Fringe is Coming!

Edwin Salas

Fierce and Fearless, as ever.

This year’s Asheville Fringe Arts Festival (AFAF) will be its most fearless yet, with dozens of performances that push the boundaries of art in our community.

“This year’s performances include a wide variety of genres from artists who are experimenting with their art form and creating work that seems to be in response to today’s political climate”, says Jim Julien, Co-Artistic Director.   ”We are excited to host brave and strong performances by new and returning artists.” There are over 30 ticketed performances and several Random Acts of Fringe (which are free to the public).

AFAF runs Thursday, January 25 through Sunday, January 28 at 7 & 9pm (earlier on Sunday). Don’t forget to catch the after-parties each night where you can meet the artists and chat about your favorite Fringe shows! There will also be Random Acts of Fringe at each after party.

Several local artists have created new performances which push their own work right to their creative edge.  Absolutely beautiful dance pieces, such as Meeting the Edge by Elizabeth Huntley and the dark room by Emily Thomas, and open-handed by Kathy Leiner are not to be missed.  A full cast becomes Stripped in this theatre piece by Phillipe Coquet, taking this theme quite literally by exploring nakedness and vulnerability.

Master puppeteers, Keith Shubert and Edwin Acosta Salas, have brought two amazing pieces to the stage.  Keith’s raw and emotional response to our current political climate, Total WTF, will be at Magnetic 375.  Edwin’s internationally acclaimed performance of The Falling Love will be at the BeBe Theatre.

Asheville’s own Kevin Patrick Murphy directs Topload at Sly Grog Lounge. The ensemble cast will share four crazy dark tales about the state of things in Florida.

The Asheville Fringe features shows about important cultural conversations and historical icons. In/Visible Theatre’s Ox, performed by Mark Suggs of Boone, will be held at Downtown Books and News and is about a timid bookseller who finds a family of immigrants in his store. Marx in Soho, Howard Zinn’s brilliant timely play is performed by Bob Weick, and will be at the Bebe Theatre.

The beloved LaZoom Fringe Tour includes comedy, butoh, improvisational dance, and an audience interactive spy piece! Don’t miss this wild ride, which will be taking off at the LaZoom Room on Biltmore Ave. The LaZoom Room will also feature “Fringe Central” where patrons can buy tickets to any performance and mingle with local and traveling artists.

Boasting twice as many Random Acts of Fringe this year, Asheville Fringe is excited to offer site-specific performance art pieces such as Hangry by McKinley Hughes, which will be performed at Realta Salon, and Escaping Altamont by Robert Ladislas Derr, a video project in progress, which includes public participation and will be filmed at the Asheville Area Arts Council. Kathy Leiner’s open-handed will offer community engagement through her interactive installation at Upstairs at Henco from noon-5pm January 26-28.

A Special Fringe Preview Party will be at Sly Grog on Saturday January 20, from 5-8pm, with pop-up performances and Random Acts of Fringe.

The full list of performances and artists, the festival schedule, show descriptions, and after party details are posted on Fringe Freak Pass tickets are on sale until they run out.  Limited number available. Freak Passes allow the ticket holder to see as many shows as they can fit in (usually about 8 shows) for one low price of $50.

Individual tickets for each show range between $13-$16 and are on sale now. See for ticketing links.

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