October 10 marks the Launch Party for the Eighth Annual Charm City Fringe Festival, a celebration of new and emerging independent theatre that will continue through October 20th. The kickoff party, starting at 7:00 pm at Maryland Art Place, will feature previews by festival artists, including “Circus, Puppetry, Dance, Comedy, and a Kazoo-playing plant (really).”
What is the Fringe?
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. This year’s festival offers 21 original shows, plus a host of after-hours fun and a free Family Fringe Day.
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 Mt. Vernon Marketplace – which not only houses the Festival Box Office, but also a bunch of great eateries, many of which offer discounts with your fringe button or visit Fringe Headquarters at Le Mondo.
How to Fringe
In order to attend Fringe shows, you must purchase a $5 Fringe Button. (Or get one free with your ticket to tonight’s Launch Party). 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 apiece. Or you can buy multi-show ticket passes, which include a festival button: a Three Ticket pass is $30, a Date Night pass – two tickets to two shows plus two fringe buttons – runs $40, and an All-Access pass is $125 and gets you admission to all festival events. It’s a sweet deal if you plan to see a lot of shows.
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 Sunday, October 20, awards will be bestowed on performers and shows who have particularly wowed the panel of judges.
To purchase tickets, go straight to the source at the Fringe Box Office.
Have Kids? Free Fun Saturday at Family Fringe Day
Charm City Fringe has organized a morning of free, family-friendly entertainment – Family Fringe Day. Bring the little ones out to see “Circus Acts, Puppet Theater, The Odd Olympics, and Grammy Nominated Children’s Rock Band Milkshake take the stage at Baltimore Artist-Owned and Operated, Le Mondo on October 12th from 9:00 am – 12:30 pm.”
Fringe After Dark
There is also a series of festival after parties and activities for your enjoyment. The festival button is not required to attend Fringe After Dark events (but donations are welcome). These include opening and closing parties, Good Joke/Bad Joke Bingo, comedy performances, a short film program, Ignite Baltimore, music, #GothBrunch, and more.
There’s something for everyone at the Eighth Annual Charm City Fringe Festival. Check it out!
Running Times: vary.
DCAC BANQUET HALL, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD
DCAC GROUND FLOOR, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD
DCAC LOUNGE, 401 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD
CURRENT SPACE, 421 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD
MAP UNDERGROUND BASEMENT, 218 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD
MAP UNDERGROUND 5TH FLOOR, 218 West Saratoga Street, Baltimore, MD
FRINGE HQ: LE MONDO, 406 North Howard Street, Baltimore, MD
BOX OFFICE: MT VERNON MARKETPLACE, 520 Park Avenue, Baltimore, MD