Every September, the Fringe Festival transforms Philadelphia into a hub of experimental performances. Organized by FringeArts, a contemporary performing arts center on the Delaware River Waterfront, the festival showcases dance, theatre and experimental performance. Here's what Street's looking forward to: 


1. Hello Blackout

What’s It About: Set before, during and after the Big Bang, a celestial family adjusts to the changes rocking their (and everyone else’s) universe. Part comedy and part horror story the Kissimmee’s family drama presents lessons in how to deal with the unpredictability of life itself. Choreographed to a score by composer Bob Rainey, the show features live music from a talented string quintet in addition to the five person cast.

Why You Should Go: Student tickets are only 15$, (half the price of adult tickets), and the cast and director studied modern day philosophers' methods of predicting the future. That's certainly more effort than you put into studying for your Social Contract class.

Sept 5th–17th
The Proscenium Theatre at The Drake
8:00 PM (9:00 the 13th–15th)


2. Ghost Rings

What’s It About: Structured as a live concert and lead by singers Erin Markey and Kristen Sleh, this show blends magical realism and a feminist narrative to explore personal relationships. Both a drama and a musical experience, the show charts the course of its leads’ many romantic relationships through their adolescent and young adult years.

Why You Should Go: The theatre company putting on the show, Half Straddle, won an Obie award (Off Broadway Theatre Award) for its last two productions In the Pony Palace and Football.

Sept 8th and 9th
Painted Bride Art Center
8:00 PM


3. Megapolis Audio Festival

What’s It About: A series of daytime and nighttime events by radio producers, musicians, documentarians and other audio professionals that push the boundaries of art and sound. Events include Radio Atlas, an expose of English subtitled foreign documentaries, Blevin Blectrum with Radio Wonderland’s ode to FM radio and multimedia performance art and Xiu Xiu with Mia Zabelka, a musical collective whose show blends minimalism, post punk and folk.

Why You Should Go: Xiu Xiu and Mia Zabelka are playing at Johnny Brenda’s September 17th, which gives you and your squad an excuse for a Fishtown Bar Crawl.

Sept 16th-17th
Various Locations


4. Speech/Acts 

What’s It About: This exhibition explores experimental black poetry and how the cultural constructs of language have shaped the black American experience. Speech/Acts seeks to allow audience participation, challenge social realities and illuminate slippages between speech and noise. The exhibition distributes individual catalogues of works by Fred Moten and Harryette Mullens as well as an essay by the curator.

Why You Should Go: Admission is free for all and the ICA is only a short walk from your classes at 36th and Sansom. Be sure to see the ICA’s other opening exhibition, Nathalie Du Pasquier: BIG OBJECTS NOT ALWAYS SILENT, when you make the trip.

Sept 13th–Dec 23rd
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia


5. Two–Man, One–Man

What’s It About: A three–man show about two one–man shows. Arnold, a high brow artist, and Miles, a goofy comedian, both find their respective shows scheduled for the same night resulting in a battle for the spotlight. With a runtime of just under an hour this indie comedy hopes to teach its audience about the intersections between art and friendship.

Why You Should Go: The cast and production staff is all current Penn students or alums. Produced by Becca Lambright (C'19)and starring alums Ben Behrend (C'16) and Patrick Romano (C'16), this show is rife with familiar faces. Several other Penn students are involved in the cast and crew of this show. 

Sept 19th, 20th and 22nd
The Playground at the Adrienne
8:00 and 11:00 PM


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