230 Vine St.

Exile 2588 is an acrobatic folk-music space epic adaptation of the story of Io set 572 years in to the future. Enjoy break dance, static trapeze, and ever more innovative ensemble acrobatics!

  • September 9 – 10  | Matadar  |  Times Vary  |  $20

Held at The Collective, 3245 Ambler St, Philadelphia PA 19134

A Mexican fairy tale about a fearsome Matador and his Godless bull. The show features an impressive display of physical bad-assery including static trapeze, nunchuck dance and acrobatics inspired by Lucha Libre. This impossible story of romance, trust and belief proves that love really is the bloodiest sport of all.

Held at Arcadia Stage at The Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street

Violence and betrayal, angels and prophets, villains, kings…and chickens. Who Would Be King swings from absurd buffoonery to high tragedy, with kinetic physicality, silliness, swords, and a live synthwave score. Boston’s Liars & Believers brings this epic tale about the good, the great, and the chasm between.

  • September 9 & 10, 12, 14 – 17  |  I Fucking Dare You  |  Times Vary  |  $20  |  Theater

Held at Skinner Studio at Plays & Players Theatre, 1714 Delancey Place, 3rd Floor 

A Berserker clown doubleheader! Tremble as a lunatic prince (Brad Wrenn) drags you deep into bowels of his dank dungeon. Then go mad with a wispy English shut-in (Lee Minora) flouncing about her decaying manor. Boundaries will be tested, laughs will be had as this two-headed beast sucks the marrow from your funny bone!

Held at Philadelphia City Hall Courtyard at 1401 JFK BLVD

Leading hip-hop artist and 2013 Pew Fellow Raphael Xavier will bring together masterful street performers, extreme BMX riders, acrobatic contortionists, and live music for Raphstravaganza: The Kinetic Experience, a contemporary circus-style performance in City Hall’s courtyard. Featuring jazz composer Bobby Zankel.

Held at Arcadia Stage at The Arden Theatre, 40 North 2nd Street

Abigail craves love, Mercy wants fire, and Tituba needs to open a closed door. With Lizzie and Mary, sisters wrecked by disease and misfortune, they will steer their lives off a cliff. This enthralling original work gleefully pushes past moral bounds into a world of devilry and dark delight. Salem will burn with their broken promises.

  • September 13 – 15  |  Gala  |  8:00 pm  |  $29 General, $20.30 Member, $15 Student

Held at Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

A spectacle where the act of dancing, or the act of trying to dance, is celebrated, Gala showcases the desire to dance without complexes. Twenty dancers take the stage, from professional dancers and actors to first timers—people across ages, backgrounds, professions. Interpreting a series of dances across a range of eras, their performances reveal each person’s desire to move, to strive for joy, perfection, to transform with unabashed expression.

  • September 14 – 17  |  Surfice Tension  |  Times Vary  |  $14 to $20

Held at Christ Church Neighborhood House, 20 N. American St.

How far can you see beneath the surface? Tangle’s acrobats explore life’s hidden currents and push through the forces that pull us together. Merging circus arts with theater, dance, and innovative storytelling; Surface Tension uses trapeze and aerial silks to dive into a world of fixed points and sudden changes.

Held at CEC Meeting House Theatre, 3500 Lancaster Avenue 

Once More, With Feeling is an expressive and passionate dance suite that captures snapshots of life. Life is simultaneously beautiful and painful. Love and heartbreak. Perseverance and hopelessness. Vices, victories, losses, and everything in between. In spite of all the pain, don’t we all find it’s still worth it?

  • September 23  |  Imaginary Music  |  Times Vary  |  $15 General, $10 Student  |  Music  |  Tickets

Held at Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S 18th St 

Imaginary Music is a concert for the eyes and ears. Mixing live-performance, imagery, and technology, Andrew Litts and Ryan Olivier (the Philadelphia Electro-Acoustic Duet, “PhEAD”) present their own works along side new multimedia arrangements of Morton Feldman’s “Palais de Mari” and Steve Reich’s “Clapping Music.”

Held at FringeArts, 140 N Columbus BLVD

Come close out the festival with one last hairy-chested, fake eyelash-laden bash!  This balls-to-the-wall drag cabaret will be hosted by “The Drag Queen King,” (The Philadelphia Inquirer) herself!  The alter-ego of thespian Dito va Reigersberg, Martha’s raucous, joyous, uninhibited, surprising – and yet somehow intimate – shows are unequivocally the most popular in Philadelphia.

  • September 24 & 25  |  Macbeth  |  7:00 pm  |  $48 General, $33.60 Member

Held at Prince Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

In a country of multinational double-dealings, ethnic conflict, ruthless militia, blood minerals, and glittering Chinese imports, a warlord, General Macbeth, and his ambitious wife murder the king and unleash atrocities on the crumbling province that they seize. 

  • September 29  |  Feastival (Special) |  7:00 pm – 10:00 pm

Held at Fringe Arts at 140 N. Columbus Boulevard.

The annual Festival brings the best in contemporary, innovative and ground-breaking art to Philadelphia and fills the city with daring artistic performances, international legends, and local pioneers. FEASTIVAL celebrates both our artistic and culinary scenes! More About Feastival  |  Get Tickets

Buy Tickets

Fringe Festival


City-Wide  |  Held in different Philadelphia neighborhoods


September 8 – 24, 2016


Costs vary at different events  |  Buy Tickets

Web Site

Photo Courtesy FringeArts

Jeff Belonger

Jeff Belonger has been in the mortgage industry for 19+ years and now wants to do something different. With his experience of blogging and social media, Jeff wants to share all of what Philadelphia has to offer, so he created MyPhillyAlive.com. At MyPhillyAlive, we want to share the excitement that the City of Philadelphia resonates. Sharing the passion within, from the people of Philadelphia. At MyPhillyAlive, we’ll be talking about Philadelphia restaurants, fun bars, the city night life, the history of Philadelphia, Philly attractions & events, the arts, sports, and much more. We want people to add their experiences regarding Philadelphia, even if they are from out of town, which can be done on our Facebook fan page as well. www.facebook.com/MyPhillyAlive At the end of the day, we want to be different from the many Philadelphia sites. We want our site to be easy to navigate, while at the same time, we want you to not only find the hot spots, the best things to do in Philadelphia; but those hidden gems within the city. Thanks...

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