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