Fringe benefits

The Asheville Fringe Arts Festival, now in its ninth year, kicks off on Thursday, Jan. 20 (and runs through Sunday, Jan. 23). Ready for four days of performing (and often very experimental) performing arts? Here’s what’s coming:

• The festival opener takes place on Thursday at the Asheville Art Museum with ARTmob Presents: PechaKucha Night. According to the museum, “PechaKucha means ‘chit chat’ in Japanese, and ARTmob will be ‘exhibiting’ 20 images for 20 seconds each. We might see 20 images of someone’s artwork, 20 images of someone’s vacation or 20 images of scary clowns. There are a limited number of presenters, but no limit on our audience! We’ll have fun watching while we drink and nibble on refreshments.” 7 p.m., $3 museum members/$5 non-members. Info: 253-3227, ext. 120 or

• Shows take place at BeBe Theatre on Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.). The Mari Meade Dance Collective will perform “questions and unfinished sentences,” a multi-media movement exploration of people’s life questions. Taryn Packheiser from Greensboro will perform solo multi-media piece “Stag Unassisted”; are Kathleen Hahn presents “funny and strange videos”; locals The Feral Chihuahuas perform sketch comedy; Lisa Struz of Red Herring Puppets does a “profound shadow puppet piece.”

• In the River Arts District, a number of projects, performances and installations are slated for the Wedge Building. Local dance company Moving Women and artist Shelley Pereda are collaborating on an installation and movement piece. Other acts include Runaway Circus, Amy Hamilton from Pipsissewa Movement Project, Julie Becton Gillum, Stina Andersen, Marston Blow, Dima, Bob Seven and music from Tangle. (There’s also mention of surprise guest artists.) Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m.

• For two nights, (Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.), The Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center hosts audio arts, experimental music and performance art. “Musicians and composers such as Vincent Wrenn and Elisa Faires will premiere and showcase new music and ambient sounds along with digital visual artist Jason Scott Furr’s multimedia explorations,” says a press release. “Featured at BMCM+AC will be AV Dance from Richmond, Va., led by artistic director, Ashley Valo. AVDance will perform ‘Tailored,’ a movement piece that explores clothing and improvisation. Also premiering is ‘The Next Dog King,’ a theatrical performance collaboration from Jim Julien and composer Chandra Sukula that focuses on a young dog’s rise to power within a dog pack. Amanda Levesque and Tom Kilby of Interweare will perform an unique improvisational movement piece.” Tickets are available at the door: $12/$10 for BMCM+AC members, seniors and students with ID.

• An addition to the performances, Fringe Ed Classes will be offered on Saturday, noon-5 p.m., at Terpsicorps Dance Studio in the Wedge Building, 125 Roberts St.“Among the class offerings are an intense Master Class with Mari Mead Dance Collective and a theatre improvisation class with local imrov masters, Mondy Carter and Karen Stobbe.”

Individual show tickets ($12/$10 senior and students) and Fringe Freak All Access Passes ($25) are available at BeBe Theatre (20 Commerce St. Asheville, 254-2621) or online through Paypal.



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About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall has lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. She is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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