MO-TO-THE-ONCLE at 2021 Cincy Fringe


Melissa Cole. Photo by Svetlana Kim.

National Fringe hit makes its Cincinnati Fringe debut

Cincinnati, Ohio – MO-TO-THE-ONCLE (pronounced MO-to-the-AWN-uh-kuhl) debuts at the 18th Annual Cincinnati Fringe Festival (Friday, June 4 – Saturday, June 19) via MO-TO-THE-ONCLE will be available to be viewed on-demand throughout the 14-day theater festival. Tickets are now on sale for $10 at, where more information is also available.

MO-TO-THE-ONCLE is a satirical one-woman comedy play about a Bronx teenager who must wear a monocle to school after his dad loses their vision insurance. The story unfolds through a series of bold monologues performed by writer and actress Melissa Cole, who portrays at least a dozen different characters throughout the show. “People always say that they just can’t get into solo shows,” says Cole. “My background is in improv and sketch comedy, so my perspective as a creator comes through that lens. MO-TO-THE-ONCLE is really fast-paced and fun, and I think it’s a real standout in the solo show category.”


Photo by Anthony Velez.

Since MO-TO-THE-ONCLE’s 2016 premiere in New York City, Cole has taken her wild solo performance on the road to Fringe stages in cities across the country, including Rochester, Orlando, and Pittsburgh, amassing great critical acclaim along the way.

Last year, as many Fringe festivals made the pivot to presenting online offerings exclusively, this Cincy Fringe newcomer says she welcomed the “challenge” of recreating her show for virtual audiences, who she says could be even more discerning. “I’ve never been to Ohio before, and I certainly would have really loved to have been there in person,” Cole explains. “But this is my second time doing a virtual festival, and I’ve worked really hard to ensure that the virtual showing of MO-TO-THE-ONCLE is just as fulfilling–if not even more so–than its live counterpart, especially for Cincy Fringe’s loyal audience.”

More about Fringe: The Cincinnati Fringe Festival is produced by Know Theatre of Cincinnati as our final presentation of each season. All year-round, Know Theatre staff work on the Festival. We also bring in part-time staffers and hundreds of volunteers to help make the magic happen. A 14-day celebration of theatre, art, music, film, dance, and everything between —  that’s Kinda WEIRD. Like YOU! Now in its 17th year, Cincy Fringe (as its succinctly known) presents over 200 performances of 40+ theatre productions each May and June, plus art galleries, screenings, concerts, workshops, classes, and nightly parties.

More about Melissa Cole: Melissa Cole (writer/actress) is a New York City based actress, improviser and writer. In 2017, Cole was the Pittsburgh Fringe Festival’s Best Actress winner for her performance in Mo-to-the-oncle. In 2016, she performed as a Top 7 finalist in the NBC & Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Diversity Scholarship Showcase, a high-profile showcase featuring rising sketch comedy actors. A Long Island, New York native, Cole is a graduate of New York University.

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