'New Jersey Fringe Festival' Back for Second Year in Hammonton

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Since the late 1940s, "Fringe" festivals have been giving rising theatre artists a chance to show their work to new audiences.

After a successful event last summer, the Eagle Theatre of Hammonton will be hosting its second New Jersey Fringe Festival this weekend.

“We are the first in the state to host a fringe festival, and it gives different local artists the opportunity to produce pieces that otherwise wouldn’t have an opportunity to be staged,” said Katie Shelly, the general manager of the Eagle Theatre.

In downtown Hammonton, volunteers are preparing for a weekend that will be filled with the performing arts.

“You get everything from a one-man, one-woman show, to a large cast original piece,” said Ed Corsi, co-founder of New Jersey Fringe. “There are things you may not have heard of.”

A couple thousand people are expected for this year’s event.

“In our first year, I mean, we sold a considerable amount of wristbands,” said Corsi. “All of the productions that were housed last year did very, very well as far as attendance. But the feedback was great.”

There will be 13 different productions created by tri-state-area artists and performed several times over the weekend. All performances will be in venues within walking distance to the Theatre.

Visitors can purchase a one-day or all-weekend wristband for access to the shows.

“Everything from musicals to cabarets to plays [will be presented],” said Corsi.

“We make it a bit of a party," said Shelly. "It’s a street festival as well, which is really neat. There are things to do in between the venues and different performances.”

In the center of it all will be some “free fun,” including a beer and wine garden surrounding a stage that will house live music each night, with nearby street performers and pop-up art, as well.

“You walk into town, you’re going to hear it," said Corsi.

“It’s kind of hard to miss when you’ve got orange splashed all over downtown, and you’re able to draw people in that way,” said Shelly.

The three-day street festival and theatre marathon begins on Friday, August 4th.

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