Fringe Festival

The SETC Fringe Festival is a non-competitive performance festival that takes place each year during the annual SETC Convention. The performances are open to all convention attendees.

2020 Fringe Festival

The 17th annual Fringe Festival will take place as part of the 71st annual SETC Convention in Louisville, KY. We look forward to announcing the 2020 schedule and performance lineup. Those interested in performing are invited to apply!

Festival Dates: Thurs., Feb. 27, and Fri., Feb. 28, 2020
Louisville, KY | 71st Annual SETC Convention
Applications Open: Aug. 1, 2019
Application Deadline Extended: Oct. 1, 2019 Oct. 15, 2019

History of the Fringe Festival

In 2004, the Fringe Festival was kicked-off to a standing-room-only audience late Thursday night during the 55th annual SETC Convention. Performances for the following two days showcased a wide variety of work from SETC members. From one-person shows and experimental theatre to theatre for youth productions and state festival runner-up performances, audiences continued to come and enjoy theatre. The festival has become a convention favorite.

Who Selects Productions?

SETC Vice President of Services Lee Crouse and SETC Fringe Festival Chair Dawn Larsen lead the selection process for performances to produce a program that is varied in type, origin, intention, audience and geography.

Important Details for Fringe Festival Participants

  • Appropriate rights and royalty information must be obtained and provided for all work performed in the Fringe Festival
  • The amount of time allocated for each Fringe Festival production is 75 minutes, with up to 30 minutes for set-up and strike. Rehearsal time is not scheduled.
  • All participants must be members of SETC and must pre-register for the SETC Convention by the early-bird deadline.
  • All production costs are the responsibility of the production company.
  • Some of the work may come from the state festival’s high school and community theatre festivals. It is up to the judges at each festival to recommend work. The most suitable work for a “fringe” festival might not be the runner-up or alternate production.

Recap: 2019 Fringe Festival

The 16th Fringe Festival took place as part of the 70th annual SETC Convention in Knoxville, TN. Performances were held on Friday, March 1, 2019 (kicking off late Thursday evening at midnight!). The 2019 Fringe Festival featured five original works:


The Most Fine Actor; John Wilkes Booth

Thurs., Feb. 28, 2019, at Midnight

Performed by: Jonathan Mark Rogers
Creator/Playwright: Jonathan Mark Rogers
Description: This one-man show shares theatre and American history through the words of one of the most famous actors in the 1800s. On the night of April 14, 1865, the talented and well-known stage actor John Wilkes Booth stepped into the presidential box at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC, and fatally shot the President of the United States. The show recounts the final hours before the assassination. As he did his entire life, Booth rehearses the fateful scene while connecting to some of the most famous villains of dramatic literature.


Fri., Mar. 1, 2019, at 10:00am

Performed by: A & A Productions
Creator/Playwright: David Alford
Description: “Smoke” is the story of the fictional Hartley family, caught up in the turbulent events of the Black Patch Tobacco Wars of Tennessee and Kentucky. This solo adaptation of the long-running outdoor musical will be performed by the show’s creator, David Alford (ABC’s Nashville, MTC/Broadway’s The Little Foxes) and directed by Dr. Anna Filippo (Director of Theatre, Berry College). Interspersed with historical context and original bluegrass-inspired music, this docudrama/historical musical has been performed in the heart of the “Black Patch” in rural Adams, TN for the last 10 years. The SETC Fringe Festival will host the premiere of this “one man and a guitar” storytelling-style stripped down acoustic version.


Paper Houses

Fri., Mar. 1, 2019, at 11:30am

Performed by: Kudzu
Creator/Playwright: Karow Wilson
Description: “Paper Houses” is a show performed through puppetry/object theatre and devised theatre to explore how two young people can build their dream house. We explore the question of how intangible fears of weightless objects, such as paper, can have such a significant effect on our lives. This is a theme that all young people starting out their lives will have to come to face. The show is built completely out of the application for immigration status and will be performed in Italian.

9 Before IX

Fri., Mar. 1, 2019, at 4:30pm

Performed by: Francene Kirk
Creator/Playwright: Francene Kirk
Description: For 75 minutes, Francene Kirk inhabits the women she interviewed for an oral history project, weaving together their stories, her own story, and information she’s gleaned teaching gender studies. Kirk’s quest to understand her mother and herself is occasionally funny, touching and infuriating. Her goal is to leave the audience to ponder how far women have come and how far we have to go in the quest for gender equality.

Timothy Mooney

Man Cave

Fri., Mar. 1, 2019, at 10:00pm

Performed by: Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre
Creator/Playwright: Timothy Mooney
Description: “Man Cave” finds “Tim” (maybe the last man on Earth) burrowed into a hillside, broadcasting final thoughts to whatever Klingons, Vulcans or Tralfamadorians might still be out there listening. A stirring rallying cry for the planet, “Man Cave” drips with both irony and edgy gallows humor. It’s “Al Gore replaced by William H. Macy with a lot more swagger and humor than the former vice president could ever manage . . . tenacious urgency . . . charismatic rage.” (Orlando Sentinel)