Around 75,000 audience members, more than 5,000 artists showcasing their craft, 2,000 volunteers making things possible, about 1,200 impressive performances in 20 venues, 200 amazing shows that are spent in a span of 16 days—these are just some of the things offered by the New York International Fringe Festival, a theatre and multi-arts festival in New York City.

Founded in 1997, this is one of the largest multi-arts festivals in North America, and is celebrated in a span of two weeks in Manhattan at the Lower East Side, East Village, and Greenwich Village. Also known as FringeNYC, this event is sure to give people of all ages have the best, most fun-filled time with drama, comedy, musicals, puppetry, dance, vaudeville, and a whole lot more.

From August 12 to 28, 2011, more than 200 companies will be performing around 20 venues for 16 days. There are a total of 1,200 performances divided in different component Fringe events:

The FringeU, which focuses on the growth of the art community. They will be giving workshops (every Monday and Tuesday during the festival) that will inform participants on what they do and what one can use their resources.

FringeJR, which is a place for families. The children will have a blast here, for there will be a lot of activities and shows in store.

FringeHIGH, which are plays that promote new perspectives aimed for young adults. Shows on a variety of important and timely topics such as Facebook and identity issues will give new ideas, and innovative theatres such as puppetry and 3D hip hop also await.

FringeAL FRESCO, which is a set of free outdoor activities and shows to surely entertain audiences of all ages.

FringeART, which are free art events that will show different fun activities that will sure to delight all visitors passionate for the arts.

FringeCLUB, which is an after-show community offering a place for artists to mingle and interact. There will be an artists’ lounge as well as different improvised variety shows with special guest stars that are sure to entertain.

Critics have already raved about their favorite shows and performances in the festival, and you simply must check out the following:

The shows include …unwanted (dir. Carlos A. Cruz Velasquez), a play that explores emotions; 2 Burn (dir. Jennifer Joyce & Jody P. Person), a gay, noir drama about a college student and his professor; After Anne Frank (dir. Janice L. Goldberg), a play about how Anne Frank continues to give lessons on living; All Atheists are Muslims (dir. Zahra Noorbaksh), a comedy discussing religious doctrine; All the Windows on Alcatraz (dir. Dina Vovsi), a drama and comedy asking “Are you who you want to be when you grow up?”; Araby (dir. Daniel Spector), which is based on the James Joyce Dubliners classic. These are just the beginning of the list, and there are so much more in store.

The families will enjoy the FringeJR shows such as Goldilocks and the Three Polar Bears, written by Jerrod Bogard; The Happy Worst Day Ever written by Arlene Hutton; There Was an Old Man Who Swallowed a Fly and Other Heroines That Reach for the Sky! written by Jeanne Beechwood; and many other performances that will send children as well as their parents to different worlds!

The Venues for the shows will be at the following locations: Teatro Sea, CSV Flamboyan, CSV Kabayitos, Teatro Latea, Dixon Place, The Living Theatre, Connoly Theatre, The First Floor @ LA MAMA, The Ellen Stewart Theatre @ LA MAMA, IATI Theater, The Kraine Theater, 4th Street Theatre, Bowery Poetry Club Bleecker Theatre, Le Poisson, Players Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Source, The Studio @ Cherry Lane Theatre. These are all accessible by subway, so you will not have any difficulty getting there.

New York City is known for its amazing theatre shows, which could be found in different locations, and this is definitely the one that gathers talent in one location. You will not have a dull time hear for you can hop on one play to another, and meet the people who have created some of the most entertaining shows this year.

If you’re planning on attending an arts and culture event this year, this one is definitely one of the events that you must go to. Boasting of both quality and quantity, the FringeNYC is definitely an event that you won’t forget. Also, this year being the Festival’s 15th year, there will certainly be a lot of developments and more surprises in store.

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