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What is fringe?

Fringe is weird and wonderful and passionate and fun. It can be deep and effervescent. Fringe is unapologetic. It's a place to be moved and to celebrate creativity.

According to the United States Association of Fringe Festivals, Fringe is:

Focused on the performing arts

At its core, Fringe gives a spotlight to theater, dance, puppetry, music, visual arts, and spoken word. Fringes don't have a focus on one single discipline or genre, but are a performing-arts smörgåsbord.

An actor in a headdress of flowers and branches looks up while performing against a purple background.
An actor kisses a puppet that is red like a devil with horns.


From family friendly to bawdy and burlesque, Fringes do not curate or constrain the material or content used in participating shows.

Easy to participate in

Ticket prices are purposely low for audiences and production fees are low for artists. We strive to make the arts available to everyone. Show selection varies from festival to festival, but is generally quite open to participation by the gamut of amateurs to professionals.

Seven actors sit at round tables with tablecloths during a spoken word performance.
An actor dressed as a jester plays guitar against a dark blue background.


Fringes feature a wide array of original material—sometimes by design, but usually because that’s what Fringes do naturally well.


Typically, tech is minimal and time is a factor at our festivals. Shows are often kept brief (Fringes most frequently have shows right around 60 minutes in length) and technical requirements kept simple (minor sets, streamlined cues, nothing elaborate).

An actor wearing a green head wrap raises their hand while reciting spoken word in the spotlight against a dark background.

So why is Fringe important?

Sounds kind of weird, huh? You're not wrong, but many times there is pure creative magic to be found. HBO's hit series Fleabag started as a fringe play. Broadway's new hit musical Six also got it's start at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Not to mention the number of notable actors who got their start on the Fringe scene: Alan Rickman, Robin Williams, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and so many others.

It is an opportunity for artists to grow, learn, and shape works that matter to them.

The foremost goal of fringes around the world is artist support. How is Squeaky Wheel doing that?


  • We offer a platform for performing artists of all genres and skill levels.

  • Artists get 100% of the base ticket price for their show so they can continue to do what they do best...create!

  • We will never attempt to censor the content of a show submitted to us.

  • We keep production fees low in order to keep accessibility high and offer the ability to experiment with less risk.


How does Squeaky Wheel Fringe work?

How can Squeaky Wheel afford to give up that much ticket revenue?


  • The Fringe Fee: The base ticket price always goes right back to our artists, but in order to keep offering this platform we have added a small fee onto each ticket. We haven't done away with the Fringe Buttons, but this year they're complimentary with your order.

  • Community Support: Join the "Fringe Fam"- A donation of $25 not only supports the Squeaky Wheel Fringe it gets you early access to tickets, exclusive meet-and-greets with fringe artists, and other goodies soon to be announced.

  • Sponsorships: We love forming partnerships with local businesses that want to help us support artists and push the boundaries of what art can be.


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