POSTED Wed. Nov 19, 2014
Fringe Fest Follies
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

[Cue Andy Williams music] It’s the most wonderful time of the year…for those who love independent theatre in all its colorful diversity. From today until November 23, the New Orleans Fringe Festival, a veritable carnival of theater and performing arts, will take over the Bywater, Faubourg Marigny and Central City.

Over 80 shows will be performed at over three dozen venues in the coming days. We’re loathe to say ‘plays,’ by the way, because Fringe is accepting of all kinds of performance art. Puppetry, live storytelling, circus arts, improv, poetry and regular stage shows all feature in the Fringe lineup.

Fringe festivals began in Edinburgh as a showcase for experimental theater, and while the Scottish capital retains one of the strongest fringe scenes in the world, New Orleans is an American powerhouse of the genre. This isn’t all that exciting – we’re a city that loves masking, satire, costuming and of course, a good performance. Throw in the area’s magnetism for the misfit toys who tend to patronize Fringe and it’s easy to see how such a relatively small city makes a disproportionate impact within the Fringe world.

There are eight venues in the lineup managed by New Orleans Fringe, and 21 BYOVs – bring your own venues. These are performance areas organized by the artists and can be as traditional as the stage at Cafe Istanbul as, to as random as the karaoke space at Kajun’s.

Plent yof shows are more than a little adult, but with that said, Family Fringe is a thing, and there will be activities for kids every half hour from noon til 5pm on Nov 22 & 23 at Dauphine and St Ferdinand St.

To get into shows, you buy a $3 Fringe Button (good for the entire festival), and then $8 tickets at the door for each show unless otherwise noted. There are too many shows for us to list, but you can find a complete list here – the sheer daunting size of that performance list speaks to the Fringe (and frankly, New Orleanian) motto of Fringiness, Quality and Inclusiveness.


    Our Local Publisher Partners

    • The Arts Council of New Orleans
    • WWNO
    • WWOZ
    • PRC
    • NOMA
    • The Historic New Orleans Collection
    • Southern Food
    • Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities
    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


    WWNO, the NPR member station for New Orleans, serves southeast Louisiana and parts of southwest Mississippi by broadcasting balanced news, thought provoking analysis, classical music, jazz and other musical styles, intelligent entertainment, and unique local content. We broadcast on 89.9 FM, and KTLN 90.5 FM in the Houma-Thibodaux area as a public service of the University of New Orleans. All of WWNO’s programs, including its growing local news coverage, are available online at


    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.


    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.


    As a nexus for the arts in New Orleans, NOMA is committed to preserving, interpreting, and enriching its collections and renowned sculpture garden; offering innovative experiences for learning and interpretation; and uniting, inspiring, and engaging diverse communities and cultures.

    The Historic New Orleans Collection

    The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) is a museum, research center, and publisher dedicated to preserving the history and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South. Its holdings comprise more than one million items from more than three centuries, documenting moments both major and minor. Its four exhibition spaces–the Williams Gallery, the Louisiana History Galleries, the Boyd Cruise Gallery, and the Laura Simon Nelson Galleries for Louisiana Art–faithfully depict the multicultural stories of the region, from permanent displays exploring the evolution of Louisiana to rotating exhibitions showcasing history and fine art.

    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.



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