"IndyFringe is back! 

This year, the Indianapolis Theatre Fringe Festival features 36 performing groups (eight more than last year), 216 shows (compared to last year’s 180), an expanded month-long VisualFringe exhibition of visual art (which started Aug. 4), street buskers, public poetry readings and FringeNext, a dedicated stage for young performers. The 10-day alternative theater festival runs Aug. 25-Sept. 3. A rich and ethnically diverse mix of performance art — actors, dancers, cabaret performers, magicians, stand-up comedians and musicians — will play up and down Massachusetts Avenue as performing groups from across the nation and Canada (and from as far away as Australia) perform quirky, off-beat shows whose titles well-express why “edgy” and “fringe” have become synonymous: Jaws: The Musical!, Tres Freak and Sex Goddess Pizza, among others.

The action will unfold on stages of five theaters along Massachusetts Avenue (the American Cabaret Theatre, the Murat Centre, Theatre on the Square, ComedySportz Indianapolis and Phoenix Theatre). IndyGo and the Arts Council will also offer “Poetry in Motion,” a series of readings on buses. Selected writers and performers will read works from 4-6 p.m. on the Route 8 Washington Street bus and the Route 17 College Avenue bus.

The Fringe movement, which came to the U.S. in the 1990s, is now a worldwide phenomenon with festivals held from Asia to Europe and in dozens of American cities.

Fringe shows run about 60 minutes and cost $10 (students $7). Visitors also pay a one-time festival fee of $3. Kids 12 and younger are free. Advance tickets can be had at www.indyfringe.org or by calling the IndyFringe office at 317-822-4386. All box-office proceeds are turned over to the performers.

NUVO will feature comprehensive reviews of Fringe shows in next week’s issue.

Kicking off IndyFringe will be a free opening night street party at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24 at the City Market, 222 E. Market St. The event will feature previews of IndyFringe performances, the wild and wacky Fringe conga line and street theater. The public is invited; the event is free.

Fringe venues:

•    Theatre on the Square, 627 Massachusetts Ave., showcasing emerging companies

•    The Phoenix Theatre, 749 N. Park Ave., showcasing dance

•    ComedySportz Indianapolis, 721 Massachusetts Ave., showcasing FringeNext youth productions

•    American Cabaret Theatre, 401 E. Michigan St., showcasing musicals and production shows

•    The Murat Center, 502 N. New Jersey St., showcasing cabaret productions

Free street theater performances at five “street theater” venues on Massachusetts Avenue will take place between shows.

IndyFringe news and reviews are available at Indiana Auditions, www.indianaauditions.com.



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