Pittsburgh Fringe Festival
Bad Idea Variety Show: My Lack of a Social Life. Presented by Bad Idea Entertainment.

Multiple North Side venues
March 31, April 1, April 2
Various times

A rowdy bingo bash hosted by the glamorous drag queen Betsy Carmichael. A sociopolitical showdown between Hillary Clinton and Eva Peron. A high-octane, one-man recreation of Apocalypse Now. And that’s only the beginning.

Experience culture on the fringe for three exciting days and nights on Pittsburgh’s historic North Side. Back and bigger than ever with new programming components, an expanded format and a star-studded roster of performers, the fourth annual Pittsburgh Fringe Festival is gearing up to bring cutting-edge theater to town.

Spanning four unique venues, Fringe’s largest lineup yet boasts 37 shows and 88 performances. A celebration of boundary-smashing performance, uncensored creative expression and adventurous audiences, the three-day theatrical happening will showcase high-caliber, award-winning international artists alongside top homegrown talent—including veterans of the seminal Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Where else in Pittsburgh can you find theater and performance art exploring everything from cancer, mental illness and mass shootings to sex, love and marriage, to pie throwing—and all within walking distance?

Pittsburgh Fringe Festival
The Seven Suitcases of a Snake Oil Salesman. 
Presented by O’Ryan the O’Mazing

From a musical puppet show chronicling a young woman’s love affair with a dragon, to an eclectic orchestra featuring Mozart and Nintendo conducted by drag queen Dorothy “Dot” Matrix—Fringe has something for every ambitious theater-goer. There are even six family-friendly shows this year.

In Holiday Countdown, Mayor Bill Peduto goes on a Burgh-centric adventure involving Cupid’s bow and arrow, reindeer, city streets, Irish bakeries, and snakes, while The Chronic Single’s Handbook documents one man’s epic around-the-world search for love.

Fringe is introducing several exciting new components this year, including a pop-up art exhibition titled, Illuminate, which will be on display in Deutschtown at Allegheny City Brewery and Artists Image Resource. Organized by students from Waynesburg University who are participating in the College Fringe Curation Program, Illuminate features a variety of artwork exploring light.

Back by popular demand will be the Fringe StorySlam, an open mic competition where brave tellers will share five-minute stories based on the theme, “fool.” A variety of new free events and ancillary programs will also be hosted by additional North Side venues.

Pittsburgh Fringe Festival
Cockatrice (Bradley Wrenn), One-Man Apocalypse Now (Chris Davis) and Triage (Bent Antennae Productions).

During event hours, be sure to swing by the Pittsburgh Fringe HQ at Artists Image Resource to pick up all of your festival needs such as tickets and maps.

View a complete schedule.

Buy passes and tickets.

Looking for more events? Check out our 11 Pittsburgh events not to miss in MarchTop 10 family events in Pittsburgh this March and Your ultimate guide to Pittsburgh concerts this spring feature stories.

Jennifer BaronArts & Entertainment / Jobs Editor

Jennifer has worked at the Mattress Factory, Brooklyn Museum of Art and Dahesh Museum of Art and is co-author of Pittsburgh Signs Project: 250 Signs of Western Pennsylvania. She also is co-coordinator of Handmade Arcade. Musically, she is in a band called The Garment District and is a founding member of Brooklyn's The Ladybug Transistor.