The Fre

February 28 - April 12, 2020
Tickets start at $25*
The Sam
2 hours w/ no intermission


MacArthur Genius Grant Recipient and Tony Award® nominee Taylor Mac returns home to The Flea for the world premiere of The Fre. The Flea’s Artistic Director and frequent Taylor Mac collaborator, Niegel Smith (Hir, 24 Decade History of Popular Music and Taylor Mac’s Holiday Sauce) will direct.

In the land of two bridges The Fre, a rambunctious group of fun loving anti-intellectuals spend their days cavorting in the mud. Into their midst descends Hero, a dandy aesthete, who longs to cut the bridge and finally escape the mud pit. But first he must convince the leader Frankie Fre and the other fatuous inhabitants that there is a better life outside of the swamp. In this queer love story, audiences will literally and figuratively jump into the mud with the Fre to hash out the current cultural divide. The play is set in a giant ball pit with audience seating inside and out.


$25 preview tickets available for performance February 28-March 14
$35 weekend preview tickets available for performance February 28-March 14
$40 tickets available for performances March 15-April 12
$50 weekend tickets available for performance March 15-April 12

*All tickets include an additional $2 Theater Restoration Fee, which keeps the lights on in our new digs. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the recommended age?

The Fre is recommended for ages 12 and up due to some subject matter (bathroom humor, a brief appearance of a scary clown mask, and a big kiss). Children under 12 may attend at their parent/guardian’s discretion.

Do I have to sit in the ball pit?

No. It is a lot of fun, though! Traditional seats will be provided in addition to the ball pit. All seating for The Fre is general admission (both seated and in the ball pit). If you have a strong preference we recommend arriving early; however, no seating section is guaranteed. Children should be seated with parents/guardians, whether in the ball pit or in seats.

Will I have to take off my shoes to sit in the ball pit?

Yes. We will have cubbies for you to store your shoes and belongings in a monitored area in the lobby during the performance.

What should I wear?

If you plan to sit in the ball pit, we recommend wearing clothes you’re comfortable in. Socks are required to sit in the ball pit.

What time should I arrive?

We recommend arriving 15 minutes prior to the performance to ensure you have plenty of time to use the restroom, remove your shoes, get a drink, etc. Our bar is open pre-show, but drinks are not allowed in the ball pit. Drinks are permitted in seats.

Can I bring my belongings (my phone!) inside the ball pit?

Backpacks and bags will not be allowed in the ball pit. You are allowed to bring items on your person, but if you do it’s at your own risk (including phone, keys, wallet, etc.) We have cubbies for you to store your shoes and belongings in a monitored area in the lobby.

What happens if I lose something in the ball pit?

We’ll do our best to help you find it, but it will likely be difficult. After the final performance of The Fre, when the ball pit is emptied, we can follow up about any items located in the pit as needed.

Is there a seating procedure for latecomers?

Yes, but there is limited late seating.

Is it ADA accessible?

Yes, the theater is ADA accessible; The Fre takes place in The Sam theater on our second level and can be accessed via elevator. We have specified accessible seating for patrons in wheelchairs or with special seating needs in the seated section of the theater.

If you have specific concerns, please call us at 212.226.0051, prior to your visit.