January 23-26, 2014
The Asheville Fringe Arts festival is the annual multi-day and multiple venue performing extravaganza that ask artists of all types of genres and media (theatre, movement, music, spoken word, puppetry, spectacle, whatever!) to push their own boundaries and presents original and innovative performance art to a culturally adventurous audience. The Festival, a true Asheville Oddity, has doubled in size this year with 13 different ticketed shows at 5 venues and featuring over 33 artists.
Part of the fun of the Asheville Fringe is getting out to the fabulous, often funky arts spaces all over town that host performances, installations, and several after parties. With so many shows to choose from, it is essential to plan ahead. All shows will be performed at least twice during the four days of the festival.
Some highlights to look out for this year:
Four new full-length, one act plays will be premiered and were created just for the Asheville Fringe. Rodney Smith of the Different Strokes Theatre Company has written Table 6, a funny and provocative situation comedy, which will be performed at Mothlight on Haywood Road. Julian Vorus premieres a dark and eerie thriller with The Bog, showing at the Bebe Theatre on Commerce Street. Anam Cara has created an improvisational-based interdisciplinary work called Rope Burn, also showing at the Bebe. Steven Samuels has created a tell-all monologue about life in the theatre scene, The Man with the Birdcage on his Head, not to be missed at the Odditorium on West Haywood Road.
Several imported pieces, never seen before in Asheville, will be brought to the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival from artists far and wide. Viscera Dance Theatre, a favorite performing duo from Charlotte, is bringing a full-length piece, Path, to be shown at the Toy Boat Community Art Space in Biltmore Village. Also at Toy Boat, Tia Nina, a movement based feminist rock band from Maryland will deliver an exciting, rock n roll meltdown of a show.
At the Odditorium, there are three visiting artists: Sarah Wharton from New York brings a comedy one act, Don’t Trust Anyone under 30. Deborah Harbin from Elizabethton, TN brings an edgy drama about the relationship between food and power with Fat Reserves. And James Cartee from Charlotte brings Gonzo: A Brutal Chrysalis. This over the top evocation of the iconic inventor of gonzo journalism, Hunter S. Thompson in all his paranoid pill-popping, booze-swelling, gun toting, phantasmagorical-prose-spewing glory!
There are three Fringey variety showcases in this year’s Festival. The Dance Showcase at the Bebe features new work by Amelia Breed, Laura Chiramonte, Keith Campbell, Claire Dima, Bonnie Freestone and Kathy Leiner. The Wham! Bam, Puppet Slam, also at Bebe, showcases local favorites: Keth Shubert and Madison J. Cripps and several imported puppeteers from the University of Connecticut. Finally, the LaZoom Fringe Bus Tour features an all star Fringe experience with Andrew Benjamin from Hellblinki emceeing the show as it stops at galleries and back alleys throughout the city of Asheville, featuring works by Lindsey Kelley, Amy Hamilton, Sarah Barnard, Brit Casteneda, Caroline Williams, and Jenni Cockrell and Julie Gillum.
Local favorite Valerie Meiss will be doing a special Fringe performance at the Odditorium. Another favorite, the Bromelia Aerial Dance Collective will be hanging from the rafters at the Mothlight on Haywood Road. Paired with that show at Mothlight, Interweave will push the audience’s preconceived notions about art and (dis)abilities.
Regular Fringe Arts Festival tickets are $12 each. Special Fringe Freak Passes will be available in a limited number from January 5-19. These all-access passes to all shows and the closing party and are $50. Freak passes and regular tickets can be bought through the online box office. Look for the Buy Tickets link to go live on January 5 at: www.ashevillefringe.org.
Fringe Box Office at Fringe Central is located at Firestorm Café on Commerce Street the week of the Fringe. Box Office phone number is: (828) 335-6699.