IndyFringe to return in August – with a few new wrinkles

After a year of pandemic-induced darkness, the IndyFringe Theatre Festival will return to Mass Ave with a revamped format to showcase local and Midwest talent while providing a safe theatre-going experience with both indoor and outdoor venues. 

The festival will take place Aug. 19 through Sept. 5 – a departure from its typical non-stop 10-day format. To help maintain health and safety protocols, the festival will be spread out over three extended weekends with performances running Thursdays through Sundays. 

Continuing concerns over COVID-19 have resulted in a realignment of the festival’s usual makeup, which usually draws performers from across the nation and beyond. This year, however, 92% of presenting artists signed to date are Indiana-based.

Other elements of the preliminary lineup include that:

  • 30% are written by, directed by or feature artists who identify as Black, indigenous or people of color. 
  • 35% are written by, directed, by or feature artists who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, intersex or asexual.
  • 35% are written by female-identifying artists (nationally, only 19% of works are written by women).
  • Two shows have been selected from the 2020 OnyxFest (Being Black by Vernon Williamsand I Feed You Defiance by Rain Wilson).
  • Two shows are from the 2021 DivaFest (A Dry Rose by Missy Koonce and Honk, Squak, Love by Paige Scott.)

All venues will be in the Mass Ave Cultural Arts District, including The Basile Theatre and the Play Ground at IndyFringe, The OutBack at the District Theatre, The Athenaeum and The Oasis at the Murat.  

“At this moment of time when we all crave an escape, moments of joy and catharsis, audiences can expect the mix of comedy, drama, dance, cabaret, magic and unexpected surprises that they have come to love at the IndyFringe Festival,” said Executive Director Justin Brady, helming his first IndyFringe Festival after taking the reins from the retiring Pauline Moffat.

Forty productions have been confirmed with more to be announced. These productions will be created by more than 280 performers and production staff – for many this will be the return to the stage after a year of not performing. As always, 80% of the box office will be returned to the performers. 

Ticket sales will be announced over the summer. Check for more details. 

To ensure a safe and successful experience for all participants, all artists and staff participating in the Festival have agreed to be fully vaccinated (or additional testing/protocols if unable to vaccinate). Further COVID-19 protocols will be announced closer to the festival based on the guidelines set forth at that time by the Marion County Health Department and Center for Disease Control. 

Confirmed artists to date are:

  • Agape Theater Company
  • Allison Ballard
  • American Lives
  • Bard Fest
  • Betsy B. Murphy
  • Betty Rage
  • Carmel High School
  • Catalyst Repertory / Casey Ross
  • Christian Youth Theater
  • Circle City Tap Company
  • Clerical Error Productions
  • Crossroads Dance Indy
  • CSz Indianapolis
  • Dance Kaleidoscope
  • Danny Russel
  • Defiance Comedy
  • Elizabeth Ruth Young
  • Garret Mathews
  • Indianapolis Ballet
  • Indianapolis Men’s Chorus
  • Jan Gudaitis
  • Jodi and Connor’s Bowling League (Paige Scott)
  • Jordan Allen
  • M & M Productions
  • Magic Thread Cabaret
  • Mandee McKelvey
  • Meg Anderson
  • Missy Koonce
  • Rain Wilson
  • Rapture Theatre
  • Ron Papp
  • Sandy Lomax of Sandy Lomax Enterprises LLC
  • Stewart Huff
  • Strike Home
  • Stroopwafel lmprov
  • Timothy Mooney Repertory Theatre
  • To the Rescue Theatre
  • Toni Smith
  • UIndy Theatre Company
  • Vernon A Williams Productions

PHOTO ABOVE: IndyFringe is headquartered at 719 E. St. Clair St. just off Mass Ave. In addition to two indoor theaters, the facility includes the outdoor Play Ground.