Thirty shows. Five venues. Five days. Em Piro, founder of the St. Lou Fringe Festival, has upped the ante for the second annual extravaganza in midtown St. Louis, which will occur from Thursday, June 20 through Monday, June 24.

Piro and festival organizers have added more street performers, visual art, workshops, nightly after parties and “Fringe Family” activities geared toward youth for the 2013 edition.

“The responses from artists and patrons alike reflect a deep excitement about innovative culture in St. Louis,” said Piro, who serves as the festival’s executive director. “We’re thrilled to be in the midst of, and directly supporting, such palpable creative energy.”

The festival will feature 20 local acts and 10 groups from Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Orlando and Ontario, Canada. A number of the companies performed at the inaugural festival in 2012 and are complemented by the addition of several other troupes this year.

Types of performances will include burlesque, cabaret/musical, clowning, comedy, dance, instrumental music, musical theater, performance art, puppetry, spoken word/slam poetry, theater and vaudeville. The festival will take place at three performance venues and will have two box office locations where patrons can purchase a fringe badge as well as tickets to individual presentations.

A badge can be obtained for $5 and then allows the purchaser entry into the festival activities, similar to the way a state fair operates. Patrons who arrive by bike or bus and display their transit pass or helmet will pay $4 for a festival badge. Children age 12 and under will be given a badge at no charge.

Patrons then will be charged anywhere from $5 to $12 for individual shows, depending upon the admission price determined by individual acts. All money raised from ticket prices goes to participating on-stage and off-stage artists.

Local companies participating in the 2013 St. Lou Fringe and their acts include:

• Ashleyliane Dance Company, Move! • Big Teeth Theater, Gun Club • Christy Strickland, Christy Strickland Live at Satori • Don Bailey, Traveling Down the Highway • The First Time Puppet Theater, Beyond the Fringe with Lulu • The Four Fronts, The Four Fronts Present Rhythm City • Gateway City Opera, The Golden Goose • Grand High Productions, Total Nonsense • The Goddessey Project, Made of Diamonds: The Discovery of Power and Betrayal • Highly Distracted Productions, Asperger’s: A High Functioning Musical • JHD Productions, I Am My Own Militia or Mea’s Unique Garage Sale • Karlovsky & Company Dance, Modern Mixes • Leverage Dance Theatre, Brave Women: Another Revolution • Morning Star Productions, The Dragon’s Keep • NQR Improv, We’re Not Quite Right • Out of the Ashes (of the NonProphet) Theatre, Montana: A Shakespearean Scarface • R-S Theatrics, This Is a Play • St. Louis Osuwa Taiko, Taiko Matsuri • Three Fifs, The Fugitive Slave Act • Thunder Kittens, Thunder Kittens Burlesque.

Groups from beyond St. Louis performing in the festival and their acts include: • 1UP Productions (Chicago), No Stopping, No Warping, No Dying • Caila Lipovsky (Chicago), Caila’s Music Show • Chicago Improv (Chicago), The Spotty Truth (An Improvised Biography) • Core Project Chicago (Chicago), Connect the Dots • Eric Warner (Chicago), The Lord Loves a Workin’ Man • The Heather Dale Band with SJ Tucker (Ontario), Fairyland • Storyteller “Country Joe” Rosier (Orlando), ses-qui-cen-ten-ni-al: The Civil War Remembered • Pat O’Brien’s Vanity Theatrics (Minneapolis), Underneath the Lintel • Phat Beethoven (Chicago), Phat Beethoven • Rajpa Productions (Kansas City), Hey Minnie the Moocher: A Musical Tribute to Cotton Club Swing Jazz Legends.

Sites being utilized at the 2013 St. Lou Fringe are the Fubar Music Venue, 3108 Locust; ANNONYarts at Satori, 3003 Locust; and the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand. Tickets may be purchased at the main box office at 519 North Grand and at the UCBC (Urban Chestnut) box office at 3229 Washington.

Piro and her colleagues have based the St. Lou Fringe on an internationally successful model of connecting cutting-edge performing arts with accessible, affordable performances for audiences. For more information about badges, tickets to individual shows, venues and other attractions, visit, call 314-643-7853, e-mail or “like” the St. Lou Fringe on Facebook.

Performances:  2013 St. Lou Fringe Festival

Companies:  Thirty (30) participating companies from St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Orlando and Ontario, Canada

Venues: Fubar Music Venue, 3108 Locust; ANNONYarts at Satori, 3003 Locust; Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 North Grand

Tickets:  Free to $5 for festival badges; $5-$12 for individual shows.  Contact 643-7853, or

Photos courtesy of St. Lou Fringe