Our picks for the 2020 Philly Free Fringe Festival

2 minute read

Feeling overwhelmed by the long list of shows, performances, and exhibits on this year’s Free Fringe Festival? Great, so are we! I’ve curated some must-see picks for this year’s festival, which runs through October 4. Check them out and support the artists if you can!

Stranger Fruit

The gripping photography series by Jon Henry has garnered national attention and is at the top of the list of picks for this year’s Free Fringe. The series depicts Black mothers as they confront the harsh realities for their sons in America. The exhibit runs now through September 30, with a virtual exhibition available online.

Fairytale Fight Club: Cinderella

A family-friendly, slapstick comedic retelling of the classic fairytale, Indecorous Theatre looks to paint Cinderella in “a whole new light, and with a few new fights.” Oh, and apparently the Fairy Godmother is training her, so that ought to be a riot. Check out the premiere on Thursday, September 10, at 12pm, or watch it on-demand afterward.


If anything, 2020 has been an opportunity to reconsider our relationship with love, care, and touch. Gabrielle Revlock’s project is exactly that, a 25-minute performance reimagined for film. You can check out our review of the 2019 rendition of the show, and keep an eye out for the Vimeo link on Thursday, September 10, at 4pm.

Zoom Reality TV (Part 1)

If you’ve lost all your wits about Zoom, maybe a performance about Zoom is what you need! Especially when it’s imagined as a Nordic-style LARP using Gestalt therapy and psychodrama tools to explore COVID-era frustration and loneliness. Part 1 comes Saturday, September 12, at 1pm, with Part 2 to follow on October 3 at 1pm. Find out more online if you’re interested in participating.

Live Through This: Stories of Accidental Pandemic Preparation

If you’ve lived through war, addiction, and trauma like Alyssa Al-Dookhi and Betty Smithsonian, quarantine might just be a “f***ing breeze.” Right? Find out if that’s true as the two comedians are joined by a cast of storytellers and a therapist for a show that “we cannot promise it will be funny. But it might be.” The show streams live from Facebook on Wednesday, September 23, at 7:30pm, and the show comes with a content warning as it may include triggering stories of trauma, assault, violence, and addiction.

Crossing Over: Immigration Stories

On Saturday, September 26, the lead photographer and director of Big Day Film Collective Jackie Neal will present her project Crossing Over: Immigration Stories, a series of large-scale cyanotype portraits of immigrants paired with audio retellings of the immigrants’ own stories. The exhibit comes as a celebration of World Cyanotype Day and is an outdoor presentation.

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