A brief history of our first twenty years. . .

In 1997, New York City became the seventh US city to host a fringe festival, joining Seattle, Chicago, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Houston, Orlando and San Francisco. From 1997 – 2016 FringeNYC presented over 3000 performing groups representing every continent, prompting Switzerland’s national daily, The New Zurich Zeitung, to declare FringeNYC as “the premiere meeting ground for alternative artists.”

FringeNYC has also been the launching pad for numerous Off-Broadway and Broadway transfers, long-running downtown hits, and regional theater productions including Urinetown, Matt & Ben, Never Swim Alone, The Jammer, Debbie Does Dallas, Dog Sees God, Brandon Teena, Dixie’s Tupperware Party, 21 Dog Years, The Irish Curse, Jurassic Parq, The Fartiste, Silence! The Musical and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche; movies including WTC View and Armless; and even a TV show (‘da Kink in My Hair).

FringeNYC alumni include Bradley Cooper, Melissa Rauch (Big Bang Theory), Morgan Spurlock (Supersize Me, CNN’s Inside Man), Mindy Kaling, Tony Award winner Diane Paulus (Pippin), Alex Timbers (Rocky), Leigh Silverman (Violet), W. Kamau Bell (Totally Biased), Michael Urie (Ugly Betty), Naomi Grossman (American Horror Story) and Chris Lowell (Enlisted), among countless other success stories.

In 2017, The Present Theatre Company, Inc. (creators and producers of FringeNYC – The New York International Fringe Festival) announced a one-year hiatus from producing the event, in order to conduct The Blank Canvas Project – a year of re-imagining the festival and strategic planning for the future. In August, as a part of a twentieth anniversary celebration event presented by the FringeNYC Alumni Association, FringeNYC 20/20: A Vision for FringeNYC’s future was announced.

The NEW York International Fringe Festival now includes both a FringeNYC and FringeBYOV segment, and features the tagline indie | united – in recognition of the formation of both a FringeNYC Alumni Association and a marketing co-op for NYC indie performance. Additional information about these new projects will be forthcoming via this website.

The NEW York International Fringe Festival is a production of The Present Theatre Company, Inc., under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Elena K. Holy.

Contact Information


P.O. BOX 1022
New York, NY 10116

For Press Inquiries ONLY contact Press@FringeNYC.org