By Sabina Mollot
By now, most theater buffs in New York City are familiar with “The New York International Fringe Festival,” the mega-festival of plays put on by over 200 companies in 16 days each summer for the past 18 years. However, what’s less known is that there’s also “Fringe Jr.,” a selection of plays in the festival that are geared towards kids. Each show is around an hour and put on by local as well as overseas companies.
The venue this year for Fringe Jr., which kicked off August 8 and will run through August 24, is the 14th Street Y. There are four plays to choose from, each one suitable for families with kids ages 5-12, and tickets are $18 for adults, $13 for kids.
This is the second time Fringe is showing children’s plays exclusively at the Y’s LABA theater.
Previously, Fringe Jr. plays had been shown at more than one venue each year.
“The 14th Street Y has been a very good friend to us,” said Ben Cohen, an associate producer for Fringe’s community and social marketing. The venue, he said, was ideal due to the fact there are already other activities for kids going on, making it convenient for parents who want to introduce their kids to theater.
“All of us at Fringe definitely feel that theater is so important for kids,” Cohen said. “I know it had an impact on me growing up.”
This year, there were over 1,000 applications for Fringe Festival plays, although the Fringe Jr. plays have a separate application process. But like with the other plays, Fringe looks for stories that are “current, present and topical.”