Mike Birbiglia is the 2019 Rochester Fringe Comedy Headliner

Mike Birbiglia is the 2019 Rochester Fringe Comedy Headliner

Organizers of the 2019 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (Tuesday, September 10 - Saturday, September 21) are excited to announce that Mike Birbiglia will be this year's comedy headliner on Friday, September 20 at 7:30 p.m. in Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Tickets for An Evening with Mike Birbiglia start at $29 and will go on sale this Thursday, June 6 at 10 a.m. at rochesterfringe.com and at the Eastman Theatre Box Office (phone: 585-274-3000, online: eastmantheatre.org, in person: 433 East Main Street).

Birbiglia is a comedian, storyteller, director and actor who has performed in front of audiences worldwide, from the Sydney Opera House to Carnegie Hall. His shows, My Girlfriend's Boyfriend and Thank God for Jokes, were both shot for Netflix. His most recent critically-acclaimed show, The New One, ran for 99 shows on Broadway at the Cort Theatre and will tour nationally.

In addition to performing live, Mike is an author and filmmaker who wrote, directed and starred in the films Sleepwalk with Me and Don't Think Twice. Mike's book, Sleepwalk with Me and Other Painfully True Stories was a New York Times bestseller and a finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor. As an actor, Mike has appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, HBO's Girls and Broad City, as well as in the films Trainwreck, The Fault in Our Stars and Popstar. He plays the role of Danny Pearson in Orange Is the New Black and Oscar Langstraat on Showtime's Billions. He is a contributor to This American Life on public radio. In 2017, Mike was honored with the Kurt Vonnegut Award for humor.

"I have long been an admirer of Mike Birbiglia's brand of observational comedy and I'm absolutely thrilled to announce Birbigs as our 2019 comedy headliner," says Festival Producer Erica Fee.

The remaining 500+ performances and events of the 2019 Fringe will be announced at the annual BIG REVEAL press conference in two weeks on Monday, June 17 at 10:30 a.m. at George Eastman Museum's Dryden Theatre, and all tickets will go on sale at noon.

The 2019 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival will expand to 12 days this year. Last year's Fringe added an eleventh day, attracted more than 78,000 attendees, and sold more tickets than any of the festival's previous six years. In addition, more than 150 of the 500+ performances and events were free of charge.

From its five-day debut in 2012, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival has become one of the fastest-growing and most-attended fringe festivals in the U.S and the largest multi-genre arts festival in New York State. Renowned among the world's 200+ fringe festivals for its large-scale, outdoor, free-to-the-public performances - including the U.S. premieres of Canada's Circus Orange (2014), France's Plasticiens Volants (2017), and the UK's Massaoke (2018) - Rochester's Fringe was also the first fringe festival in North America to feature a Spiegeltent, which is now an annual attraction. From comedy to theatre, from music to dance, from visual art and film to spoken word, and from children's entertainment to multi-disciplinary collaborations, the festival's diversity also extends to venues that span the gamut from parked cars to grand theatres.

Rochester Fringe Festival connects and empowers artists, audiences, venues, educational institutions, and the community to celebrate, explore, and inspire creativity via an annual, multi-genre arts festival. The not-for-profit, 501(c)3 corporation was pioneered by several of Rochester's esteemed cultural institutions including Geva Theatre Center, the George Eastman House and Garth Fagan Dance; up-and-coming arts groups like PUSH Physical Theatre and Method Machine; and higher-education partners such as the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. The organization's overarching mission is to make arts readily accessible to audiences, as well as to provide a platform for artists to share their ideas and develop their skills, while stimulating downtown Rochester both culturally and economically.

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