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Asheville Fringe Festival 2023, March 19 - 26
Skysail Theatre 2022 by Jennifer Bennett
Nate Puppets 2022 by Jennifer Bennett
LaZoom Bus Tour 2019 by Jennifer Bennett
Stewart Owen Dance 2019 by Jennifer Bennett
This preview has been made possible through a publicity exchange between CVNC and the Asheville Fringe Arts Festival.
The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival celebrates 21 years of experimental, unusual, and out-of-the-box art this year. More than 50 performances, including dance, theater, puppetry, music, film, installation, and things that defy definition, will take place March 19 - 26, 2023. See the sidebar for this incredible list, or visit the event website.
What is Fringe?
The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival began in 2003 after Susan and Giles Collard of Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre experienced Fringe festivals in San Francisco and Toronto. They started Asheville’s Fringe in one venue, the beloved BeBe Theatre. But the following year, it had expanded to other venues. The Festival is now a multi-day, multi-venue performing arts extravaganza, with performances in theatres, galleries, clubs and odd spaces that even include the LaZoom bus.
Fringe art exists outside of the mainstream. It’s experimental, unusual, and one-of-a-kind. Asheville Fringe Arts Festival offers the best of the unexpected. We strongly suggest that you see more than one Fringe show because of the incredible variety of artists and types of work. One show is just not enough to really have the total Fringe Festival experience!
In addition to the regular venues, this year the festival is taking over Foundy Street in the River Arts District, with events at Art Garden, Tyger Tyger, the Marquee, the Grail Moviehouse, House of Kismet and the Cloud Room at the Wedge.
About half of the artists are local, and half are coming from out of town, some from as far away as Peru!
Some highlights of this year's lineup:
Cooper Bates returns to Asheville from Los Angeles, with "Blacked Out", part two of his 2020 autobiographical, one man show "Black When I was a Boy". Small town Frankie Bates arrives in Dallas with big ambitions. A mentor imparts advice that starts to go very wrong. Bad choices change the lives of both men.
Asheville theater company The Cardboard Sea were looking for a container to keep microphones in when they opened a file box salvaged from a storage unit fire. Inside was their next project: a script from a long forgotten radio serial called "Speckles, the Sinister Pirate". This will be presented as a free self guided audio tour around Foundy Street.
Queens, NY based musical duo "A Glassy Ruckus" is coming to Asheville for the first time to perform work inspired by Yiddish folk tales about animals and interspecies relationships.
Local artist Mikayla Wilson of the American Myth Center, presents "Leah & the Rabbit" a show firmly grounded in Asheville's past and present.This show uses puppetry to intertwine the fables of Brer Rabbit with the stories of a freed woman named Leah, to spark conversations around the forgotten history of the enslaved people owned by the Vance family.
The popular Fringe Film Night is back, with two programs of short films from Asheville and all over the world. Screening Monday March 20th at the Grail Moviehouse.
'Fringe Central,' Tickets, and Fringe Freak Passes
Tickets, merchandise, and general information will be available at "Fringe Central" (the Marquee) during the hours posted below:
TUE MAR 21 12pm-6pm
WED MAR 22 12pm-6pm
THU MAR 23 12pm-6pm
FRI MAR 24 12pm-6pm
SAT MAR 25 12pm-6pm
SUN MAR 26 12pm-3pm
Marquee Asheville (located in the River Arts District)
36 Foundy Street, Asheville, NC 28801
The Fringe Freak Pass is on sale now at ashevillefringe.org! Pass holders can see up to 10 shows for $85. The schedule is live as of today and individual tickets are now also available online.
Pro Tip: Finding Events on CVNC
Pull up a list of all 60+ event listings by using CVNC's Advanced Calendar Search function! From any page, locate the search bar in the top of the right rail (below the rotating advertisement box). Click ADVANCED CALENDAR SEARCH > EVENTS BY PRESENTER, then scroll to find "Asheville Fringe Arts Festival," click to select, then click SEARCH. The results will come up chronologically, displaying 25 listings per page.
You can use this function to view events by presenter, region, venue, and more. The Date Range function is also helpful if you are looking for events to attend within a certain timeframe (during spring break, for example)!