The 4th Annual Detroit Fringe Forward Festival brings together performing artists from across the Midwest, for a four-day exploratory, immersive & experimental entourage of performing, visual & fringe theatre, open to all.
The festival highlights works of regional playwrights and performing artists by  providing a venue for contemporary work across a variety of genres, funding a commissioning program that grants production stipends to support festival shows and continuing to maintain the relationships between current and past festival participants, extending the reach of the Fringe Forward network as artists produce creative work.
Running on the momentum from 2016, the festival will continue to explore new works and celebrate connections made through the performing arts.

Cathy & Company, “Reality Flux”



7:00pm – The Puppetopian Revolution: A Wedding
By Madelyn Etzcorn & Scott Crandall of Hamtramck, MI
An exploration of weddings as a social ritual and ceremony, a unique intersection of cultural institutions, expressed through the use of puppets. How are we critical about the political, religious/spiritual/philosophical, communal, economic, familial, gendered, nationality intersections that weddings exhibit – and how we might want to reimagine them?

8:00pm – The Red Shoes
By Torri Lynn Francis of Detroit, MI
An adaptation of the children’s tale focusing on issues of identity, place and femininity.

The Red Shoes by Torri Lynn Frances

9:00pm – DFFF Opening Night Party

Meet, greet and celebrate some great fringe theatre!


8:00pm – Pearls of Wisdom (30 min)
By Oliver Pookrum of Detroit, MI
Adapted for the stage from the essays of Pearl Cleage
A search for truth, understanding, and inner peace through the stories of four women.

9:15pm – In the Shadows (50 minutes)
By Sasha Vulovic of Detroit, MI
An experimental theater work that employs dance, shadow theater, and audio excerpts from interviews to construct a series of glimpses into the stories of undocumented migrants.


2:00pm – The Underground Library (60 minutes, suggested age: 8 – 18)
Performed by Spinning Dot Theatre Teen Apprentice Company of Ypsilanti, MI
Script by playwright Jon Keevy of South Africa
Fast-paced action-based play details the world void of libraries, with full state controlled knowledge, where the terrorists at large are actually those out to free information and knowledge to the people.

8:00pm – No Contest (60 minutes)
Special Location: LightBox, 8641 Linwood Street, Detroit
By Marcela Torres in collaboration with Chase Challoway of Chicago, IL
No Contest uses the structure of an MMA championship match to perform, comprehend and unhinge the social and physical stresses that people of color in the US are raised with as psychological trauma – focusing on the archetypes of the celebrated yet continually antagonized athletes of color.


2:00pm – A Mouth With Flame (60 minutes, suggested age: 7 – 12)
By Spinning Dot Theatre Company of Ypsilanti, MI
Written and performed by Tae Hoon Yoo
Original music, digital media, cultural tales, and personal stories combine in this original one-man show exploring history, reliving personal experiences and finding identity. Nominated for a 2017 Wilde Award for “Best Theater for Young Audiences”.

4:30pm – Performative Shorts:

Mykitas Epoch – Acclimation (durational)
By CV Peterson of Wisconsin
A performance art piece embodying, a futuristic fungal creature that has evolved from Michigan’s 40 acre large fungi, Armillaria, as it slowly moves through public spaces in Detroit collecting plastic for food. Part of the artist’s “Mykitas Epoch” series, a dark, whimsical portrayal of the era after humanity is extinct and all that is left is humanity’s legacy — plastic.

△ (Delta) (20 min)
By Thank You So Much For Coming of Hamtramck, MI
How do we observe and describe change from a scientific perspective? Are there useful models/terms from those fields for artists/citizens to consider change as a social/personal/political force? How can we understand and communicate complex scientific concepts not only as metaphor, but as relevant, engaging, and foundational truths? These are the questions that △ seeks to answer.

Delta by Thank You So Much for Coming

Reality Flux (10 min)

By Cathy Taister/ Cathy and Company of Highland Park, MI
Reality Flux explores the wildly unfamiliar culture of America in the year 2100. The piece presents both a dark, dystopian and an optimistic, utopian view of our country. You, the audience will be invited to band together to do a movement ritual to empower us as a community to take charge of our future.

The Armadillo/Iguana Bacterial Unification (7 min)
By Alexander Trice/Portable Folio Productions of Hamtramck, MI
Two lonely people find exactly what they need: each other.

The Creative Body (7 min)
By Camille Johnson of Ann Arbor, MI
The Creative Body” combines puppetry, projection, sound and spoken word to ask the question what makes up the creative body? A 9 foot paper mache puppet face hangs suspended on a stage, serving as a screen for projections. A sound piece accompanies the projections using both spoken word and a soundscape sourced from a car wash.

Camille Johnson, “The Creative Body”

All performances take place at CMAP, 2221 Carpenter St, Detroit, with the exception of Saturday evening performance which will be at LightBox, 8641 Linwood St, Detroit

Performances will be taking place both indoors and outdoors – rain or shine. Tickets are suggested $20 for adult performances, $10 for kid shows (kids under 8 are free). Best deal is the Festival Pass.

Get tickets at #DFFF