Cincinnati Fringe Festival (Cincy Fringe)

Cincinnati Fringe Festival (Cincy Fringe)
The Cincinnati Fringe Festival, also known as simply Cincy Fringe, is an annual theater and performing arts festival held in Cincinnati, Ohio since 2004. Produced by the non-profit theater company Know Theatre of Cincinnati, it is the largest performing arts festival in Ohio.

In 2003, a group of artists from Cincinnati decided that the city needed a performing arts festival to broaden and strengthen its burgeoning arts scene. The new festival was launched by Jeff Syroney and Jason Bruffy as a component of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Studio Series but eventually became a production of Know Theater of Cincinnati when Bruffy was hired as the theater’s artistic director in 2004.

Like all other fringe festivals around the world, the Cincinnati Fringe Festival traces its roots back to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which began in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival. Unlike traditional performing arts festivals, fringe festivals accept all submissions and don’t select acts based on their artistic qualities. However, Cincy Fringe has Primary Lineup chosen by a jury of theater professionals and educators.

Cincy Fringe’s Primary Lineup presents over 200 performances of more than 40 productions. These productions are eligible for the Pick of the Fringe Award. Alongside its Primary Lineup, the festival also presents FringeNext (a program featuring high school-aged artists), FringeDevelopment (a workshop program), Visual Fringe (visual arts projects), and special events.

The Cincinnati Fringe Festival usually begins the day after Memorial Day and lasts for 12 days filled with exciting performances and other events. It encompasses all types and genres of performing arts including theater, dance, music, poetry, spoken word, cinema, and others.

The program of Cincy Fringe includes 8 to 20 performances a day which take place in about a dozen venues in Over-the-Rhine, a historic neighborhood in Cincinnati. All venues are situated within walkable distance from one another, they include theaters, churches, bars, coffee shops and even shop windows.

In 2020, the event was held online due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cincinnati Fringe Festival

Photo: Peggy S.




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