San Diego Local Community News

A bold movement for San Diego theater and multidisciplinary arts, pulses with energy from May 16 to May 26. With over 300 performances slated, the San Diego International Fringe Festival returns to celebrate artistry, diversity, and the unyielding spirit of performance.

“This year is going to be the biggest festival we’ve had in recent memory,” Laura Preble, the Fringe Festival Media Liaison explains. “Last year we were still recovering from the Covid shutdowns. This year, we’re including many new venues, branching out from our Balboa Park locations.”

The Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and the Centro Cultural de la Raza will continue to be the venues based in Balboa Park. New venues include Mockingbird Improv and San Diego Dance Theater (LightBox) at Liberty Station; the Wildsong Arts Collective (formerly OB Playhouse) and two performances spaces (New Destiny Church and the No Limits Church) at 4931 Logan Ave. in Lincoln Park owned by Kata Morgan, owner of Les Girls and a frequent Fringe contributor. Bring your own venues include Finest City Improv in Hillcrest, Tap Fever Dance Studio in Pacific Beach, and Les Girls in the Midway area.

“This is our 12th year, although we had a couple of years in Covid times, which we didn’t really count because we didn’t do a festival,” Preble explained. “So it’s been 12 total festivals we’ve done.”

From its inception, the festival aimed to be a beacon for artists, both local and international. This year, the festival expands its horizons, welcoming performers from Japan, New Zealand, Canada, Mexico, and cities across the United States.

“After our Executive Director, Kevin Patterson, attended the Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festival he thought – ‘We have so many talented people in San Diego. We should do that here, too’,” Preble recalled Patterson saying. “So he and Shaun Davis, who’s our festival director, started the festival here in San Diego.”

“109 groups applied,” Preble revealed. “We ended up with 70 or, well, maybe a little bit more, but I think around 70 groups are coming this year.”

Forest of Truth will be playing Thu., May 16 6pm at Centro Cultural de la Raza

With a diverse lineup spanning theater, buskers, cabaret, comedy, circus, dance, film, poetry, spoken word, puppetry, music, visual art, and more, the festival promises something for everyone. From the charming Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater to the vibrant streets of Liberty Station, from the historic halls of Balboa Park to the intimate spaces of Hillcrest and Midway, the city becomes a canvas for artistic expression.

“The first 25 performers who apply get in automatically, and then it’s, uh, it’s a formula from there,” Preble added. “I think this year’s festival is 25 percent national, 25 percent international and 50 percent local, meaning San Diego.”

As the curtains rise and the spotlight shines, the magic of the Fringe Festival unfolds, weaving tales of passion, courage, and the boundless possibilities of the human spirit. And in every performance, in every shared moment of joy and wonder, the essence of San Diego’s soul shines brightly, illuminating the world with its creative brilliance.

“The San Diego International Fringe Festival is not just about entertainment; it’s about community,” Preble emphasized. “It’s about bringing people together, celebrating our differences, and finding common ground through the universal language of art.”

Tickets are available for purchase; all tickets are $13. Multi-show passes will still be available to purchase: 3-show pass is $35, 5-show pass is $55, and a 10-show pass is $104. A Fringe Tag, necessary to purchase tickets to any show, will also be sold at all venues for $7.

A 100 percent of the ticket sales go to the performers with none of the sales going to the festival organizers or the venues. For more information on the festival performances and to purchase tickets, visit the festival website at

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