The New York International Fringe Festival, also known as FringeNYC, has returned with a vibrant, entertaining schedule of arts events in tow. The festival is the largest multi-arts festival in North America, and comes back every year to New York City for two weeks in August. The festival influences an enormous spike in artistic, theatrical offerings to a city already brimming with cultural events, and since its 1997 foundation, has delighted discerning audiences with its selection of productions on the fringe.
According to the festival’s organizers, “FringeNYC is a production of The Present Theatre Company that takes:
•75,000 audience members, •5,000 artists, •2,000 registered volunteers, •1,200 performances, •200 shows, •20 venues, •16 days, •15 dollar advance tickets, and •2 full-time employees to make it all happen.”
Clearly, this is a labor of love, and one that has been going strong for more than 15 years, bringing the best theater productions from around the world together every August for an audience that continues to grow. When FringeNYC started in 1997, The Present Theatre Company’s production budget was $74,000. Today, that budget has grown to over one million dollars to keep up with the increasingly in-demand festival and its massive audience. FringeNYC is made possible by donations from New York’s art-centric charities that believe in the greatness of the event’s core values, such as making theater accessible by keeping ticket costs as low as possible.
Some highlights from this year’s International Fringe Festival include “The Adventures of Boy and Girl,” a play written by teens that explores a failed relationship and includes a break in the fourth wall with comedic audience interaction. Another notable performance is “Human Fruit Bowl,” a solo performance that involves a “tub, a scarf, a stool, and a naked woman. Monologue, mystery, live fine art modeling session; this fast-paced solo work asks: What are the stories we tell about artists and their muses?” according to FringeNYC. This play has already garnered international acclaim, and is very indicative of the kind of performances you’ll discover at the Fringe Festival.
FringeNYC will continue until August 25th, so you still have time to see many of the remarkable, bold, witty performances produced by The Present Theatre Company. For more information, visit the New York International Fringe Festival’s official website.