In an unjuried festival like the Capital Fringe Festival, you get exactly what you think you’re going to get, which is anything and everything under the sun. Ninjas. Cheerleaders. Hedgehogs. Singing lobsters. Divas. Preachers. Victorian lesbians. Aerialists.
From these seemingly disparate subjects, it’s actually not too hard to find themes in the Fringe. Our word cloud pointed out a few of them, but for those looking to make a list of more than 100 shows a little more navigable, here’s a grouping of Fringe shows by theme — some conventional, some surprising.
“Belle Parricide”: The story of murderess Beatrice Cenci.
“Cabaret XXX: Les Femmes Fatales”: A four-girl rock cabaret.
“On the Rag to Riches”: The story of a breakup.
“Treadwell: God’s Little Lies”: The first feminist reporter.
”Divas Just Wanna Have Fun!”: A vocal showcase for seven sopranos.
“Boston Marriage”: A comedy of manners about Victorian-era lesbians.
“But Love is My Middle Name!”: A woman’s search for her one and only.
“For Colored Girls Who have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow is Enuf”: The spectrum of female experiences, told through poetry and dance.
”T-O-T-A-L-L-Y!”: A cheerleader’s coming of age.
”SHE”: A dance performance about womanhood.
“The VindleVoss Family Circus Spectacular!”: Minimalist circus acts by a performing zombie.
“How to Write a Magic Show”: Two magicians try to learn some new tricks.
“UPheaval”: Aerial feats, visual storytelling.
“Illuminopolis”: Fire-eating, belly dancing, burlesque.
“Shall I Compare Thee to a Purple Haze? The Lost Rock Sonnets of William Shakespeare”: The Bard’s got a band.
“What, Lamb! What, Ladybird!”: A closer look at Romeo’s better half.
“Hamlet: Reframed”: The story shifts to the king and queen.
“Shrewing of the Tamed”: With a feminist twist.
”King Lear”: Set in the world of Hell’s Angels.
“The Many Women of Troy”: A musical about five women starting their own wars.
”Pandora: A Tragicomic Greek Romp”: A love story and mystery based on the myth.
“Trojan Women 2.0”: The aftermath of the war, in a pen for captured women.
“Socrates the Lover”: A musical take on the philosopher.
“Shelter in Place”: Christmas Eve at the Department of Homeland Security.
“Stanley Ann”: A look at Obama’s mom.
“The Man in the Arena”: An actor steps into the persona of Theodore Roosevelt.
“Alice, an Evening with Alice Roosevelt Longworth”: A Roosevelt’s daughter.
“GS-14”: A government worker’s rebellion.
“Live Broadcast”: A conservative movie star appears on a political talk show.
”Who’s Your Baghdaddy or How I Started the Iraq War”: A musical comedy about Iraq.
“e-Geaux (beta)”: Data visualization gets personal.
”Who Killed Captain Kirk?”: A murder mystery at a Star Trek convention.
“The Oregon Trail: The Quest for the West!”: Based on the classic video game.
“An Adult Evening with Shel Silverstein”: The children’s poet gets naughty.
“Please Don't Beat Me Up”: A look back at an awkward adolescence.
Theater about Theater:
“Love Me! Why Everybody Hates Actors”: A parody of crazy actors.
“Megan and David’s Low-Cost Creativity Workshop”: From the creators of one of last year’s most popular Fringe shows.
“Assembly Required: Comedy from A to Y”: A lecture about comedy that fails in all the right ways.
“I Love You, (We're [Expletive])”: A gay man reminisces about the great loves of his life.
“life, love, sex, death... and other works in progress”: A humorous take on relationships.
“Hotel [Expletive]”: An eclectic crew searches for a hotel. Plenty of nudity.
”Gallantry: A Soap Opera in One Act”: A nurse decides if she should have an affair with one of her patients.
”Hookups”: A comedy that asks if Plato was good in bed.
”Good Girls Don’t, But Indian Girls Do”: A woman’s story of growing up Indian and discovering her sexuality.
"My Name is Pablo Picasso": An artist’s potential, revealed.
“Manifesto!”: A dada cabaret that doesn’t take itself too seriously.
”The Super Spectacular Dada Adventures of Hugo Ball”: A puppet show about the artist’s biography.
”A Day at the Museum”: A wordless comedy about how people view art.