Four years ago, St. Lou Fringe set out on a “passion project” to create an event that provided a networking platform for emerging artists to gain exposure. The project became known as the “St. Lou Fringe Festival,” which includes 10 days of performances from a diverse variety of art forms, including slam poetry, magic, fashion design and street performance. The overall goal of the organization is to promote St. Louis as a “hotspot for cultural and economic vitality” through arts culture.
“[St. Lou Fringe] has come so far since our first year,” said Em Piro, executive director of the organization. “We have three to four times as many [artists] submit to the festival as we have slots. So, there are a lucky 30 that make it into the final call from St. Louis and around the country.”
Poor Monsters, a group dedicated to allowing female and gender minority artists to explore contemporary issues through Shakespeare, will have its first performance at the festival. Alicen Moser, a member of the group who started out working at the festival three years ago, describes the experience as a “party.”
“My first year [working the festival] I was a house manager, last year I was in a show that someone else produced and this year I’m producing and performing,” Moser said. “It’s pretty much like a theatre party all day and all night.”
The experience is thrilling for both the audience and the artists, said Joe Hanrahan, co-founder and artistic director of The Midnight Company. He will present Daniel MacIvor’s one-man play, HOUSE, at the festival. “When you do a play, you get an audience coming to see you,” he said. “But [at the Fringe Festival], you have all kinds of visitor.”
Some of the acts that will perform at the Festival include Origins of Love, a cabaret featuring music by Stevie Wonder, Elton John and Shakespeare, D-Rell, a hip-hop artist from Harlem, and performers from the Mary Institute and Saint Louis County Day School (MICDS).
“It’s a ‘choose your own’ adventure of performing arts,” said Piro.
4th Annual St. Lou Fringe Festival
- When: June 17 - 27, 2015, Various Times
- Where: Various Locations in Grand Center
- More information