Every July, performing arts take center stage in Washington, D.C. with the much lauded Capital Fringe Festival. This year’s summer festival was a smashing success, with some of the festival’s most astounding numbers ever. Among the most impressive stats, the Capital Fringe Festival put on 637 performances and sold nearly 27,000 tickets, which raised almost $200,000 for the performing arts in D.C. The Fringe Festival, in the five years since it was founded, has raised nearly $1 million for local artists.
The festival is hosted each year by Capital Fringe, a non-profit dedicated to improving the arts community in Washington, D.C. And with the successes of the festival in recent years, they’ve expanded it, now offering a Fall session for anyone that missed the July shows.
This year’s Fall Fringe has a mix of performances, from new shows to repeats of July presentations. They are a blend of humor and levity, a balance Capital Fringe strives for, hoping to cover the broad spectrum of the art. The shows run from now until November 20th, and all take place at the Shop at Fort Fringe, Capital Fringe’s performance space at 6th and New York Ave in Northwest, D.C.
Currently showing is one of the more popular performances from July, “Squirrel, or The Origin of a Species”. The absurdist comedy, by Michael Merino, depicts Charles Darwin arguing about the merits of evolution with a gregarious, life-sized squirrel. The show’s last performance is Friday night at 8:15.
Sunday, November 13th, sees a one day set from comedian Vijai Nath, a Indian-American female, whose show “Good Girls Don’t, But Indian Girls Do” describes growing up in a Hindu household in suburban Washington, D.C. Nath is a rising star in the world of comedy and just completed a tour with popular act Russell Peters.
Overlapping with Nath’s act is this July’s Fringe Festival director’s pick for artistic quality, iKilL, which uses a kabuki form of storytelling to discuss the horrors of war. iKilL runs for two days, on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.
Also on Sunday is a much more lighthearted play, “Pascal’s Aquarium,” a muppet-style musical about living in confined spaces. The plays is a unique take on a decidedly human problem, with lobsters, catfish, seas turtles and piranhas a metaphor for people who live, work and play in confined areas much more than your average fish.
Kimleigh Smith’s T-O-T-A-L-L-Y, has four performances over the next week. Her one-woman story about cheerleading was a hit during the July festival and has shows on the 12th, 13th, 19th and 20th.
Closing out the Fall version of the festival is Hugo Ball: A Super Spectacular Dada Adventure. Dadaism, for non-theater buffs, was a cultural and philosophical movement in the early 1900s that set the stage for the abstract works of modern time. Hugo Ball’s take on Dadaism, is absurdist work at its best, with actors skipping across the stage, adorning themselves in massive yellow ribbons and eating Marshmallows.
It’s what Fringe Festival strives to be, anti-establishment while still culturally high-minded and is the perfect finish to a week of Fall Fringe. And it’s also your last chance to catch the Fringe performers before they close up shop for eight months.
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