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Scranton storefronts become stages for socially distant live theater

Scranton Fringe Festival brings back "Fringe Under Glass" this week for an innovative walking tour of live performances, circus arts, and more.

SCRANTON, Pa. — If you love the vibe of live theater but aren't really digging crowds during the pandemic, Fringe Under Glass could be for you.

Starting Thursday, September 23, 2021, the arts come alive, safely, behind storefront windows in the Electric City.

It's a mix of live theater, music, circus arts, and more performed behind storefront windows and in unique outdoor spaces.

The goal of the event is to help keep artists and audiences safe from the ongoing pandemic while providing some entertainment. 

Using wireless headphones, audiences are taken on a tour by a trained guide to enjoy numerous performances from groups from our region (and beyond) throughout downtown Scranton.

Performance dates and times

  • Thursday, September 23 at 7 p.m. 
  • Friday, September 24 at 7 p.m.
  • Saturday, September 25 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Runs throughout Downtown Scranton
  • Runtime: Approximately 2 hours - including intermission

Ticket information

The cost for general admission is $20. For tickets, CLICK HERE!

Event background:

The following is providing from Scranton Fringe Festival: 

Scranton Fringe, which puts on Fringe Under Glass, is an award-winning arts organization producing innovative work since 2015. The group is dedicated to creating a bold, engaging platform for thought-provoking art while striving to promote Northeastern Pennsylvania as a viable creative environment. 

When the pandemic wasn't in the mix, Scranton Fringe put on an annual festival. It was inspired by the world's largest annual event, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After a sold-out presentation in 2020, Fringe Under Glass returns as an innovative walking tour of live performing arts staged behind the windows of various downtown Scranton storefronts.

How Fringe Under Glass helps local businesses

The following is providing from Scranton Fringe Festival: 

During this challenging time for the arts and local businesses, Scranton Fringe has partnered with downtown-based businesses with large window spaces to activate these unconventional guerrilla stages. The performances attract patrons to the streets of downtown Scranton to enjoy and experience unique works of live theatre and exceptional performance art.

Featured artists and cultural groups include regional favorites The New Vintage Ensemble and the Gaslight Theatre Company, as well as nationally celebrated groups such as The Farm Arts Collective (reviving select scenes from their sold-out production of DREAM ON THE FARM 2021, featured in The New York Times). New York City-based The Living Theatre, the longest-running experimental theatre company in the USA, will present a unique short-work of theatre entitled "A Day In The Life of the City: Scranton." Other performances and surprises are being added as well, ensuring something for everyone during the walking tour.

COVID-19 safety measures: 

All performers will be behind glass and/or outdoors, distant from the audience (with wireless audio to ensure all can hear and enjoy the work), and are required to show proof of vaccination and/or recent negative COVID test. 

Fringe tour guides will be required to be vaccinated and will ensure each locale is sanitized between each performance. The Scranton Fringe Festival leadership team have been attending online-based workshops and panel discussions to learn the most updated safety standards for public art organizations, as well as following the ever-evolving standards set by local and state government and the CDC.

Since 2015, the annual Scranton Fringe has presented hundreds of creative works to over 12,000 unique audience members and helped generate over $250,000 each year in the local economy.

In addition to the annual festival, programs helmed by the Scranton Fringe have expanded to include, but are not limited to:

  • An emergency artists fund for NEPA artists / creative workers who are in need as a result of loss of work from the pandemic, with $12,000 distributed so far.
  • Long-running community favorite events Scranton StorySlam and Big Gay StorySlam, which focus on five-minute true stories centered on alternating themes.
  • Dozens of virtual events and panels, including an entire online theatre festival set in the world of Animal Crossing that featured digital performances from around the globe.
  • A new storytelling-based podcast, "Life and…" that gives space to our community to tell their own life stories in their own words.
  • Scranton Porchfest, a new city-wide festival of unique visual décor and great music, spread across more than 100 homes and businesses.
  • The Scranton Fringe Little Free Library, a mobile free book exchange that has distributed over 1,000 books during the past five years.
  • A COVID-19 vaccine clinic to ensure all within the community have easy, safe access to the vaccine at a convenient, walkable downtown location.

Contact information:

The following videos highlight some of the activities surrounding The Scranton Fringe Festival in our area from years past. 

WNEP-TV is a proud media sponsor of this event.

For more good news stories, check out the WNEP Youtube page.