The 17th Annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival Comes to Over-the-Rhine and to Your Screen

CFF_Orange logo text onlyPresenting the 2020 Fringe Festival Primary Lineup 

Every June, weirdness descends on Over-the-Rhine as the small-but-dauntless team at Know Theatre manages its yearly labor of love, the Cincinnati Fringe Festival: our region’s largest, longest, most peculiar performing arts festival. This year, as it became inadvisable to bring the usual throngs of artists and audiences to Fringe HQ, we knew we couldn’t let the spirit of Fringe lie dormant for all of 2020.

In the joyful and inventive spirit of Fringe, we are delighted to bring you the details and the lineup for the 17th annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival in its freshly-adapted-for-2020, all-digital version. Fringe may be coming at you through a screen this year, but it remains, as ever, Kinda Weird – Like You.

Cincy Fringe will run, as originally scheduled, from May 29 to June 13, 2020. All content will be streamed online. With the exception of some livestreamed special events, performances will be available to watch on-demand. However, for those who, like us, are craving the Fringe spirit – that warm little community that springs up around the festival every year – we’ll be hosting scheduled group-watch parties for the shows in the lineup to bring that spirit straight into people’s homes.

We’re shaking up the format, but our values remain firmly rooted: as such, we are maintaining our practice of sharing all profits in a 50/50 split with the artists who bring their work to our festival. Tickets for single shows are available beginning at $11; there is also a “Love Your Artists” ticket option for $16, for patrons who have the means and the desire to contribute a little extra to the festival and its artists.

The coveted Fringe All-Access Pass will be available again for 2020; it can be purchased for $200 and provides access to all Fringe programming, including the Primary Lineup performances as well as the Special Events.

Ardent Fringe-hounds may notice that some of the titles in this year’s primary lineup sound a little familiar. This year, amongst the usual crop of brand-new works, we’re offering Fringe Flashbacks, a curated selection of favorite productions from seasons past. Frequent-Fringers can revisit these cherished favorites – or, perhaps, finally catch that one show they regret missing.

Other beloved fixtures of Cincy Fringe will also continue in digital format! Digital Special Events abound: CUSS with Travis McElroy, a return of Peter Michael Marino’s wildly popular Desperately Seeking the Exit, True Theatre’s 10th Annual True Fringe, and a performance from OTRimprov. Audiences will be able to take in virtual art galleries for Visual Fringe as well as livestreamed Bar Series events, featuring our regular updates from Channel Fringe Hard-Hitting Action News.

For more information on individual shows, or to purchase passes or tickets, visit our website at

The Primary Lineup

CFF20_The Bassoonist logoThe Bassoonist, by Autumn Kaleidoscope out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A Man, A Bassoon, and a Dream. Johann Geyersbach has one dream, to become the most famed bassoonist in all of Europe. However, his teacher doesn’t believe in him. His teacher: Johann Sebastian Bach. Based on one of the most famous fights of Baroque music, The Bassoonist is written and performed by Sean P. Mette. | Facebook event

CFF20_COLONY-IMAGE 3Colony, by PSOPHONIA Dance Company out of Houston, Texas. An exploration of our symbiotic relationship with honeybees. A year in the making, COLONY began with an interest in creating a project that would involve the music of Stacy Garrop, who was to be in residence at the University of Houston in Spring 2019. Stacy’s work Postcards from Wyoming captured Torres’s imagination, conjuring up images of bees actively moving and shifting within a hive. Building on this concept, the ensembles designed this multidisciplinary program that draws audiences into the imperiled world of honeybees. | Press release

CFF20_DreamDream&, from The Queer Feminists Next Door out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Queer, quirky, alternate-reality musical journey through social isolation and community. When Iz gets assigned to Emma’s case in the mission to save the multiverse, she takes them on an unforgettable interdimensional journey through wonder, heartache, temptation, and self-discovery. |Facebook event

Dreary, Dearie, from Caitlyn Waltermire out of Lexington, Kentucky. A one-woman show – interrupted.

CFF20_Forbidden City logoForbidden City!, from Martin Dockery out of Brooklyn, New York. A dazzling, alternative comedy/storytelling mash-up. Totally unique. Recorded at the end of 2019 in front of an actual living, breathing, laughing, sighing, gasping, physically present audience, “Forbidden City!” is an utterly original storytelling experience. What starts as a funny & true story about a tour of China’s Forbidden City goes completely off the rails, becoming a vexing, enraged, vital, absurd, heartfelt, & uplifting story about life itself. | Facebook event

CFF20_Hive MindHive Mind, from Performance Gallery and Solasta Theatre Lab out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Bees and puppets save the world. As usual. | Facebook event

CFF20_Paul and Erika's House showPaul and Erika’s HOUSE SHOW, by Theatre Immobile out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A house show too fun to stay in one house! A brand new 35-minute virtual house show for adults full of strange stories, original music, digital puppetry and more. A highly entertaining love letter to live audiences everywhere. This entire show was conceived, developed, and produced between April 15th and May 15th, 2020, in Paul and Erika’s Covington, Kentucky, apartment. | Press release | Facebook event |

CFF20_Killjoy OH logoKILLJOY, OH by Queen City Flash out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The new play from Pick of the Fringe winners Queen City Flash. From the creative force behind 2019’s SOLD-OUT show Zoinks! comes a sleek what-dunnit about small towns, Bermuda triangles and the lengths people will go to recover lost things. PICK-OF-THE-FRINGE winners Bridget Leak, Jordan Trovillion and Trey Tatum return with a new story of the bizarre in an entirely new format. | Press Release

CFF20_Love and Other LuresLove and Other Lures, from Dr. Dour and Peach out of Cheverly, Maryland. The horror-comedy clown duo sings songs about love and monsters. In the songs of LOVE and OTHER LURES, Dr. Dour (vocals, 10-string touch-guitar) and Peach (cello, banjo, cute) employ a range of musical styles from southern rock to Tin Pan Alley. The audience is transported on an oddball odyssey of ill-fated love stories. “Love is dangerous and unpredictable, like creatures with too many legs,” says Dr. Dour. “Love is a beautiful journey! Even if you fall down an interdimensional time tunnel at the end of it,” says Peach. | Press release | Facebook event |

CFF20-m-o-u-s-e logom-o-u-s-e, from Ink Blot Inc out of Cincinnati, Ohio. A future archaeologist discovers the autobiography of Walt’s pet mouse. Trapped in a long-abandoned vault, an archaeologist in the distant future uncovers the autobiography of the real-life mouse that inspired culture’s most omnipresent corporate mascot. With life support systems dwindling, the archaeologist is tasked with relaying the mouse’s remarkable ninety-five year life story to his virtual AI assistant. | Facebook event

CFF20_The Opinons of Men logoThe Opinions of Men: A Stupid History of the Protestant Reformation, from That Crying Mask and That Laughing Mask Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The 26% true story of revolution in 16th-century Europe. The world-changing Protestant Reformation unfolds in front of your eyes, as totally legitimate historians and cutting-edge animation bring the conflicts of 16th-century Europe to life in painstaking detail. This is what happens when two religions, picked to share a continent, stop being polite and start getting real. | Facebook event

CFF20_ProximityProximity, from Pones out of Cincinnati, Ohio. How do we negotiate the space that exists between us? How do we negotiate the space that exists between us? A first-person experience of what is lost and what can be found in our city. Based upon crowd-sourced suggestions, Pones will create a dance video that utilizes site-specificity to uncover the duet of beauty and grief we are collectively experiencing. | Facebook event 

CFF20_Quit While Youre Ahead logoQuit While You’re Ahead, by A to Z Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. I have a chart for that… You all remember the thrill of high school graduation! The bonfires, the parties, the suicide charts…what, your high school didn’t make those? Janie and Jason did. Hang out with them and their bewildered friend Chad in their hilarious and heartfelt attempt to find something to live for now that the graduation gowns are off. | Facebook event 

Rewind-a-Buddy, by Paper Soul out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Buddy wants to be YOUR FRIEND, on home video!


Butcher Holler Here We Come by Ad Hoc Economy out of Brooklyn, NY. 1973, West Virginia. Following a cave collapse, 5 coal miners struggle to survive the dwindling supply of oxygen, the lack of food and water, the unravelling sense of passing time, and, even more threatening, their own competing natures. Brutally weaving through family histories, complicated friendships, crooked politics, childhood visions, audacious hopes, eerie dreams, criminal addictions, and fervent spirituality in this run-ofthe-mill Appalachian community, 

Knifeslingin’, by Paper Soul out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Critter returns in a recording of last year’s Fringe favorite!

Lady Macbeth and Her Pal, Megan, by Heliotrope out of Iowa City, Iowa. Cornfed comedian is no Lady Macbeth. Or is she?

OCCUPY This! Tales of an Accidental Activist, by Tommy “Rev. Nuge” Nugent out of Detroit, Michigan. A funny thing happened on the way to the Revolution.

Petunia and Chicken, by Animal Engine out of New York, New York. Award-winning prairie love story, now with live folk music.

CFF20_Stow Your Baggage logoStow Your Baggage, by A to Z Productions out of Cincinnati, Ohio. Put your seatbacks in the all-right-let’s-talk position! A Flight Attendant School Dropout Comedy by Alexx Rouse (Busted Bumpers, Bad Poetry Night.) Dramaturgy by Paul Strickland. Directed by Erika Kate MacDonald. | Facebook event

CFF20_The Unrepentant NecrophileThe Unrepentant Necrophile, by the Coldharts out of Brooklyn, New York. A punk musical about a mortician and her body. A mortician falls in love with a man as she prepares his corpse for burial. She has three days until the funeral… but three days just isn’t enough. | Facebook event

Click here for a complete list of
Special Events, Live Conversations, Family-Friendly Programming,
Bar Series Events, and More

Know Theatre is Cincinnati’s Theatrical Playground. The Know showcases unexpected voices, new works, and plays that embrace the inherent theatricality of the live experience. Know Theatre seeks to be a place where artists and audiences feel welcome to take artistic risks, creating work that is cutting edge and accessible.       

Know Theatre’s work is made possible, in part, by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave Campaign.           

The Ohio Arts Council helps fund Know Theatre with state tax dollars to encourage economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohioans.

Know Theatre is also supported by The Carol Ann & Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation, helping to change our communities for the better through collaboration and innovation, and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, which provides a simple, powerful, and highly personal approach to giving.

Know Theatre is a member of Theatre Communications Group and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.


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