There are all kinds of fringe festivals big and small. A local fringe festival like the one Voices of the South is producing this spring, is an opportunity to sample a whole season's worth of independent performance in only a weekend or two.
Fun fact: Voices was born 22 years ago when Jenny Madden and Alice Berry were developing Southern narrative theater to take to the International Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. This year Berry, Madden and the rest of the company will bring a taste of Edinburgh to their hometown with The Memphis FRINGE Festival, a two weekend event highlighting a diverse slate of area actors, movers, writers, and storytellers working just outside the mainstream.
Here's The Memphis FRINGE Festival lineup.
The Laramie Project with Central High School
Fri., April 13 @ 7pm; Sat., April 14 @ 6pm; Sun., April 15 @ 5:30pm
In October 1998 Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tied to a fence, beaten, and left to die alone on the outskirts of Laramie, Wyoming. Five weeks after this attack, members of the Tectonic Theatre Group traveled to Laramie to conduct interviews with the residents. They used these conversations to draft The Laramie Project, a narrative portrayal of life in Laramie the year after the murder. Sadly, many of the issues raised by Shepard’s brutal murder have not gone away in the twenty years since. Central High School’s theatre program is pleased to present an abridged version of this powerful play.
Stories in the Water with Latrelle Bright
Fri., April 13 @ 8pm; Sat., April 14 @ 7:30pm; Sun., April 15 @ 2:30pm
Stories in the Water explores deeply rooted relationships black people have with our most precious resource. From the shore of the vast ocean to the “community” swimming pool, a woman leads an expedition through the memory water holds. Leaving the safety of solid ground, water engulfs her, carries her across space time and delivers her home again.
The Feeling is Mutual with Sarah Ledbetter
Fri., April 13 @ 9pm; Sat., April 14 @ 9pm; Sun., April 15 @ 1:30pm
THE FEELING IS MUTUAL is a one woman show that creator Sarah Ledbetter really, really hopes you’ll like. It’s about gravity and other pesky inevitables. It involves dancing, talking, and thinking. It is somewhat challenging for the audience member in that it makes some pretty wild connections between different things, and is not always a display of virtuosity. It is, rather, a display of daring and sometimes mistaken efforts for the purpose of sharing with you, the audience, what it feels like to be dancing in front of a group of people who deserve to see something really beautiful happen.
Melanie with Myesha Williams
Sat., April 14 @ 11am; Sun., April 15 @ 4:30pm; Sat., April 21 @ 11am
Melanie tells a story of a strong lady who visits home after being adopted as a child. While reuniting with her grandmother, Melanie rediscovers a book filled with stories of her past grandmothers’ lives, reminisce unwanted feelings that she had as a child before adoption, and seek understanding for her upbringing. Melanie learns the expanded definition of unconditional love as she forgives her family and connect back with her roots.
Squaring Up: Project 1
Sat., April 14 @ Noon; Sun. April 15 @ 3:30pm; Sat. April 21 @ 1:30pm
Project 1 and Thistle & Bee hope to act as catalysts leading to a community that is aware of the human sex trafficking issue, and ready to take action to support services that help victims recover from the trauma. At the end of each performance, audience members are invited take part in an immersive artistic co-creation experience and a talk-back to process the performance and discuss how community members can work to help end sex trafficking in Memphis. Net ticket proceeds will be gifted to Thistle & Bee and the Lisieux Community.
The Cabin by Adam Remsen
Sat., April 14 @ 1:15pm, Sat., April 21 @ 3pm; Sun., April 22 @ 7:15pm
Quark presents The Cabin, an original play by Adam Remsen. Hilarity erupts as a brother and sister learn the dark secrets of their deceased mother's troubled past. Laugh yourself silly as two siblings delve deep into their family's unsettling history. This heart-wrenching family drama will leave you in stitches! A harrowing laugh riot!
The Sound of Cracking Bones with Jason Gerhard
Sat., April 14 @ 2:30pm, Sun., April 15 @ 7:30pm; Sat., April 21 @ Noon
The Healing Power of JC with Sara Kaye Larson
Sat., April 14 @ 3:45pm; Sun., April 15 @ 6:30pm; Sun., April 22 @ 4pm
The Curator with The Perry Library of Theatre
Sat., April 14 @ 5pm; Sat., April 21 @ 8:15pm; Sun., April 22 @ 5pm
THE PERRY LIBRARY OF THEATRE presents an original play by E. Warren Perry, Jr., The Curator. This one-act play grapples with the results of applying postmodernism and historical revisionism to a museum’s collection, to its logical and uproarious extreme. Set in a fictional southern museum, curator Dr. Ronald Saulsbury fights new museum influences and his axe-wielding young assistant to try to prevent the annihilation of every real artifact in the collection – and history itself.
Far Away by Caryl Churchill; Directed by James Kevin Cochran
Sun., April 15 @ 8:30pm; Sat., April 21 @ 7pm; Sun., April 22 @ 6pm
Joan wakes up in the middle of the night and sees something she’s not meant to see. She’s convinced to keep a secret that will forever alter the course of her life. Caryl Churchill’s brief and chilling Far Away paints a not so-far-away future where fear of “the other” rules supreme, and beauty, politics and violence strike an uneasy kinship. Confronting our deepest fears, Far Awaydepicts a chilling world where everyone and everything is at war, and not even the birds in the trees or the river below can be trusted. Whose side is the right side?
Sinners on a Southbound Bus with Danica Horton
Fri., April 20 @ 7pm; Sat., April 21 @ 5:30pm; Sun., April 22 @ 2pm
An evening bus ride from Montgomery to Dothan, Alabama; two men on the run– but was their action a sin or a virtue? This dark one-act explores power, morality, fear, and the ghosts we leave behind.
Please note: Strong language and violence. Not suitable for children.
Rebound with Jill Guyton Nee
Fri., April 20 @ 8pm; Sat., April 21 @ 4pm; Sun., April 22 @ 3pm