September in Philadelphia means Fringe Festival, and it’s something people look forward to so much that around these parts we often refer to it as "The Great Fringe-Binge." But, with uncertainty in the air, and the current COVID climate, you might think that the independent artists who present their offerings annually may have been discouraged, right? Not even close! With a resilient spirit and a nonprofit at the heart of it all – Philly’s own FringeArts – the festival is so on! And, as 6 ABC highlighted in their latest feature – it will be “virtually all virtual” with 80% of artists turning to the virtual sphere rather than abandon the idea of presenting. A few creative minds will present in-person with safety measures.
“We are pleased to offer audience members and artists the opportunity to safely enjoy the cutting edge art that they’ve come to expect from FringeArts,” said President and Producing Director Nick Stuccio in a recent press release.
And that’s something to boast about. Even in these times, the festival will blast full steam ahead. Productions will include the usual curated shows, as well as over 100 independently-produced shows across all genres and platforms. Inspired by the Scottish Fringe but separate, the festival has always been known for being bold and full of heart, and this year we will get a full serving of that please! A few productions include:
Untitled Bizzarro Bill Project by Bizzarro Bill
Michele Haines Storytelling by Michele Haines & Annabelle Buck
Mosaic of Modern Opera by Alter Ego Chamber Opera
Wicked Gay Ways by Wicked Gay Ways
Puppet-Delphia Fringe Slam by Pantea productions
Taiko and Dance by Casual Fifth Taiko and Dance
The Bikes Live in the Basement by Ed Roth
Schmaltz Lightning by Tribe 12
Trashbot by Trashbot (Aysha Hamouda, Sarah Finn + Garvis-Giovanni Deval)
We're Here Because You Are by Anastassia Vertjanova
Welcome to the Shiva House by Benjamin Behrend and Logan Gabriel Schulman
Piano for Pets by Barbara Browne
Artist House/Asya Zlatina + Dancers will also join the virtual sphere, with #Quarantineksvkhvkhkdvhai capturing the many emotions felt in 2020 as dance/movement shorts and a photo gallery. And while our virtual shows go on, Weiwei Ma and Evelina “Wally” Carbonell -- annual fan favorites of the festival, and dancers for Kun Yang Lin/Dancers, with composer and cellist Ajibola Rivers -- will be those artists who have creatively figured out how to present live. Their show “Blood” will premier September 24-27 in an open-air, converted antique garage, with audiences seated outdoors, masked and appropriately distanced. For a full list of this year’s kick-ass productions, check out fringearts.com, and may the Philly Fringe odds be ever in your favor. Now go and choose your shows already!