Start with the newest kid on the block: The Exponential Festival (Jan 4-31). This Brooklyn-based smorgasbord (the L is still running! Don’t be afraid!) is only in its second year, but it’s got several can’t-miss things on its roster already. The Exponential folk have the made-on-a-shoestring, aggressively odd work that has largely left the more polished Manhattan theater festivals, so your risks (and commensurate rewards) are more extreme.
WHERE TO GO: The organizers spread the work across spaces in Kings County, including the Bushwick Starr, The Brick, Chez Bushwick, JACK, and Vital Joint.
BEST BETS: The deeply strange Title:Point people have a new play Chroma Key, and if the work-in-progress showing is anything to go by, it’ll be another hilarious weird-a-thon from the folks who made last year’s brilliant Biter (Every Time You Turn Around). Other draws: Serious playwriting talent Kate Benson serves up [Porto] at the Starr, and Megan Hill offers an encore presentation of her quasi-participatory The Last Class: A Jazzercise Play, which can double as an aerobics session. Multitasking!
IF YOU WANT TO GAMBLE: For those hoping to see a host of fringe artists in quick succession, the omnibus performances at The Brick called Featuring... will let you get a crack at artists like Peter Mills Weiss and Lorelei Ramirez in appetizer-sized portions.