The Milwaukee Fringe Festival
Saturday, August 27 & Sunday, August 28, 2016
In the summer of 1947, eight theatre companies arrived at the Edinburgh International Festival hoping to put on their shows. When they were turned down by the larger festival, they decided to put on their own. These smaller companies literally performed on the fringe of the larger festival, and thus the idea of the Fringe Festival was born. In the time since, Fringe Festivals have sprouted up in arts-minded cities, including New York, London, Sydney, and Minneapolis.
Milwaukee can finally add its name to the list. On August 27th and 28th, 2016 the MKE Fringe will take place in downtown Milwaukee. Following the rich tradition of Fringe Festivals, the Milwaukee Fringe Festival is a showcase of a diverse collection of artists that call Milwaukee home. From theatrical actors to painters, musicians to tap dancers, performance artists to playwrights, MKE Fringe is a joyous celebration of what makes Milwaukee’s culture vibrant and extraordinary.
Although Fringe Festivals are commonly known to feature work in unconventional venues, MKE Fringe has had the good fortune of securing a partnership with The Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, and will be able to put on high production-value shows in their world-class venues. Additionally, performances and exhibitions will be featured in Pere Marquette Park and along the Milwaukee RiverWalk. Outdoor events will be open to the public, while tickets will be available for indoor events in order to support the performers.
The Milwaukee Fringe Festival team curated hundreds of submissions into an extraordinary lineup featuring each art form. Here is a brief synopsis on the art-forms being featured in the inaugural MKE Fringe Festival:
Theater- A variety of theater companies will be putting on shows in Todd Wehr Hall and Vogel Hall over the course of the event. Boundary-pushing theater companies like Theater Gigante, Summit Players, Quasimondo Physical Theater and Renaissance Theaterworks will put on original works during the festival, as well as smaller and less-known companies.
Music- Music will be taking place in the central location of Pere Marquette Park during MKE Fringe. An eclectic lineup of alternative rock, electronic, hip hop and folk music will perform over the course of the 2 days. Some notable musical acts performing this year are Nineteen Thirteen, Tigernite, Milo, Estates, Piles, and Light Music will perform over the course of the 2 day event.
Visual Art- Visual art will be used to create an artistic and interactive atmosphere. Attendees can watch projects come together throughout the festival grounds over the course of the two days, as well as participate in interactive art exhibits put together by some of Milwaukee’s most innovative visual artists.
Dance- From classical dance to modern dance, MKE Fringe will feature over 20 dance performers putting on original work outdoors and indoors. The festival will also feature public dance classes for the audience to participate in.
Performance Artists- The festival will be enhanced by the presence of performance artists roving
through the space and interacting with the crowd. These performance artists will either be putting on performances, creating original art for attendees, or working with visual artists on unique collaborations.
MKE Fringe Fest is presented under the direction of renowned television and film actor Willem Dafoe, John Schneider (Theatre Professor at Marquette University), Eric Engelbart (Shepherd Express) Matt Kemple (Milwaukee Comedy Festival), Karen Raymond and Katie Rhyme (Dance Revolution Milwaukee) and Brian Rott (Quasimondo Physical Theatre). The festival is produced under Nice Plays, Inc a 501c3 nonprofit organization.
Donate to the Fringe!
We need your support to make the Fringe a reality! Every dollar goes directly to supporting the event.