Performance » Theater

Babies and Other Tell-All Shows at Fringe

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IndyFringe 2013 is setting up to be better than ever. 64 unique performers will each perform six times for a total of 384 performances happening on one of eight stages in seven theaters along Mass Ave in eleven days.  That may be too much math for some of us, but it all works out to a lot of good theatre. 

Pauline Moffat has been Executive Director of IndyFringe for nine years.
  • Pauline Moffat has been Executive Director of IndyFringe for nine years.

Armed with 375 volunteers, IndyFringe Executive Director Pauline Moffat works to offer support to the artists as they take the stage.  "The performers are offered the best theatres, technicians at the theatres, ushers, and house managers.  On top of that, we offer them an umbrella of marketing for their shows.  When they get here, their only job is to do the best job they can and put on their shows," says Moffat. 

IndyFringe accepts entrants from around the world and makes decisions mostly on a "first come, first served" basis and Moffat doesn't know much about the shows until she sees them.  "Other than the telephone interview, I don't know who they are.  And, that is the exciting part," says  Moffat. "Some of the artists use IndyFringe as a way to try out a show because the audiences here are so receptive.  If you think of Fringe as an incubator, you will see why it is so popular."

This year, you will see a 2 to 1 ratio of local to national/international artists.  Moffat says, "One of the nice things about having national and international performers is that they bring the new theatre influences with them.  They bring a wealth of knowledge that really helps local performers see new art forms."

Kim McCann is imagining herself as Holden Caulfield's sister in her show titled Wry. - MELISSA PAUQUETTE  PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Melissa Pauquette Photography
  • Kim McCann is imagining herself as Holden Caulfield's sister in her show titled Wry.

Many of this year's shows to watch out for will be solo performances by the writers themselves including Kim McCann, a local who is putting on her 3rd IndyFringe show this year. Wry gives the audiences a peek into the life of a grown up Phoebe Caulfield (sister to Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye).  Phoebe is reeling from turning 40 years old and receiving divorce papers in the same week.  McCann's contained theatre piece takes place during Phoebe's first appointment with a psychiatrist. 

Although her true passion is writing, McCann says she has fallen into performance along her journey.  Her jobs as an historic interpreter at Conner Prairie and the Historical Society give her the chance to explore her creativity on a daily basis.  "I dress up in old-timey clothes and act like old-timey people," she explains. "There is a certain aspect of improvisation and performance that comes with that, but it also lets me get my geek on because it involves so much research."

Upon moving to Indy from Los Angeles, McCann was pleasantly surprised to find a thriving theatre community and considers IndyFringe a way to get her voice heard.  "You don't have the chance to put on shows when you don't have the money or the local fame, but Fringe is a way to get started and an opportunity to grow as an artist," she says.

Comedian Phil van Hest will share some tidbits from his new experiences with fatherhood in What Biscuits. - NOELLE LEIBLIC
  • Noelle Leiblic
  • Comedian Phil van Hest will share some tidbits from his new experiences with fatherhood in What Biscuits.

Another transplant from L.A. is long-time IndyFringe veteran, Phil van Hest.   What Biscuits will be his 9thIndyFringe "philosophically-minded, comedically-themed monologue" and will contain some "embarrassing and personal" aspects.  Van Hest and his partner chose to move here because IndyFringe had been the most welcoming and appreciated his shows more than other audiences.  Since the move, they have bought a home, acquired 2 station wagons, and had a baby.  "When I was angrier, comedy was easier," van Hest admits. "Now, I have to go far out to find comedy that is not antagonistic and derogatory.  Comedy that comes from a place of centeredness and is uplifting is hard."

Beth St Clair's first show at Fringe will be a monologue of true stories from her life titled If You Really Knew Me.
  • Beth St Clair's first show at Fringe will be a monologue of true stories from her life titled If You Really Knew Me.

New kid to Fringe, Beth St. Clair, says her solo performance is focused on storytelling.  She has chosen four different stories from her life that she will be weaving together for audiences.  St. Clair is working with a coach on her show, If You Really Knew Me, and says "she is forcing me to go deeper into myself when I didn't know I could go any deeper.  A professional set of eyes is worth the investment."  St. Clair is ready to expose her emotions to the audience.  "I feel like I'm going to be taking with me a certain level of uncomfortableness and vulnerability, but I think that is a part of the process."  St. Clair chose IndyFringe for her first show because "it has a lot of support built into the program."

Before you head out to see these shows and more, Moffat offers a bit of advice for those virgin festival goers: "Read the warnings on the shows to plan which ones you want to see, buy 5 tickets for the cost of 4 with the Fiver Pass, and remember to buy and wear your backer buttons."  Still feeling overwhelmed by 64 shows? Why not watch some of the awesome trailers the Fringe has made.

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