It’s an 11-day explosion of the arts across 14 venues, with more than 400 opportunities to find just your taste, or to explore something new and different. It’s the 14th annual Fringe Festival, and it’s time to get your fringe on.
The 14th annual Fringe Festival KC—“where adventurous audiences meet adventurous artists” – is just around the corner. The 11-day explosion of unjuried, uncensored performing and visual arts runs July 19-29 at 14 Kansas City, MO venues. This year’s Fringe features 35 visual artists across multiple mediums and 76 different producers with over 630 participants featured in a variety of performing arts – theater, musicals, comedies, spoken word, dance, stand up performances, and lounge acts.
“The Fringe Festival is a stage for the diversity, innovation, and creativity that can be found throughout our community,” writes Fringe Executive Producer Cheryl Kimmi. “Our goal is to be as inclusive as possible to better serve our audience and artists. We embody freedom of expression and acceptance with zero judgment. Having a place where being inclusive and welcoming to all is incredibly needed in this country right now.”
Kimmi’s correct, in there’s something for everyone, with special Fringe programming geared for youth and teens, and even an adults-only gallery for adult-themed art. The performances are rated like movies, P, PG and R, so parents, and others, know what to expect.
The festival also includes fun celebrations for those who love the arts, including an Opening Night, Closing Night, and Late Nites on The Fringe!
All of this great art is available for a surprisingly low price. A one-time purchase of a $5 button is your cover for the entire festival. In addition to engage with festival shows and events you must be wearing your button. Children under 12 get buttons for free. Individual tickets to performances are $10 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and free for any child under 5 that can sit on a lap.
Here are a few of our festival picks. Note most shows have four to five performance dates/times. We did not include performance time and location. Instead, we opted to provide more information on the great Fringe shows.
For a complete listing of festival events and times, go online to kcfinge.org. You can download a complete festival guide their and buy tickets for individual performances as well. Festival buttons can be bought at any of the 14 festival venues.
BLACK LEAVES, BLACK ROOTS
Musical Theatre, Rated PG for language
Cynthia Hardeman, award winning playwright, and Vendetta Clark, a globally recognized dancer and social activist, have collaborated to create a performance piece using dance, dialogue and poetry. They weave together a story of a young man’s story of escaping systemic oppression and finding his “freedom” in modern day America.
BE LIKE WATER
Lewis J. Morrow
Theater, Rated R for language
Groves and Suggs were soldiers; trained to adapt to any situation, and they did, including the five years they spent together in captivity. Now rescued, they must adapt. Two years have passed, and they haven’t seen nor spoken to each other since. When they agree to meet, they begin to relive what they tried so hard to escape, and the truth is, perhaps this time, they can’t adapt.
Dance, Rated G
Join House of Dragons Dance Company as they use urban dance styles to explore the act of letting go of hurt and heartache to achieve emotional release. This is an action packed show featuring some of your favorite and nostalgic pieces of popular music. This show is an original work of choreographer Maya Tillman-Rayton, a dance lecturer of the University of Kansas.
Dimples & The Dynamix
Music, Rated G
This musical review is the journey of Dimples (portrayed by Kyle Hollins), his struggle in a world not meant for him, and how he found his inner strength. In high school, he was bullied, leading to a defining moment in his life and giving him the strength to face the world. Enjoy his vocal interpretations of Defying Gravity, Don’t Rain on My Parade, and many more. Accompanied by Charles Dickinson on keyboard
LESSONS FROM MY SUITCASE
A Kenyatta Production Company
When being a Toys ‘R’ Us kid is no longer an option, Justine Ryan’s anxiety increases with every adulating decision she makes. Through a semi-biographical lens, this variety show, gives a millennial’s perspective of her anxieties, failures in life and international experiences, as she tries to figure out life while having a quarter crisis. This is Justine’s debut as an actress, play-writer, and songstress.
IF I SHOULD DIE TONIGHT
Theatre, Rated R
Br. John returns to KC Fringe with a haunting and mesmerizing glimpse into the mind of the late Motown superstar soul singer Marvin Gaye as he reflects on his life, moments prior to his untimely death. Br. John portrays the complex and misunderstood artist, recreating such hits like Let’s Get It On, God Is Love, and the iconic What’s Going On?
Millhouse Productions (St. Louis, MO)
Theatre, Rated R
This is a premiere of JM Chambers work, performed as a one-woman show by Bre Love playing three people dealing with the reality of homelessness: Lanie, a young professional who finds herself living in her car; Eric, who works at a grocery store and couch surfs with friends; and Hayley, a teenager who lives in a homeless shelter with her family.
Spoken word, R for language
Unmuted is a live spoken word event that renders emotional and spiritual freedom through the art of words. The collection of poems in this show are a reflection of time unvoiced into an explosion of unapologetic expression of anger, compassion and love.