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Diverse St. Lou Fringe Festival to include theatre, hip-hop, more

St. Lou Fringe Festival Left, Em Piro; Middle, Alicen Moser; Right, Joe Hanrahan
Alex Heuer

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.

Related Events

4th Annual St. Lou Fringe Festival

  • When: June 17 - 27, 2015, Various Times
  • Where: Various Locations in Grand Center
  • More information

“Cityscape” is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer and sponsored in part by the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, and the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.