2017 Fringe Festival ~ Our Guide To Top Shows

FringeArts Headquarters

FringeArts Headquarters

‘Enjoying All Types Of Performing Arts In Philly’

The 2017 Fringe Festival, now in its 21st year, is one of Philadelphia’s signature fall arts events celebrating innovation and creativity in contemporary performance from artists around the world.

From September 7 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 2017 Guide To The Fringe Festival

 (will be updated throughout the day)

  • September 7 |  21st Annual Fringe Festival Opening Night  |  at 7 pm $75  |  Tickets

Held at FringeArts, 140 N Columbus BLVD ~

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm Special preview of 17c by Big Dance Theater & reception 8:30 pm – 10:00 pm

Celebrate 21 years of defying expectation, challenging convention and inspiring new ways of thinking. Join them for a toast to 21 more years while supporting the mission of FringeArts. Artist reception with Choreographer Annie-B Parson and FringeArts President and Producing Director Nick Stuccio, including open bar and hors d’oeuvres.

17 c: This ensemble work of dance, theater, and music is built around the 17th century diaries of Samuel Pepys, a man who sang, strummed, shopped, strove, bullied, and groped—and recorded all of it in his diary. Details ~ 17 c can be seen September 7 – 9 (tix)

  • September 7 – 9  |  Life Lines  |  Times Vary  |  $14 – $20  |  Tickets

Held at Neighborhood House, 20 N American St 

Seven women collide and are changed forever. In this dynamic circus-theater show, strangers meet their match, empty rooms listen in, and women find their power in flight. Tangle’s acrobats climb trapezes and aerial silks as they face sudden changes, spark chain reactions, and test the hidden threads that bind us.

Held at Independence Seaport Museum, 211 S Christopher Columbus Blvd  

Fish out of water, Jozef Rothstein, enters the shark infested waters of Tinseltown with the hopes of landing a career on the silver screen. But does this aspiring actor turned waiter have what it takes to rise above the in and out crowd of the deli scene to make his Hollywood dreams come true?

  • September 7 – 13 |  (miss Julie)  |  8:00 pm  |  $15

Held at Bainbridge Green, 5th and Bainbridge St. 

When the Count’s away, everyone’s gonna play in this physical, ensemble driven adaptation of Strindberg’s Miss Julie. Svaha invites you to get lost in the midsummer festivities as the action unfolds around you. As the encroaching public gaze closes in, Julie must crawl through the mud, blood and shit to find wholeness.

  • September 7 – 10, 13 – 17, 20 – 23  |  ….strand…  |  Times Vary  |  $35 – $75

Held at Grays Ferry Crescent Trail Park

Set forth with this FringeArts favorite on a journey unto the … strand…, the troupe’s latest immersive site-specific production. Don your headsets and field gear; seek out along a self-guided adventure through the urban wilds. What seems, remains to be seen. Worlds; eras, scrape, collide and, unfold us into our future.

Held at The Louis Bluver Theatre at the Drake (entrance is halfway down Hicks Street between Spruce & Pine) InterAct Theatre Company, 302 S. Hicks Street

A luddite private eye stumbles onto a virtual reality conspiracy when a new app allows you to live out your wildest fantasies . . . at a cost. Fishtown explores our addiction to technology, our loneliness in an over-connected world, and asks what constitutes reality. It’s Chinatown meets Black Mirror meets Roger Rabbit.

Held at Your Home ~ Available in ALL Philadelphia neighborhoods. Only one booking per time slot per day.

Have you ever wondered about the REVOLUTIONARY HISTORY of your Philadelphia home? Allow Fren Banklin, the NOTORIOUSLY UNRELIABLE cousin of Ben Franklin, to visit your apartment, row house, or other domicile and regale you with the fascinating stories buried beneath your floorboards!

  • September 11, 13 & 17  |  AmeROCKin Justice  |  Times Vary  |  $20 General Admission, $15 Student

Held at Franky Bradley’s, 1320 Chancellor St 

A patriotic production embracing the freedom to express life through dance & music in this great country. The First Ladies bring you an All AmeROCKin experience to bring back the true meaning of being an American girl (or boy, or woman or man). Indulge in a sensual dance show with pride, liberty, and justice for all!

  • September 14 – 16 & 19  |  Dogs of FringeArts  |  Times Vary  |  Pay-What-You-Want

Held at La Peg Beer Garden, 140 N Columbus Blvd 

Now’s your chance to meet the #DogsOfFringeArts in living color! With so much to see this festival, managing your time can be RUFF, but canine interaction lowers blood pressure and extends overall longevity.  Pay what you dare to donate, and enjoy Yappy Hour drink specials with the cutest pups around!

Held at Caplan Studio Theater at University of the Arts, 211 South Broad Street

Rather than create something new, The Berserker Residents have teamed with The University of the Arts to stage an old-ass play. Come see Lord Ham Hillerson’s accidentally bone-chilling play Cracker and Shiv. Student performer Julya VanDerSloot says: “I hate this show. These assholes are forcing us to [word limit reached].

Held at The Bainbridge Club, 1529 Bainbridge St 

“Bon Appétit!” is a comic culinary extravaganza that taps the wit and antics of one of America’s best-loved television personalities! Written by Lee Hoiby, sung by Susan Weinman, and played by pianist David Pasbrig, it is comprised of music draped over the words and gestures of Julia Child, the mother-of-all-foodies! Cake & coffee included. Cash bar.

Held at Wilma Theater, 265 South Broad Street ~ (Tickets Going Quickly)

World Premiere! What’s at stake here is America and its future. Who’s invited to participate? Presented in partnership with Opera Philadelphia as part of the O17 festival.

Held at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard 

“The Drag Queen King of Philadelphia.” The Philadelphia Inquirer ~ The hairy-chested, fake eyelash-laden alter-ego of thespian Dito Van Reigersberg performs a balls-to-the-wall drag cabaret. Backed by her stellar band and with her killer voice, Martha Graham Cracker takes you on a raucous, joyous, uninhibited ride around her world.

Held at The Drake – Proscenium Theater, 302 South Hicks Street 

A provocative tale of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality, The Turn of the Screw is a ghost story originally penned by Henry James in 1898, adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher. It is not a tale for the faint of heart, but a tale for the brave who can stand to wait it out in the dark.

  • September 22  |  a disruption  |  Times Vary  |  $20 General, $15 Student  |  Tickets

Held at Penn Museum’s Chinese Rotunda, 3260 South St 

a disruption is a 50-minute musical performance of swirling, sputtering percussive dissonance. It is the latest composition by John Patrick Stewart and written for 3 cellists, 4 pianists, and 4 percussionists. The piece is performed in-the-round placing the audience in the center of the radially distributed musicians.

Held at The Rock School for Dance Education, 1101 South Broad Street 

Exciting, energetic young talent from around the world perform classical and contemporary vignettes that will keep you on the edge of your seat! Alumni from The Rock School go on to join the most prestigious dance companies worldwide. See the dance stars of tomorrow, today!

Held at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard

Band led by Emily Bate, Philadelphia-based singer, composer, and performer. Recent projects include choral theater piece Going Down Mount Moriah, and frequent collaborator Erin Markey’s anarcho-musical A Ride on the Irish Cream, which she co-composed and performed in. The music in A Ride on the Irish Cream was “accessible, often punchy pop-rock” (New York Times), whose “soaring musical numbers” (Artforum) were “startlingly gorgeous, and packed with heavenly harmonies” (New York Post).

Held at Hawthorne Park, 12th and Catharine Streets 

Join RevShakes for its 4th annual FREE Fall Shakespeare in Hawthorne Park! Enjoy the cast of seven diverse performers as they tackle conflicting ways of life, cultural traditions, and differences that can separate or bring us together. Cymbeline runs beyond the Fringe to October 1.

Fringe Festival Closing Shows

  • September 24 – Also Sept 22 & 23  |  A Love Supreme  |  Times Vary  |  $35 GA & $15 Student

Held at FringeArts, 140 N. Columbus Boulevard

Four dancers surrender themselves to John Coltrane’s spiritual ode to divine love, his 1965 jazz masterpiece A Love Supreme.

Held at Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts – Zellerbach Theatre, 3680 Walnut Street 

World Premiere! Children, elders, and machines contemplate the future in a time of dire predictions and rapid technological change in this work of symphonic theater conceived by composer/filmmaker Troy Herion, scenic designer Mimi Lien, and director Dan Rothenberg.

  • September 24 – Also Sept 20 – 23  |  Close Music For Bodies  |  Times Vary  |  $29 GA & $15 Student

Held at Christ Church Neighborhood House , 20 N American St

World Premiere! Intimate, unfiltered voices become one. No microphones, no electronic meddling, only the resonant voices that come from the bodies of the performers are heard and felt. The audience is arranged about the entire floor of the theater. Singers move in geometric patterns throughout the audience, their movements become the sound design—like placing speakers about a room, only the speakers are mobile performers.

  • September 28  |  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 7 – 24, 2017


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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