What's Playing at the Front-Row Fringe Festival?


All Times CST

Registration                       Closed. See you next year!

Tech Rehearsals              March 8-10 TBD

Show Previews                 March 11, 7pm

Professional Seminars   March 14th, 12-3pm

Front Row Fringe

Festival                                March 11-14


Fringe Broadway Seminars

Meet Our Speakers!

We've Searched Some of Broadways Biggest Stages to Bring These  Theatre Superstars to the Front-Row Fringe Festival.


BLAIR RUSSELL is a Tony nominated producer, developer, supporter, and lover of theatre whose experience ranges from fringe festivals to Broadway shows.

He specializes in the development of new plays and musicals.

He produces live immersive audio dramas as Director of Operations for Resounding.

As a producer, Blair is most proud of bringing Slave Play by Jeremy O. Harris to Broadway. Some of his other favorite credits include the critically acclaimed immersive Off-Broadway production of Sweeney Todd at the Greenwich House Theater, and the West End productions of Gyspy with Imelda Staunton and Show Boat at the Gillian Lynne Theatre.

For Jujamcyn Theaters, Blair oversaw the daily activities of the office of the President before joining the Theatre Operations department in managing the running of five Broadway theaters.

At Goodspeed Musicals (a two-time Tony award-winning regional theater) he assisted the producers in managing the seasons at both the mainstage Opera House and the Terris Theater, line produced the annual Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, and assisted with the Johnny Mercer Writers Colony. Some of his favorite shows at Goodspeed include The Circus in Winter, Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn, and LMNOP.

Blair previously worked as a stage manager for companies such as Cirque du Soleil, Santa Fe Opera, Goodspeed Musicals, Opera Santa Barbara, and Virginia Repertory Theatre.

He currently serves on the board of The New Harmony Project and is Co-President of the board of New York Theatre Barn. He is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a BFA in Technical Theatre/Stage Management.


Hope Easterbrook started her dance training in her hometown of Goshen, New York.

In high school she studied at The School at Steps in the Pre-Professional Program. After dancing at Steps she was accepted to the Musical Theater and Dance program at Marymount Manhattan College. While studying at Marymount, Hope developed a passion for teaching and decided to pursue a career in teaching, performing, and choreographing Hip Hop & other Street styles. In 2016 she made her Broadway debut in "Hamilton" as the first replacement to the original cast, also fulfilling her dream of performing in the Tony Awards. In 2018, Hope performed in the highly esteemed production of "In the Heights" at the Kennedy Center. Besides performing, Hope has worked as associate choreographer for multiple projects including "The Ladies of Hip Hop Showcase" (2015), "Broadway Bares" (2014-2019), She founded her own non-profit," Dance 4 Hope", which facilitates dance classes to immigrant and refugee children along with other underprivileged youth living here in the U.S. She made her film debut in the Hamilton movie which aired on Disney+ on July 3rd 2020 alongside the original Broadway cast. She is looking forward to furthering her career as a dance instructor, performer, entrepreneur, and a well-rounded artist.


Fringe Broadway Seminars

Our Speakers (cont.)


Ron Simons

Ron Simons is a five-time Tony Award-nominated and four-time Tony Award-winning producer and a four-time Sundance Film Festival selected producer. He is the Founder and CEO of SimonSays Entertainment whose mission is to tell the stories of underrepresented communities (the trademark of the company is Tell Every Story®). Mr. Simons was recently nominated for his 5th Tony Award for the the runaway hit Ain’t Too Proud: The Life and Times of The Temptations which was running at the Imperial Theater on Broadway before the pandemic shutdown. Mr. Simons is the highest African-American Tony Award winning producer of all time, cementing him as the leading Broadway producer working today bringing diversity to the stage.

As CEO of SimonSays Entertainment, Mr. Simons leads the strategic planning and development of theatre, film and television projects including the critically acclaimed Sundance films Night Catches Us (w/Kerry Washington, Anthony Mackie and Wendell Pierce), Gun Hill Road (w/Esai Morales and Judy Reyes), Blue Caprice (w/ Isaiah Washington and Tequan Richmond) and Mother of George (w/Danai Gurira) - three of which premiered in competition). His first documentary 25 to Life premiered at the American Black Film Festival where it won Best Documentary. He also produced the Broadway productions of A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical), The Gershwin’s’ Porgy & Bess (Tony Award for Best Revival of a Musical), Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (Tony Award for Best Play, Drama Desk, New Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Best Play, Drama League Award for Outstanding Production of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Play). Mr. Simons won his fourth Tony Award for August Wilson’s Jitney. He also produced  Hughie (w/Forest Whitaker), The Gin Game (w/Cecily Tyson and James Earl Jones) and the all-black Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire (winner of AEA’s Extraordinary Excellence in Diversity on Broadway Award). Broadway-bound shows include the revival of For Colored Girls, Thoughts of a Colored Man and Blue (w/Leslie Uggams and Lynn Whitfield directed by Phylicia Rashad with composition by Nona Hendrix and John Legend producing). 

Mr. Simons is a recipient of the Heritage Award from Columbia College’s Black Alumni Council, 150 Distinguished Alumni Award from University of Washington, and is a Johnson & Johnson Leadership Award Fellow, IFP Cannes’ Producers' Network Fellow and a Sundance Producers’ Summit Fellow. He was also honored as the Emerging Producer of the Year by the National Black Theatre Festival. He holds a BA from Columbia College, an MBA from Columbia Business School and an MFA from the University of Washington and a proud member of the PGA.

Ron Simons is a highly sought out speaker, advisor, and expert in keynotes and workshops educating filmmakers and artists on achieving success in the entertainment industry. Simons teaches artists what funders and producers seek at such prestigious organizations as Columbia University School of the Arts, Tribeca All-Access, Independent Film Project (IFP), Sundance Film Lab and the Black TV & Film Collective - igniting thought provoking exploration into the essence of 'the why' and 'the how' when pitching successful projects.

As an accomplished actor, Simons has appeared on stage, in film and television. He and fellow cast members won the London Stage Award for Acting Excellence for the play "Boy Steals Train" which he co-developed. He has performed in numerous regional theaters including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and the Classical Theatre of Harlem. Film and television credits include Blue Caprice, Night Catches Us, 27 Dresses, Mystery Team, Phoebe in Wonderland, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, As the World Turns and Nowhere Man. Simons is a member of The Broadway League and the Screen Actors Guild. He also holds a membership with the elite Producers Guild of America (PGA), a non-profit trade group that represents, protects and promotes the interests of all members of the producing team in film, television and new media. Most recently, Simons starred in Netflix’s hit new crossover Marvel series “The Defenders,” which premiered on August 18TH 2017. He will next be seen in the upcoming film DEPARTURES alongside Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev, and Tyler Hoechlin.

Simons is also involved in many philanthropic efforts in New York and Seattle including Jazz at Lincoln Center, Hudson River Performing Arts Center, Technology Access Foundation, and the University of Washington School of Drama to name a few. He currently holds a position on the boards of the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Harlem Stage, and acts as the director of the University of Washington Foundation Board. In addition, Simons has previously sat on the boards of UW School of Drama Advisory Board, Technology Access Foundation, Eastside Domestic Violence, Classical Theater of Harlem, Columbia College Alumni Board, Columbia College Board of Visitors and the Eagle Academy Foundation.His corporate experience includes positions as a Software Engineer at Hewlett-Packard and IBM, and as a Marketing Manager at the Microsoft Corporation.


Stephanie Klemons

Stephanie Klemons is a Drama Desk Award-winning Performer, Choreographer and Director. She’s an Original Cast Member of Broadway’s Hamilton, In The Heights & If/Then and Associate Choreographer of Hamilton, Bring It On & 1st National Tour of In The Heights. She made her equity debut in the 1st National Tour of Bombay Dreams. In 2018 she made her Directorial Debut and also Choreographed In the Heights at the Kennedy Center to critical acclaim. Stephanie served as the Director and Choreographer of This is Sadie, a New York City Children’s Theater Production that she developed alongside Barbara Zinn Krieger. Recently, Stephanie joined Andy Blankenbuehler again to CO-choreograph FLY, a new musical, directed by Jeffrey Seller. Other choreography credits include: Rock of Ages (PCLO), Rock of Ages (Drury Lane), and Frank Wildhorn’s Zelda (Flatrock Playhouse). Commercially she’s choreographed content for Victoria’s Secret, Vogue, Sesame Street, and the Amazon Series “Hunters”, and was the choreographer behind the viral “Time of Our Lives” Super Bowl commercial ft. Eli Manning & Odell Beckham garnering her a World Choreography Award Nomination. She’s most proud of her non-profit connecting kids with life-threatening illnesses and artists to create new work called Katie’s Art Project. Find out more www.stephanieklemons.com


Cody Lassen

A Tony Award-winning theatre producer and live entertainment consultant, Cody was most recently represented on Broadway by Paula Vogel's Pulitzer-winning play How I Learned To Drive and Indecent and the Deaf West Theatre revival of Spring Awakening, which transferred from a 99 seat production in Los Angeles to Broadway in just 366 days. Upcoming Projects include A Commercial Jingle for Regina Comet, Mother, and The 12. Recent co-producing credits include Thoughts of a Colored Man, What The Constitution Means To Me, Tootsie, Torch Song, The Band's Visit, Significant Other, and Macbeth. Combined, his shows have grossed over a half-billion dollars on Broadway. Upcoming projects include Some Lovers, a new musical by Burt Bacharach (Promises, Promises) & Steven Sater (Spring Awakening) and Directed by Josh Rhodes (Grand Hotel), the first revival of Titanic,  The Flamingo Kid, and Alice By Heart, by Duncan Sheik, Steven Sater & Jessie Nelson (Waitress) and Directed by Nelson. Combined, his Broadway productions have grossed over $770M and have a recoupment rate of 46.7%, which is more than twice the industry average.

In addition to producing his own projects, Cody consults for major studios, producers, theaters, and agencies to help them discover how they should market their shows for the best chance of financial and critical success. Previously, he was the Director of Marketing for Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and its three theaters: the Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre, attracting an audience of more than 500,000 and revenues of more than $30 million annually.

Prior roles included live entertainment management positions with Nielsen and NBCUniversal.  Cody serves on the board of New York's Vineyard Theatre, one of the country's preeminent theaters for the creation and development of new plays and musicals, and also serves as Vice-chair of the board of GLAAD, the world's leading LGBT advocacy organization. He is an active member of the Broadway League, where he serves on the legislative council, The Off-Broadway League, the National Association of Musical Theatre, the Theatre Communications Group and the Travel and Tourism Research Association. He earned his MBA from the University of Notre Dame and is a graduate of DePaul University. He's been featured in the New York Times, Bloomberg TV and BBC Radio talking about the business of Broadway, and has lectured on producing at Rutgers University, DePaul University, The Commercial Theatre Institute, and Theatre Resources Unlimited.



Thursday March 11, 2021

7pm - Opening Night Party, Welcome from Fringe Director and Staff.

7:30pm – Performance by Choral Union of Rochester University, “My God Is A Rock”, Soloist – Benny Lumpkins Jr.

8:30pm – Fringe Preview

Friday March 12, 2021

3pm – Sherman Edwards, Stand-Up

3:30pm – Toys

4pm – Healing Across Cultures: An International Musical Kaleidoscope

4:30pm – Ocean in A Teacup

5pm – Broadway SIGNs!

6pm – The Seed of Abraham

7:30pm – Music Magic

7:45pm – Healing Across Cultures: An International Musical Kaleidoscope

8pm – Sherman Edwards, Stand-Up

9:15 – Broadway Signs

9:45pm – Glorious Nothings

11pm – Secret Pandemic Performance

11pm – Wild Women of Planet Wongo

Saturday March 13, 2021

10am – The Z-Team

11:45am – Ocean In A Teacup

12pm – Healing Across Cultures: An International Musical Kaleidoscope

12:30pm – Toys

1pm – Wild Women of Planet Wongo

2pm – Triple Bypass

3:15pm – Glorious Nothings

4:30pm – Sherman Edwards, Stand-Up

4:30pm – No I in Mom

5pm – Intensify

5pm - Toys

6:15pm – Music Magic

8:30pm – Triple Bypass

9pm – Safe and Sound the Musical

9:45pm – Glorious Nothings

11pm – Triple Bypass

11pm – Toys

11:30pm - Z Team (pre-recorded)

12am – Secret Pandemic Performance

Sunday March 14th, 2021

10am – There’s No I in Mom

10am – Sherman Edwards, Stand-Up

10:30am – Ocean in A Teacup

12pm – Seminar #1: BIPOC Broadway Producing, Blair Russell

12:30pm – Seminar #2: Dancing in Hamilton and the #HamFilm

12:15pm – The Seed of Abraham

1:30pm – Seminar #2: Making space for BIPOC and Women Broadway Producers, Cody Lassen

2pm – Seminar #3: Choreography for Broadway, Stephanie Klemmons

2:30pm – It Aint Easy Being Godly

2:30pm – Seminar #4: Music for Musicals, Getting Your Songs Read for the Stage, Jacob Foy

3pm – Seminar #5: Broadway’s First Black Producer? Ron Simons

3:30pm – Wild Women of Wongo

5pm – Secret Pandemic Performance

5:45pm - Toys

6:30pm – The Seed of Abraham

7pm Awards Ceremony/ Closing Night Party/Dance Party


Fringe Artist Lineup


March 13th - 10am

A comedic play about a team of underachievers assembled to create a commercial for a terrible product.

March 13th - 5pm

INTENSIFY is an extreme, multi-dimensional, multimedia concert spectacular featuring live orchestra, multiple dance troupes, tumbling, acrobatics, circus arts and an incredible story arc portrayed through a live on-stage role playing game!

Morris Music Magic

March 12pm - 7:30pm, March 13th - 6:15pm

Serving you a Total Live Musical Experience with Jazz, R&B, Gospel, and More!!

Choral Union of Rochester University featuring Benny Lumpkins Jr. My God Is A Rock, Alice Parker & Robert Shaw

March 11th, 7:30pm

Our festival director dedicates this performance to Theatre Makers of Color who always get type-cast, or never cast at all because of the color of their skin. Who are only called to Direct when a White Theatre Company wants to "do" a black play. Also for all the dancers of color who cant find ballet slippers to match their skin-tone because the shoe companies wont make them.


Fringe Artist Lineup


Sherman Edwards: Stand-up Comedian

March 12th - 3 & 8pm, March 13th - 4:30pm, March 14th - 10am

Voted "Chicago's Best" Stand-Up, Sherman brings his zany and poignant comedy to the Front-Row Fringe Festival.


March 12th - 3:30pm, March 13th - 12:30pm, 5pm & 11pm, March 14th 5:45pm

A dark but powerful expose of the sex trade.

Cybil Unrest in CoVid Burlesque

March 12th - 11pm, March 13th - 12am, March 14th - 5pm

A sexy Covid Burlesque show. Cybil Unrest brings her kinky, sexy, fun pandemic burlesque stylings to the Front Row fringe Festival.


Fringe Artist Lineup


March 13th - 9pm

Safe & Sound The Musical is a story of how Love guides three characters toward rediscovering who they are by reconnecting them to their inner child. It focuses on self-love, mental health and was created by two young women with a dream to bring hope and kindness to a world that needs it now more than ever. WE ARE LOVE.

Glorious Nothings

March 12 - 9:45pm, March 13 - 3:15pm, March 13 - 9:45pm

This is a monodrama featuring the fragmentary poetry composed by Emily Dickinson, written on envelopes as inspiration struck while baking and excerpts of drafts of intimate letters to her Master all set to music.


Fringe Artist Lineup


Saturday March 13 - 2pm, 8:30pm & 11pm

WINNER-Most Viewed Show- Elgin

Virtual Mini Winter Fringe 2021 "CAPTIVATING!"-Theatre Association of South Australia

Consisting of 3 short plays, we take the audience on a journey of emotions ranging from fear & hate to delight & joy.

March 12th - 4:30pm, March 13th - 11:45am, & March 14th - 10:30am

"OCEAN IN A TEACUP" a musical drama based on a true story. Into the most divided nation in human history, India in 1946, comes a disillusioned American pacifist. Based on the true story of Ray Hauserman, a conscientious objector during World War Two. Ray becomes a medic for the Red Cross and goes off to India, swearing never to take a life. But with the betrayal of that vow, Ray can't bring himself to return home to the woman he loves waiting anxiously in Ohio. He meets a Hindu doctor and spiritual teacher who offers him a path to redemption through service to the poor and hungry of post-war Calcutta. To follow that path, Ray will have to leave behind everything he knows and loves. "OCEAN IN A TEACUP" A LOVE STORY, A WAR STORY, A SPIRITUAL QUEST MUSICAL

March 12th - 11pm, March 13th - 1pm, & March 14th - 3:30pm

A love-letter to 60’s sci-fi movies, this wacky immersive musical is a tale of Amazonian warrior women who first meet men when two bumbling astronauts crash onto their planet. The guys think they’ve discovered paradise but the Wild Women of Planet Wongo have surprises in store for their captive guests. Filmed live in NYC at the Parkside Lounge, Wongo is performed with no seats or stage allowing the audience to become part of the show. For free tickets, go to www.planetwongo.com and click on FRONT-ROW FRINGE.


Fringe Artist Lineup


New Fringe Name Coming!

See You Next Year!


March 13th - 4:30pm, March 14th - 10am

One woman’s quest for connection, identity, and purpose. As a parent. Set in 2020. Explores our need for family & community. And the power of technology to both unite and isolate us.

March 12 - 4pm, 7:45pm, & March 13th - 12pm

Have a look at a mesmerizing visual, musical, singing, speaking, and puppeteering video experience in up to 12 different languages. Audiences: “So layered and lovely”, “Mesmerizing!”, “That was everything”!


Fringe Artist Lineup


Hollywood to Holiness: "It Aint Easy Being Godly."

March 14th - 2:30pm

Inspirational Productions is very pleased to introduce you to Joel “El Nino” Roman’s, “It Ain’t Easy Being Godly”. This is a musical about Jose a Christian character who still struggle with the sinful habits of Lust, Jealousy, Anger, Adultery, Hypocrisy, and Pride as he tries to marry his neighborhood sweetheart. But Maria still doesn't think he's godly enough to be her ONE. Will Jose thrive under temptation or barely survive? ...IT AIN’T EASY BEING GODLY!

Broadway SIGNs!

March 12th - 5pm, 9:15pm

Broadway SIGNs! At Home is a virtual theatrical Cabaret celebrating Deaf Artists, American Sign Language (ASL) and Broadway's finest at Off Broadway's Triad Theatre, NYC! Up close and personal our artists share their performances and insights on what fuels their art from the stage to you! Featuring Actors from Tony Nominated Spring Awakening Revival: Host Treshelle Edmond (Children of a Lesser God), Russell Harvard (To Kill a Mockingbird), Alex Wyse (Waitress) and our cast perform their faves from musicals Dear Evan Hansen, Hadestown, Chorus Line, The Color Purple and Evita along with theater, dance and ASL storytelling on stage to your home. New York Deaf Theatre Alums include veteran Actress Jackie Roth (Dialogues of the Carmelites), Actor Robert DeMayo (The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde), Actor Dickie Hearts (NetflixTales of the City and & Grace Frankie, Host Broadway SIGNs! LIVE) and Vocalist/Actress Mary Hould (Sylvia). Artistic Director and Dancer Bailey Anne Vincent (Company360), Brandon Kazen-Maddox (La Cage aux Folles) and Joan Joel (Falling Bodies). All performances are in American Sign Language and Spoken English.

The Seed of Abraham

March 12th - 6pm, March 14th - 12:15pm, 6:30pm

Two Jewish families in the Bronx of 1967 are conflicted and then torn apart because of the Israeli 6-Day War. This play tells their stories with humor, pathos and is bursting with beautiful songs, including an anthem to Israel.