This week, Baltimore’s thriving performance art scene is highly concentrated with shows aplenty in the annual Charm City Fringe Fest happening now through November 13th at locations around northern Baltimore city. Never heard of the Fringe? Let’s go back to 1947 Scotland and the inaugural year of the Edinburgh International Festival, a post -WWII celebration of European arts and culture. Eight uninvited theater groups staged their own performances on the “fringe of the festival” and unwittingly kicked-off a 70-year tradition. Each year, more troupes joined the Fringe when in 1958, the Festival Fringe Society stood up to help support the growing number of artists and attendees seeking original, dynamic performances. Since then, Fringes caught on around the world. In the U.S., 20 states boast annual Fringe Festivals.  The Charm City Fringe team – headed by Michael Brush and Zach Michel – created and produces the Fringe in Baltimore.

Rich Potter, as the Creator of the Universe, has a last-minute deadline frenzy, in "God: The One Man Show" at Charm City Fringe Festival, November 2016 www.GodTheOneManShow.com

Rich Potter, as Creator of the Universe in God: The One Man Show

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Alisa Glenn as Piper Bidet: Bathroom Detective

This year, Charm City Fringe features a diverse program of performances in non-traditional and up-and-coming spaces including the Mercury and Stillpointe Theaters on North Charles Street. From shows like God: The One Man Show to Piper Bidet:Bathroom Detective, Charm City Fringe promises something for everyone. An expanded after-hours program includes music, comedy, and impromptu performances from locals and visiting artists.

Check out the Fringe’s website for details on artists, show times, ticket prices, partner discounts, after-hours shows, and parking.  And check out some of the performances this week.  They promise to be extraordinary.