Theater & art

Inside Outside: non-musical acts at the fest

The Circus-like Strange Fruit will perform on the Common.
The Circus-like Strange Fruit will perform on the Common.

The loudest sounds at the Outside the Box festival may come from bands like Los Lobos, the Lemonheads (July 20 at Boston Common Beacon Stage, 6:30 p.m.), and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones (July 20 at Boston Common Beacon Stage, 8 p.m.), but the whimsically expansive breadth of the event covers far-flung regions of art and entertainment. “The whole mission was: How do we attract people to the festival, and then when they’re here they see things that they never would have come for in the first place? I think that’s what we’ve accomplished,” says executive director Kevin Carlon. Boston Common will be equipped with seven performance spaces and two kids' play areas, with bands and a food festival taking center stage at City Hall Plaza. Here are some of the many nonmusical offerings.

Puppet Showplace Theatre: Best of Boston Puppet Slam Who’s up for a puppet slam? This cabaret-style collection of short puppet plays ranges from the sacred to the “eye-poppingly profane.” (Ages 13+) Boston Common: Spiegeltent at Tremont, July 17 at 6:30 p.m.

Science Fiction Theatre Company This is only the fourth production of this Boston-based group, which crafts original theatre embracing themes like alien abduction and teleportation. Boston Common: Spiegeltent at Tremont, July 18 at 2:30 p.m.


Strange Fruit The circus-influenced troupe from Melbourne, Australia, defies gravity atop flexible, custom-built poles. Performers sway dramatically back and forth, like a wheat field receiving a gust of wind. Boston Common (roving), July 13-15, multiple performances.

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Mystic Paper Beasts Witty myths, both ancient and newly inspired, are spun with the help of an extensive collection of ceremonial masks. Boston Common: the Lily Pad, July 17 and 19 at
2 p.m.

Airborne Comedians Dan Foley and Joel Harris juggle unlikely objects like flaming lawn chairs and electric guitars . . . from atop
6-foot-high unicycles. It's not as hard as it looks — just kidding, it is. Boston Common: the Commonwealth Stage, July 16 and 17 at
1 p.m.

For the full lineup and schedule for all nine days of the Outside the Box festival, visit

Jeremy D. Goodwin can be reached at