Spartanburg Fringe Festival is seeking artists to perform and showcase in this inaugural summer festival that will celebrate and promote performances and other art forms that are normally considered outside of the mainstream of creativity. The festival will be held June 1-29, 2019 at West Main Artists Co-op and other venues in Spartanburg. The deadline for artists to apply is March 31, 2019.
Performers in all disciplines are invited to apply, including theatre, music, dance, film, comedy, spoken word, and more. However, the Festival is open to visual artists as well. The month-long event is described as “Spartanburg’s Underground Arts Festival.”
“Think of this as a cross between a classic ‘fringe’ festival and South Carolina’s Spoleto arts festival in Charleston,” Festival Director Sandy Staggs said. “The aim is to push the boundaries of performance art as we know it in Spartanburg by featuring artists working on the fringes. We want to create an open and accessible platform for artistic expression for both emerging local artists and to give our more-established artists an opportunity to present works that may not fit into their general programming for various reasons.”
Headlining the Festival are several Co-op performing artists, including Proud Mary Theatre Company, which will present the troupe’s first musical “Fun Home,” the Tony-winning and groundbreaking work based on the graphic novel by Alison Bechdel; Scrappy Shakespeare and its summer production of “Much Ado About Nothing”; Sparkle City Improv; a new work by playwright Anna Elliot; performances by musician Josh Tennant; live art and performance by the MADDArtist Gilliam; and much more.
According the Festival’s website, “The festival is uncensored – content is entirely up to the artist, experimentation is encouraged. The festival is inclusive – artists from a variety of cultural perspectives, artists from underrepresented communities, and artists presenting work that is culturally specific and geographically diverse are encouraged to apply.”
Most of the Festival will be held at the Co-op in The Venue, the converted sanctuary of the former church. The Venue is normally dedicated as exhibition space for WMAC’s member and guest artists, but is also suitable for plays, concerts, and dance performances. It will seat more than 100 people.
Both short (5-30 minutes) and full-length (45-90 minutes) programs are being sought in all mediums with an emphasis on “fresh, new, different, edgy, and most of all, local.” Staggs added. “The Festival both celebrates the artists and collaborates with the artists in a partnership that gets their work shown and attended, and ensures (in most cases) our artists are compensated.
“If you are an artist or an art lover, hold on to your seat. We want to blow your mind.”
Other venues, galleries, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bookstores, etc. in the city and county are encouraged to add fringe performances and events to the Festival line-up as well.
Additionally, the Fringe Festival is currently seeking sponsors.