Interactive art installations, experimental performances and a host of other forward-thinking methods of expression will come together during the 18th annual Fringe Festival, running from September 5-21. Presented by FringeArts, this celebration brings the world's most daring and innovative performers to Philadelphia. Spectators are invited get up close and personal with Philadelphia’s thriving cultural scene and interact with hundreds of artists at thousands of performances during the 17-day span. Whether you're a casual observer or an art aficionado, you're sure to find something new and unexpected at the 2014 Fringe Festival.
Home At Last
Coinciding with the festival's opening night on September 5, FringeArts will host the grand opening of its first-ever permanent headquarters (140 N. Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, Penn., 215.413.1318). “After being nomadic for almost two decades, FringeArts finally has a place to call home,” says FringeArts president and producing director Nick Stuccio. This impressive, 10,000-square-foot building opened to the public late last year, but its main draw, a waterfront brasserie, will debut this month. La Peg, helmed by acclaimed Philly chef/restaurateur Peter Woolsey of Bistro La Minette, includes an outdoor plaza as well as a cabaret-style performance space that will stage shows every night of the festival.
We the People
The festival's centerpiece, entitled 100% Philadelphia, will be a unique performance work featuring a cast of 100 Philadelphia citizen-artists selected based on the city’s 2010 U.S. census data for age, gender, geography, ethnicity, race, class, sexual identity and more. Based on those criteria, more than 40 cast members will be African-American, half will be women and approximately 20 will be children. Cast members will interact with audiences to reveal insights about who we are as individuals and how we impact each other as a community.
WetLand, a public art installation by Brooklyn-based artist Mary Mattingly, makes its world debut in conjunction with the festival as well. As part of the work, Mattingly will live in her self-made, island-based ecosystem and mobile habitat on the Delaware River for six weeks. During the festival, she'll host performances, workshops, skill shares and artistic gatherings.
In the 'Hood
Hundreds of new and established artists will also perform for audiences all over the city as part of Neighborhood Fringe. More than 120 self-produced shows will help get the entire city excited about and exposed to cutting edge theater, dance, spoken word, comedy, visual art and more. This highly anticipated program of events is a reflection of Philadelphia as a city of vibrant and distinct neighborhoods. Shows will take place at nightclubs, rowhouses, parks, cemeteries and other unique venues from West Philadelphia to Northern Liberties.
In true FringeArts fashion, this year's festival continues to exceed expectations with six world premieres, including works from local artists Pig Iron Theatre Company, New Paradise Laboratories and The Pennsylvania Ballet. The lineup also includes work from provocative Italian theater maker Romeo Castellucci, experimental New York choreographer Trajal Harrell, Obie Award-winning New York-based theater company Half Straddle, and Iranian playwright Nassim Soleimanpour.
A full 2014 Fringe Festival schedule is available online at FringeArts.com. Tickets can be ordered via the website or phone at 215.413.1318.