Fond Farewell at Final Fringe Friday

Over the past five years, the indyFringe Theatre Festival has become a mainstay of Indianapolis theatre. Not only does it provide performance opportunities for Indianapolis artists and a cheap space for Indianapolis performing arts, but it also has become one of the biggest and most successful advocates for Indianapolis arts across the Circle City. As indyFringe continues to grow and build a year round presence in the Indianapolis theatre culture, it feels time for them to shed some of their original programs to make room for new ideas. This Friday, May 28 marks the end of the indyFringe Festival’s Fringe Friday tradition, as the indyFringe hosts one more salon for Indianapolis theatre artists. This FREE Indianapolis event offers entertainment, food and a celebration of the future success of indyFringe.

Over five years, indyFringe has hosted sixty free Fringe Fridays featuring hundreds of Indianapolis performing artists and showcases. Originally founded to promote and support their big Summer event, the Indianapolis Fringe Theatre Festival, Fringe Fridays provided a space for Fringe participants to preview their work to a captive audience. Over the years, Fringe Friday has morphed into a place for ALL Indianapolis theatre artists to join together, communicate and share their work.

“What began as a small group of fervent supporters who wanted to keep the ‘spirit of the fringe’ alive year round, grew into a launching pad for new works, emerging performing groups and preview of upcoming shows in local theatres,” says the indyFringe website (listed below). indyFringe has reached a point where its roots have become bound by the soil and pot that contains it. By abandoning their beloved Fringe Fridays, the indyFringe Festival makes room for new growth and expansion as it approaches the 2010 indyFringe Festival.

Having attended Fringe Fridays over the years as both a performer and an audience member, I feel a certain sadness over the end of such a dependable and fruitful tradition. However, to keep this bird caged for much longer could debilitate the growth and efforts of one Indy’s most important Indianapolis nonprofit organizations. As indyFringe Theatre strives to discover its niche and continue to support local artists, it is certain that this Indianapolis arts group will continue to make meaningful contributions to Indianapolis culture.

In fact, indyFringe has already established a new monthly tradition: Jabberwocky. This “rendezvous of Jabbers who willingly share their life stories” is an open forum for all storytellers, professional or amateur, in Indianapolis. Presented in collaboration with Storytelling Arts of Indiana, Jabberwocky happens the second Tuesday of every month.

In the meantime, enjoy indyFringe’s final Fringe Friday May 28. Mix and mingle starting at 5:30 pm, with performances at 6:00 pm. Theatre on the Square will preview its top selling show of all time The Great American Trailer Park Musical, which opens this weekend. Plus, new Indianapolis theatre group Q Artistry will preview its upcoming shows at the Irvington Lodge. Also, street theatre and other surprise are in store at this final Fringe Friday. Afterward, guests are invited to enjoy FREE BBQ, as a thank you for many years of support from the Indianapolis community.

After the Final Fringe Friday, enjoy the Indianapolis cultural district, Mass Ave. With newly opened shows at the Phoenix Theatre (Speech and Debate) and Theatre on the Square (The Great American Trailer Park Musical), entertainment is always just steps away on Mass Ave. Enjoy food at any of the yummy Indianapolis restaurants there such as Agio’s Italian Restaurant, Yats Cajun Restaurant or Bazbaeux’s Pizza. After your show lets out, enjoy cocktails and conversation at any of these refreshing Indianapolis bars.

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Final Fringe Friday
Friday, May 28, 2010

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