Conscious party: On the fringe

Scene from the Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank, performed by Madison J. Cripps and Keith Shubert, courtesy of the puppeteers

WHAT: Fringe Summer Freakout

WHEN: Tuesday, July 14, at 5 p.m. (Puppet show at 8 p.m.)

WHERE: New Mountain Asheville, 38 N. French Broad Ave.

WHY: Asheville’s next Fringe Arts Festival doesn’t take place until January 2016, but eager individuals can get a taste of the action-to-come at the Fringe Summer Freakout fundraiser, which is intended to spark dialogue surrounding the experimental annual arts event.

“We’re hoping that people that maybe have not thought about performing or being part of the festival might get curious,” Fringe’s artistic co-director Jim Julien says. “We [want] to give people at least an entry point to think about becoming part of the festival because every year we try to encourage new artists to participate.”

During the free portion of the event from 5-8 p.m., New Mountain will house several “odd and interesting” pop-up art performances, along with breakout workshops for potential exhibitors.

Part of the Fringe spirit, Julien says, is encouraging artists to create jointly. To that end, the workshops will function as collaborative brainstorming sessions and artist networking opportunities in addition to providing logistical exhibitor information.

For the casual Fringe supporter, the fundraiser offers a large-scale, elaborate puppet show by Madison J. Cripps and Keith Shubert, beginning at 8 p.m. Originally premiered at New Orleans’ Fringe Festival, The Mysterious Metamorphosis of Mr. Krank depicts the main character’s successive dreamscapes.

“It’s very atmospheric and dreamy,” Julien says, “and most of it is done … in a Japanese style where the puppeteers are all dressed in black. They manipulate the puppets onstage using rods. It’s more than just your small marionettes.”

General admission tickets for the puppet show are $20 per person, and VIP tickets, which include drinks and snacks, cost $35 each. Proceeds support the planning and logistics of Fringe Festival 2016.

“I hope people will enjoy this event,” Julien says, “but be excited for our upcoming festival, when we really go wild.”

Visit for more information or tickets.

About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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