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FringeArts Announces Full Details For 2020 Fringe Festival


The 24th annual Fringe Festival will run from September 10 through October 4.

FringeArts Announces Full Details For 2020 Fringe Festival

FringeArts in Philadelphia has announced details for their 24th annual Fringe Festival, which runs September 10 through October 4. The previously announced roster of over 100 artists will present work that takes place largely online, with select works taking place outdoors with appropriate social distancing and safety measures, ensuring that audience members, artists, and staff/crew are safe and healthy.

"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. "Although this year's Festival may look different, we are proud of our 2020 Festival artists who are dedicated to presenting world-class experiences to patrons in Philadelphia and around the globe."

In light of the COVID-19 health pandemic, FringeArts waived artist registration fees for this year's festival, and is providing additional support to the independent artist community to assist in guidance around safely presenting works and the transition to virtual platforms. Also, this summer, the FringeArts Production Department repurposed the theater to set up a SoundStage to pre-record seven works Looks Like Sounds Like, SEX TAPE, Fun with Dick and Jane, CROSSOVER: A New Pop Musical, Expansions Presents: Connecting The Distance, Untitled Bizzarro Bill Show, and The Bodice Ripper Project by independent artists, and stream one piece "Bon Appétit!" an Opera by Julia Child and Lee Hoiby (During a Pandemic!) live during the festival.

Digital Focus

The Philadelphia Fringe Festival has featured a Digital Fringe component since 2015. However, due to the current health pandemic this year, digital shows make up over 80% of the 2020 lineup. The majority of these works will be presented virtually via Zoom, YouTube, Discord, and Twitch, among others. Some will be available to watch throughout the festival, while others will have specific viewing times and involve a degree of interactivity between performers and audiences, like the interactive TrailOff app, developed by SwimPony, which allows audiences to explore one of 10 Philadelphia area trails while experiencing an original audio drama that takes place on one of said trails in real time. Families can look forward to Circus Midway, an all-day virtual event on October 4. This digital event features activities for kids of all ages.

Safety Measures

There are currently fifteen shows in the 2020 Fringe Festival scheduled to take place with in-person, outdoor components. There will be no indoor performances, as directed by the Philadelphia Department of Health. Audience size for all outdoor shows will be extremely limited, and ticket reservations must be made in advance to maintain capacity and ensure hands-free transactions. Attendees will be required to wear masks and observe social distancing regulations.

The FringeArts team is in close contact with local health officials and participating artists to ensure all in-person works are presented in a manner that is safe and in accordance with the latest public health guidelines. Staff will monitor the local outbreak numbers daily, and are prepared to adjust or cancel in-person presentations should health conditions worsen and Philadelphia shift or change its guidelines.

Additionally, FringeArts will host a virtual town hall via Zoom on Friday, August 14 at 5pm to review the many changes to this year's festival, including health and safety practices, how best to engage with the festival, access digital content, and more, as well as answer any questions.

Curated Productions

FringeArts will present twelve productions as part of this year's curated slate, including works by The Bearded Ladies Cabareta??; a??Nichole Canuso Dance Companya??; a??David Gordon;a?? a??Jaamil Olawale Kosokoa??; a??Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle, and Steve Cuiffoa??; and a??Swim Pony, the Philadelphia Environmental Council, Toasterlab, and Mike Kileya??.

Also participating in this year's festival are the artists from FringeArts' 2020 High Pressure Fire Service series-a??Nell Bang-Jensena??, a??Emily Batea??, a??Kyle Dacuyan + Antigravity Performance Projecta??, a??James Allister Spranga??, and a??Alexandra Tatarskya??-whose spring performances were not able to be presented as scheduled due to the pandemic. a??The Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, a??originally scheduled to participate in FringeArts' 2020 Hand to Hand Circus Festival, completes the lineup for this year's Curated Fringe. The Fringe Festival Bookstorea?? will return this year in a virtual capacity, featuring talks with artists and community partners to provide context for the works in the curated slate, and reflect on the current moment in the arts and society at large. All talks will take place online and will be free of charge.

Being/With: Home

Nichole Canuso Dance Company

Sep 10-Oct 3
A guided performance experience connecting two solo audience members via Zoom, Being/With: Home is an embodied exploration of separation, connection, and the power of listening.

NCDC artistic director Nichole Canuso and Spiral Q co-director Jennifer Turnbull will also lead four free interactive virtual workshops on Sep 13, 15, 20, and 22 for audiences interested in exploring the themes of the work in a group setting.


Swim Pony, The Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Toasterlab, and Michael Kiley

Sep 10-Oct 4 and beyond the Fringe Festival

Storytelling/Theater/Self-Guided Walk

An immersive augmented reality audio performance that presents ten original audio narratives, each connected to paths within the Philadelphia region's expansive Circuit Trail network. Accessed via mobile app, listeners will hear original dramas by local authors while walking each route. Featuring stories by afaq, ari, Jacob Camacho, Eppchez!, donia salem harhoor, Carmen Maria Machado, Erin T. McMillon, Li Sumpter, Denise Valentine, and Jacob Winterstein.

FringeArts will host a virtual launch event for each story, details to be announced.

Elephant Room: Dust from the Stars

Trey Lyford, Geoff Sobelle, Steve Cuiffo

Sep 23-26 at 8pm


Magicians turned astro-nots Daryl Hannah, Dennis Diamond, and Louie Magic float on through bent time and collapsed space in an interactive sci-fi sequel to Fringe favorite Elephant Room (2011 Fringe Festival; FringeArts 2013). Magic, adventure, dance numbers and mayhem ensue as the Elephant Room punches the Zoom button and blows the dust from the stars.

The Philadelphia Matter - 1972/2020

David Gordon

Premiere performance Thursday, Sep 10 at 7pm

Sep 11-Oct 4 available for free streaming online


Celebrated choreographer/director/writer David Gordon premieres his first new screen work in two decades with a "virtual" performance company of 30+ Philadelphia artists working remotely to record video material on everything from iPhones to professional cameras. Co-presented by Christ Church Neighborhood House.

Late Night Snacks

The Bearded Ladies Cabaret

Dates & Times TBA


The Bearded Ladies reprise last year's Fringe Festival favorite for this year's festival with socially distanced queer cabaret for the covid era. Hosted by John Jarboe and featuring a roster of local and international performers. Details to be announced in September.

American Chameleon: The Living Installments

Jaamil Olawale Kosoko
Monday, September 21 at 2pm


Nigerian-American artist Jaamil Olawale Kosoko and collaborators lead audiences through a digital archive of video performance, conversation, and meditation in this hybrid multimedia living artwork that explores how digitality intersects with the fugitive realities and shapeshifting principles that Black queer people employ to survive and heal.

There will also be a reading group and live talk to collectively discuss Kosoko's development process and the thematics of the work as outlined in a syllabus developed by Kosoko.

Circus Midway

Philadelphia School of Circus Arts

Sunday, October 4, 11am-3pm


A series of free live circus classes and workshops in juggling, clowning, dance, acrobatics, and hula hoop via Zoom for children of all ages and abilities. Plus a performance by the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts' Youth & Teen Troupe and Circadium School of Contemporary Circus at 3pm.

The Making of BOY PROJECT

Nell Bang-Jensen

Tuesday, September 15 at 7pm + Saturday, September 19 at 1pm


Over the past year, acclaimed local director Nell Bang-Jensen has brought together Philadelphia teens aged 12-15 to imagine their futures in an era where gender is fluid and masculinity is being re-examined. The professional team of theater artists and designers and youth from a variety of backgrounds lead two participatory discussions that consider how gender is manifesting in our behavior now.

Legal Tender

Kyle Dacuyan + Antigravity Performance Project

Sep 10-Oct 4

Digital Salons on Thursday, September 17 at 7pm + Sunday, September 20 at 3pm


Originally conceived as an episodic duet of movement and poetry, this performance work was created exploring the relationships between information, consumer culture, labor, and borders-drawing attention to our eroding news and media environments, and the places where fact, opinion, and falsehood settle unconsciously. Postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, an expanded field of poetry reading, video pieces, movement, and sound work has been created, deepening these themes against the backdrop of shifting and uncertain time.

Nothing to Show

Alexandra Tatarsky

Sep 10-Oct 4

Alexandra Tatarsky was to premiere the latest episode of their ongoing SIGN FELT project this spring as part of High Pressure Fire Service, postponed due to COVID-19. In its place, they share collected and ongoing notes on nothing, collaging narratives of art-making and despair into a deranged meditation on derangement, situated in a public window display in Old City.

Aquifer of the Ducts

James Allister Sprang

Tuesday, September 29 + Thursday, October 1 at 7pm


Multidisciplinary artist James Allister Sprang's exercise in deep listening-a 40-minute soundscape of layered tape recordings and modulated synths meant to be experienced with headphones in the comfort and safety of your home.

The Wig Wag Workshop: Exploring Voice

Emily Bate

Tuesday, September 22 + Thursday, September 24: 6:30-8:30pm


Composer, theater-maker, and choral music conductor Emily Bate leads an interactive virtual workshop that explores the anatomy of the voice through communal singing practices featuring singing mad-libs, vocal warm-ups, free improvisation, group discussion, and experiential anatomy lessons. No singing experience required.

Independently Produced Productions

This year's independently-produced slate includes a robust lineup of 114 shows across genres and platforms.

#AllLivesDontMatter by Kaleidoscope Cultural Arts Collective

#Quarantineksvkhvkhkdvhai by ARTIST HOUSE / Asya Zlatina + Dancers

#txtshow (on the internet) by Brian Feldman Projects

11 Years at the Fringe by Linda Dubin Garfield

154 Revisited by Revolution Shakespeare

4 AM/The Magic Hour by MyVision Theater Ensemble

7 Unsolved Sketches by XY Players

A Ceremony of Tangling and Untangling by Them Heavy Sabbat

A Month of Sundays by Take It Away Dance

A Patchwork of Stories for GrownUps by Patchwork: A Storytelling Guild

A Sign Of The Times by Da Vinci Art Alliance

A/B Machines by Philip Wesley Gates

Alice Light + Dark by Alice Light + Dark

Alice's Adventures in Analog by UgLy Duchess

allowed|aloud by Britt Fishel and Artists

Alternative Theatre Festival 2020 by iNtuitons Experimental Theatre

An Encounter by Irina Varina

Ants on a Log Virtual Concert by Ants on a Log

Baby Whale and the Plastic Ocean by RMayFlowers and Kai's At-Home Theater for Kids and Grown-Ups

Blood by Evalina "Wally" Carbonell and Weiwei Ma, with Ajibola Rivers

BlueBeard: A Socially Distant Talegate by Manayunk Theatre Company

Bon Appétit! By Julia Child and Lee Hoiby (During a Pandemic!) by Aurora Classical

Business As Usual by brain-head

Class of One: A Comedy Show about Homeschooling by Christine Ann Olivas | Paul E. Reese | Tina Marie | Steve Bickel | Will Gardiner | Kayleigh Liggitt

Coffee and a Play Presents: DigiREP! by Coffee and a Play

Colors of Hope by Da Vinci Art Alliance

Correspondence by Katy Dammers

CRAFT! by Da Vinci Art Alliance

Crossover: A New Pop Musical by Green Light Group Productions (Producers: Chelsea Cylinder and Danielle Moore)

Currency by TONGUE

Dancefusion Back to Now by Dancefusion

Dawn States Company by Dawn States Company

Dis/Jointed by Kalila Kingsford Smith

Dislocada/Dislocated by Dissident Bodies and BDG

Do mirrors burn? by OhOK Performance Group (Whitney Casal, Britt Davis)

duende at home by duende

Ennui by Susan DiPronio & Salomé Cosmique

Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl by Allens Lane Theater

Expansions Presents: Connecting the Distance by Expansions by Contemporary Dance Ensemble LLC

Field Calls by Lupine Performance Cooperative

First Person Arts StorySlam by First Person Arts

fun with dick & jane: Working Title by Rhonda Moore and Ben Grinberg

Healthcare Heroes - A Radioplay by Marc Hem Lee

How to Shave in Six Easy Steps by Collin Spangler

I <3 SNOOTY: a manatee rhapsody on life and death by Raychel Ceciro & Logan Gabriel Schulman

I Hear a Distant Song by Steve Pacek

Illimitable Dominion by Forgotten Lore Theatre

Incredible Dreamz Presents: Friendship Movie Club by INCREDIBLE DREAMZ

Into the Absurd: A Virtually Existential Dinner Conversation by The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium

JADA Dance presents...Be The Rhythm by Jaye Allison's JADA Dance

Kangaroo Zulu Dancers by Kangaroo Zulu Dancers

KCBC x Collective Consciousness by KCBC x Collective Consciousness

KCBC: an·ec·dote by Klassic Contemporary Ballet Company

Lilith and Her Demons by Apartment 20

Liminal Qualia - Experiential Light & Sound by Liminal Qualia

Looks Like Sounds Like by stb x at

Michele Haines Storytelling by Michele Haines & Annabelle Buck

Mosaic of Modern Opera by Alter Ego Chamber Opera

MUSICALS WITH FRIENDS by Juniper Productions in association with Manayunk Theatre Company

New World Rising! by Linnea Bond

One Rain Full of Grace by The Highland Lakes Players

OZ.ORG by Amber Kusching

Packing and Cracking by Rachel Gita Karp and Joseph Amodei

Philadelphia Fabulist by Da Vinci Art Alliance

phillyAV by PhillyAV

Piano for Pets by Barbara Browne

Play/Paint/Pass by It Gets Worse But Then.... Theatre Company

Pompeii by Sewer Rats Productions

portal perspective by Megan Mazarick

Project Management for Producers by Liz Zimmerman, Producer

Puppet-Delphia Fringe Slam by Pantea productions

Reclamation by Da Vinci Art Alliance

Schmaltz Lightning by Tribe 12

SECRETS by Tongue & Groove Spontaneous Theater

Send News by Ellen Duong

Series of 2-Week Love Stories Cabaret by Daisy Royce

Sevillana Get Togethers 2020 by Pasion y Arte

SEX TAPE by Gabrielle Revlock

Silk Choke Ripple Pyre by Jamison Edgar

States of Desire: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination by Casa de Duende

Stories Aplenty with Denise McCormack

Study Hall: Comedy Inspired By Lectures by Study Hall

Taiko and Dance by Casual Fifth Taiko and Dance

Talk Show by LG Productions, with Eric Singel and Harry Watermeier

Temporary Occupancy by Die-Cast

The Bikes Live in the Basement by Ed Roth

The Bodice Ripper Project by Maren Montalbano

The Celebrity Guide to Mental Health and Wellness by The Antidote

The Fred Show: Magic from Home by Fred Siegel/Fred's Magic World

The Orlando Project by Penn Theatre Ensemble

The Other Side of the Window Screen by JCWK Dance Lab

The Telelibrary by Yannick Trapman-O'Brien

The Way Out by Tangle Movement Arts

Trashbot by Trashbot (Aysha Hamouda, Sarah Finn + Garvis-Giovanni Deval)

Untitled Bizzarro Bill Project by Bizzarro Bill

Vandershtok: a (web)site-specific journey by Dylan Seders Hoffman

Villager by The Void

Vonzy Hall by Evelyn Swift Shuker

Walk Around Philadelphia - a perimeter pilgrimage by JJ Tiziou

Walking with Charles: stand-up en-route by Charles Blyzniuk

Watershed by Watershed Collective

We're Here Because You Are by Anastassia Vertjanova

Welcome to the Shiva House by Benjamin Behrend and Logan Gabriel Schulman

Wicked Gay Ways by Wicked Gay Ways

You Listen To Me, Earth! by LG Productions, with Eric Singel and Harry Watermeier

Zoom Reality TV by Suso Phizer

Preview the Festival During Scratch Nights

Media and audience members are invited to preview the 2020 Festival virtually during two upcoming Scratch Nights. These works-in-progress preview performances can be streamed on August 17 and August 24 at 7pm. Details and registration at

Special note: Due to the shifting day-to-day realities of the COVID-19 health pandemic, please check to review any updates to the Festival schedule, artists, and presentations.

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