What is Fringe?
Today begins the Seventh Annual Charm City Fringe Festival, a celebration of new and emerging independent theatre that will continue through November 11th. The festival offers 22 shows, plus a host of after-hours fun.
The Fringe is an opportunity to see new and exciting performances you may not be able to catch anywhere else, all presented in the Bromo Arts District, with all venues within walking distance of each other. In fact, part of the fun of the Fringe is how walkable it is.
When you finish watching one performance, you can take a short stroll and watch the next must-see on your list. Alternately, you can just park yourself at one venue and see all the shows on offer each evening. Have a break between shows? Head to Fringe Headquarters at Mt. Vernon Marketplace. In addition to the Festival Box Office, Mt. Vernon Marketplace houses a bunch of great eateries – several of which offer food and drink discounts with your fringe button.
How to Fringe
In order to attend Fringe shows, you must purchase a $5 Fringe Button. One button will last you for the whole festival; just be sure to have it on you whenever you are heading to a show. You additionally will need to buy tickets to the shows you want to see, which run only $10 a piece. Or you can buy multi-show ticket passes, which include a festival button: a three show pass is $30, a five show pass is $45 and an All Access pass is $98 and gets you a guaranteed seat at any of the 22 shows in the festival, plus admission to Fringe After Dark afterparty shows, rehearsals, tech, and more. It’s a sweet deal if you plan to see a lot of shows. There is also a Date Night pass – two tickets to two shows plus two fringe buttons for $40.
The reason you need to get a button AND a ticket to see a show, by the way, is that most-to-all of the money you pay for the show ticket goes directly to the performers. The five bucks from the button sales is what goes to the Fringe itself, to help with administrative expenses. Needless to say, the Fringe is by-and-large a volunteer endeavor.
The Fringe is also a juried affair. At the free Closing Party on November 11, awards will be bestowed on performers and shows who have particularly wowed the panel of judges.
Fringe After Dark
There is also a series of festival after parties for your fringetastic enjoyment. The festival button is not required to attend Fringe After Dark events (but donations are welcome). These include opening and closing parties, comedy, a Broadway Live party with Baltimore’s own CJay Philip, art installations, music, and more.
The Charm City Fringe team is proud of this year’s festival. Fringe Board Member and Communications Chair Cassandra Miller says, “We’re very excited about this year’s festival. Each year we get more and more support from the city of Baltimore, both from its businesses and organizations and from residents who come out to see the shows. Fringe has been a platform for artists to develop and showcase their talents, and we’re proud to be supporting creatives from both Baltimore and beyond in the festival in the outstanding Bromo Arts District.”
Running Times: Shows vary from approximately 45 to 75 minutes. Parties and Fringe After Dark events run longer.
- 322 LOFT, 322 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- 322 STAGE, 322 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- DCAC LOUNGE, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- DCAC STAGE, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- DCAC TOP, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- MAP UNDERGROUND, 218 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD 21201
- FRINGE HQ: MT VERNON MARKETPLACE, 520 Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21201