The East End Fringe Festival kicks off tonight at the Vail-Leavitt Music Hall in Riverhead.
Fringe festivals — which trace their roots back to 1947 Edinburgh, Scotland — typically showcase an array of original material that is experimental in style or subject matter.
The debut season of the East End Fringe Festival, which runs tonight through Aug. 6, features the performance of five plays, a free “Theater Express” night during Alive on 25 Thursday evening, and “Project Poetry,” an evening of poetry readings by Suffolk’s present and past poet laureates as well as new poets from the East End and beyond.
The festival is produced by Debbie Slevin and Cindy Clifford,who teamed up to conceive and produce The Apron Strings Project at the Vail in 2014.
The East End Fringe Festival debuts tonight at 7 p.m. with the performance of “Fifty-Flat” by Brianna Singer (directed by Christina O’Toole): “In a dystopian future, a single test determines your entire future. ‘Fifty-Flat’ challenges American ideals of wealth, success, and meritocracy.” Tonight’s performance includes an opening reception by Moustache Brewery. Additional performances of “Fifty-Flat”: Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 at 7 p.m.
“Mr. Danby’s Son” by Dennis Hartin “tells a familiar story of a good father with a prodigal son, but with a twist. The father’s been murdered and his son is planning the funeral with a pastor who has secrets of her own.” Performances: Saturday, July 29 at 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 3 at 7 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m.
“Priapism” by James Kingston is about a spy novelist with a huge problem. A play for mature audiences only. “Priapism” debuts Friday, July 28 at 9:30 p.m. Other performances: Saturday, July 29 at 9:30 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 5 at 8:30 p.m.
“The Supreme Beings” are concerned about one of their favorite projects, Earth. But how can they help the people of Earth if they can’t communicate with each other? It may require another miracle to spread the word. Play by Michael Horn. Showtimes: Friday, July 28 at 8:30 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 4 at 8 pm.; Sunday, Aug. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
“BREAK OUT!” Written and performed by Susan Dingle and Maggie Bloomfield. “In this hilarious and heartbreaking conversation, two friends who found their voices in sobriety share their poems and stories with incarcerated women, and offer hope for all people who want to break out of addiction and into recovery and change.” Directed by Rosemary Cline and Andrew Botsford. Performances: Thursday, Aug. 3 at 845 p.m.; Saturday, Aug. 5 at 7 p.m.; Sunday, Aug. 6 at 7:30 p.m.
“Theater Express” offers free short plays at the Vail-Leavitt during the Alive on 25 downtown street festival tomorrow, July 27. Showtimes are at 5, 6:15, 7:30, and 8:45 p.m. A rundown of the Theater Express offerings, from comedy to the surreal, can be found on the Fringe Festival website.
An encore performance of “Theater Express” and the music of the Sunnyland Jazz Band will be offered at the Fringe Festival’s New Orleans Jazz Brunch on Sunday, July 30 at Dark Horse Restaurant, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Tickets $45)
The historic Vail-Leavitt Music Hall is located at 18 Peconic Avenue in Riverhead. The festival is sponsored by Bridgehamption National Bank.