Add a little weird to your weekend as Charm City Fringe presents “Nights on the Fringe” on June 8 and 9, bringing together a group of 13 diverse acts at the Baltimore Theatre Project.
The event returns for the fifth year with something for everyone and features some of the most talented groups in Baltimore, showing their talents through “vaudeville-inspired” acts of dance, magic, short film and more.
The first night alone will be jam-packed with acts from the Ballet Theatre of Maryland and Interrobang Theatre, puppetry from Devin Martin, spoken word from DewMore Baltimore, short films by Cagesafe Productions and other performances.
For audiences, the event has been an annual opportunity to see some of the most creative entertainment in the city. For the artists like Micael Og O’Donnell, it’s a chance to challenge himself.
“This year we submitted a pitch for a stop motion short film, made with 2D paper puppets … needless to say, this is my first stop motion movie, and there has been a huge learning curve,” says O’Donnell, who is a writer and director for Cagesafe Productions
Cagesafe has been contributing to Nights of the Fringe for years.
“For that first year, we had two short films on repeat in the lobby, both period pieces, where we hunted down one of the old hundred-pound TVs to screen the films on, and we have participated in some capacity every year since,” O’Donnell says.
In addition to film, Nights on the Fringe also will present acrobatics with In the Dark Circus Arts, a company that integrates a modern flair to their traditional circus-style performances.
“Often times as professional performers, we are hired for very specific performances where we do not have artistic control,” explains founder Kelly Jo Chartier. “Nights on the Fringe gives us one hundred percent artistic license to perform pieces that come from our heart and soul with no restrictions.”
Magic duo The Encounter also hopes to eliminate restrictions through their mission to promote gender equality in stage magic. Annie Montone and Brian Kehoe make up the two-person magic team and also run the Baltimore Academy of Magic, a modern-day Hogwarts for aspiring magicians.
“You’ll see us working together to perform awesome illusions that we just wouldn’t be able to do alone. You won’t see anything else like it in stage magic right now, I can tell you that,” Montone says.
Dance company The Collective also aims for inclusivity, embracing all styles of dance as a means for artistic expression and promoting the importance of dancers and choreographers working together.
“The Collective will perform two shorter works that are not meant to be taken too seriously… the dancers use their bodies to explore quirky, animal-like movements inspired by insect life” explains co-director Sonia Synkowski.
In short? Audiences are in for a real treat.
“I think Nights on the Fringe is one of the only times a year that audiences can see the true Baltimore in the performing arts,” Chartier says. “I feel privileged to be part of the show and can only hope the audiences appreciate how special [it] is.”
Night on the Fringe takes place June 8-9, starting at 8 p.m. at the Baltimore Theatre Project.