What is Fringe?

The first Fringe was held in 1947 as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland. Fringe performing arts festivals can now be found all over the world and, in the United States, the concept has taken off like a rocket in recent years. While there are no hard and fast rules, Fringe Festivals tend to follow the following tenants:

  • Focused on the performing arts: Fringes don’t have a focus on a single discipline or genre, but are a performing-arts smörgåsbord.
  • Uncensored: No one gets too fussy about swears or adult themes
  • Easy to participate in: Participation runs the gamut from amateurs to professionals.
  • Festivals: They last from just a few days to a few weeks and involve lots of people at multiple venues.
  • Original: Fringes feature a huge array of original material.
  • Rapid-fire: Typically, tech is minimal and shows are kept brief.

We hope you’ll join Region 2 in our Fringe Festival by participating in one of our many events.

Fringe Events

Games & Misdemeanors – The KCACTF2 Improv Show– Say Yes, And to this crazy improv contest. Get your team of three together and be prepared to be challenged with short improv games a la “Who’s Line Is It, Anyway?” Two hours of freeze tag, what are you doing? and film dub. Guest judge James Phillips, from Mount Saint Mary College, will crown a winning team who will get bragging rights and Keith Johnstone’s seminal text, Impro. Sign up your team via this link or at Festival registration. Don’t have a team? No worries – we will assign you to one. 


Cold Read Contest – Grab a side and show us what you got! This is your opportunity to practice another audition skill. Register to participate and get a jump on what plays the sides will be chosen from. Or register at Festival and get the info then. Participants receive a 3-minute slot to show us your audition reading skills. Winner is announced at closing ceremonies and a cash prize is awarded.


Short Scenes – Bring your fun, unusual scene to showcase a play that isn’t able to come to Festival in a full production. Sign up for a 15-minute slot and present your stripped down version. Scenes should be chosen for specific theatrical elements which will broaden the scope of offerings at the Festival and which show ambitious performance styles and unusual aesthetics.


Second Scene/Second Chance/Open Mic – If you didn’t make it to the Semi-finals of the Ryans, but you worked your fingers to the bone on that second scene, don’t despair! If you didn’t make it into the coveted MTI slots, don’t dissolve into tears! If you’ve got some stand-up comedy, slam poetry or a monologue you want to share, bring it here! 


Michael Allen

Michael Allen

Fringe Coordinator

Montclair State University

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