Fringe’s First Annual Diva Fest Celebrates Women Playwrights

The indyFringe Theatre Festival is an ever expansive force in Indianapolis theatre. This weekend, indyFringe hosts is first annual Diva Fest, a celebration of female playwrights from Indiana that showcases their original scripts. Thursday, May 6 through Sunday, May 9 Diva Fest takes over Mass Ave and the indyFringe Building in Indianapolis downtown. Tickets to each show in this Indianapolis performing arts event are $10.00 for Indianapolis people and $7.00 for Indianapolis kids with a student ID. The indyFringe Theatre Festival offers a special deal for avid patrons of Indianapolis theatre: purchase a Fiver Pass to see all shows for only $40.00.

Diva Fest is a newly invented Indianapolis festival designed to shine a light on women writers as their stories come into the spotlight on stage. From twenty nine submissions, in only their first year, a jury of theatre professionals selected five plays by Hoosier ladies to participate in the first ever Diva Fest. The chosen playwrights have a range of experience. Two of the selected participants are new to the playwriting process, cutting their teeth in a wonderfully supportive format. Other selected participants have written a myriad of scripts, that have been produced in any range of formats.

Diva Fest is not a juried literary competition, but rather an attempt to create a safe space for playwrights to learn about the process of play production and marketing. In addition, writers will have the chance to not only hear their characters and stories come to life on stage, but also to continue their writing process as they consider audience responses. In this format, the audience will be involved directly with the processes of both playwriting and production through public conversations and discussions held throughout Diva Fest.

With the purpose to engage and enlighten the Indianapolis community about one of the first processes in creating a piece of theatre–writing–Diva Fest hopes to establish Indianapolis as a center for developing female playwrights. The benefits provided to Indiana colleges and universities, the Indianapolis community and theatre professionals in Indiana are clear as women playwrights are given a platform on which to share their stories.

Public forum discussions will be held on Thursday, May 6 at 6:00 pm and on Sunday, May 9 at 1:30 pm. These events will be led by a panel of Indianapolis based actors, directors and writers. On the docket for discussion is the importance of developing and producing new plays. Each of the five shows has three time slots in a rotating schedule over the course of three days.

Diva Fest Shows

Alarmed by Bernadette Bartlett

One woman’s search for safety is the center of Bernadette Bartlett’s Alarmed. Frieda, a school teacher, no longer feels safe in her own home. When she hires Rob to install a home security alarm system. But the process is a severe distraction to her roommate Claire, as she rushes to complete case notes for her internship in psychology. Distraught over the recent break-up with her boyfriend Fritz, Frieda is single minded in her determination to protect the house. But is she every, really, safe?

Dash Thirty Dash by Amy Wimmer Schwarb

A plucky young reporter for the Mosquito County Press of Florida’s Gulf Coast is enchanted with the buzz and rhythm of the newsroom as she covers her town’s wacky news. But the paper business is a dying art. When her quaint little publication finds itself going out of business in the digital age, she finds her most important story yet. Can she save the Mosquito County Press before it’s to late?

Madwomen’s Late Night Cabaret by Julie Lyn Barber

Take a romp through women’s history as Barber examines over a dozen of the world’s most misunderstood females through the lens of a smoke filled cabaret. Its a new side of “herstory” as Joan of Arc croons “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes” and Eve belts “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child.”

Moment of Impact by Julia Mauro and Jessica Strauss

The lives of seemingly unrelated strangers collide as they share a public transit car. Their banal and inconsequential interactions are given clear meaning in light of a fatal accident. In a fast paced techno-centric world, each passenger’s worth shines through in the messages they leave behind.

Winter Solstice by Amy Pettinella

When a grown man’s parents announce that, after years of a seemingly happy married life together, they are done, he must deal with their divorce. He navigates the rocky waters of a supposedly “amicable” divorce in the way he has always dealt with family issues: polite avoidance. But when his sister skips town after their split is revealed as the opposite of amicable, he finds himself in the very spot he has always tried to avoid: involved!

The indyFringe Building Downtown

Located at the end of Mass Ave near College Avenue, the indyFringe Building offers yet another theatre venue to this popular Indianapolis cultural district. Head to any of the many Indianapolis restaurants or Indianapolis bars on Mass Ave to make your Diva Fest experience complete. Enjoy affordable Cajun cuisine at Yats Cajun Restaurant or an upscale dining experience at Agio’s Italian Restaurant. Split a pizza at Bazbeaux Pizza or grab cocktails at the Chatterbox Jazz Club. Regardless of where you go on Mass Ave, fun awaits.

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Diva Fest
May 6 to May 9, 2010

IndyFringe Theatre Festival
The IndyFringe Building
719 E St. Clair St
Indianapolis, IN46202