The New York International Fringe Festival (Fringe NYC) will welcome 175 acts from 18 countries and across the U.S to this year's event, set to run Aug. 18-29 at a variety of venues in and around New York's Lower East Side. The 175 number matches the amount of attractions featured in the first fest, in 1997, and bests last year's fest by roughly 30.
Fringe NYC will boast a greater international presence than in years past, said spokesperson Ron Lasko. Thirty-five international artists and companies have been invited to participate, more than double last year's number -- thus minimizing the previously dominating presence of New York-based troupes. Countries represented include Canada, Brazil, Norway, Ireland, Germany, Argentina, Columbia, Greece, Poland, India, Sweden, Holland, Australia, Austria, Japan, Thailand, England and Belgium.
Some highlights of the upcoming extravaganza include:
* The Austin Pendleton-directed production of Admissions, Tony Vellela's drama about college campus politics. Admissions was presented at the Blue Heron Arts Center earlier this spring.
* Jay Walker, a one-person show by Marga Gomez, a veteran of The Public Theater and P.S. 122. * A new production of the Tom Waits-William S. Burroughs-Robert Wilson musical, Black Rider, by the Edmonton, Canada, company, A Gentlewoman and a Scholar Productions.
* My Penis, a serio-comic monologue of obvious subject matter -- and a sort of counterpart to Eve Ensler's Vagina Monologues -- by Antonio Sacre, a veteran of the 1997 and 1998 festivals.
A complete list of Fringe participants will be announced in the weeks to come.
The third annual festival will be held in all kinds of spaces and places -- indoors and out. Special events, continuous live street performances, panel discussions, workshops, conferences and Fringe Jr. programming for kids, will again be part of the Fringe NYC mix. The festival includes performances covering a wide range of disciplines: theater, performance art, dance, children's theatre, spoken word, buskers and multimedia.
The Present Company, led by producing director Elena K. Holy and artistic director John Clancy, produces Fringe NYC.
For information, call (212) 420-8877.
Fringe NYC's web site is http://www.fringenyc.org.