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The FRINGE-y 5: F. LYNNE BACHLEDA's Life in the Fringe Lane


The FRINGE-y 5: F. LYNNE BACHLEDA's Life in the Fringe Lane

It's the most wonderful time of the year for Nashville's theater community: 2017 Sideshow Fringe opened on Thursday night and is now in full-swing, with a myriad of offerings in store for theater-goers this weekend at venues all across town. There's enough art - both entertaining and intriguing - to satisfy the most discerning of audiences, inspiring them in the process.

Among the upcoming events is F. Lynne Bachleda's Stories From the Back Seat - a collection of monologues gathered by Bachleda during her tenure as a driver for a ride-sharing platform, an experience that provided her with a wealth of material.

Today, in our latest installment of The FRINGE-y 5, Bachleda shares tales of her own previous Sideshow Fringe experiences, while suggesting why you won't want to miss Stories From the Back Seat.

The FRINGE-y 5: F. LYNNE BACHLEDA's Life in the Fringe Lane What was your first Fringe experience and how did it inspire you as an artist? Amanda C. Roche and Blue Moves Modern Dance Company drew me to the Fringe about five years ago. I was intrigued and encouraged to find this outlet for excellence beyond the bonds of Nashville's "normal" arts calendar. By producing the Sideshow Fringe Festival, Actors Bridge Ensemble gives a face--many faces, in fact-- to the exquisite diversity and high level of talent we now have in Nashville.

How would members of the theater-going public know you? What are some of your biggest/best/brightest and most infamous credits? This is my second Fringe production. Last year was Mortal Quartet, four ten-minute plays. One of them, A Tale of Two in One will be published by Smith & Kraus this fall in their Best Short Plays of 2016. Between Fringes I had a staged reading of my full-length play Stolen at LaMama Experimental Theatre Club in NYC. I'll return to revising that and also be thinking about what to write for Certain Women's next show (Carolyn German, BoNita Allen, Tamara Scott and Brooke Bryant). I guess my most infamous and recent appearance was at Rally/Cry where I took on "Crazy Brain 45" and sexual violence against women while dressed as a whacked-out beauty contestant dressed in a leopard onesie from Target. I'm really proud of that one.

Besides your own project, what Fringe offering most excites/intrigues you this year? I'd be quite happy to see everything at this year's Fringe, but here's a few I really hope not to miss: A Bending of its Own Kind; Marian Or, The True Tale of Robin Hood; The Bit Brigade Bit Show: Sketchy AF, Nine Exits (Eppler, puppets and cats--what's not to love?); the free Existential Emporium; and Sixty Second Cinema with Madeleine Hicks. I've known Maddie a long time and she has a great quirky mind.

Why should people come see Stories From the Back Seat? Although I've been a First Time Stories devotee for several years now, Stories From the Back Seat, directed by Mark Cabus, is my first stab at monologues. I'm fascinated with what people will tell a stranger and how those revelations will move you. This is also a chance to meet some folks that you probably wouldn't otherwise encounter. The real-life springboard these people gave me automatically heightened the theatrical stakes--always a good thing for a writer and her audiences!

The FRINGE-y 5: F. LYNNE BACHLEDA's Life in the Fringe Lane About 2017 Sideshow Fringe Festival Seventh Annual Sideshow Fringe Festival - billed as Nashville's Progressive Performing Arts Event, presented by Sideshow @ Actors Bridge - gathers hundreds of local artists for what promises to be its largest endeavor in its seven-year history. Sideshow Fringe runs July 27 through August 6 at various Nashville locales.

Named as one of CNN's Most Intriguing Festivals in its "Best of the US" compendium of events, Sideshow Fringe Festival gathers some of "the most exciting performing arts Music City has to offer" for two full weekends of "electrifying, gravity-defying performances."

The 2017 edition of Sideshow will include a wide variety of performance styles including circus, comedy, dance, theatre, performance art, storytelling, puppetry, aerial arts, improv and clowning.

"Nashville is growing by leaps and bounds all around and the Fringe Festival is, too!" says Jessika Malone, program director for Sideshow Fringe. "We are excited to expand to two weeks in our seventh summer of celebration to meet the demand for the most adventurous performing art our city has to offer. The fringe is my favorite time of the year because it's all about expressing yourself courageously, embracing eccentricity, and celebrating authenticity in all its forms."

Individual tickets for paid performances are $15 each. Sideshow also has a Triple Play package for viewers to pick any three shows for just $35. Audience members can also explore all of this year's eclectic performances with an All-Access Pass, which covers everything the festival has to offer for $150. Free pop-up performances and other programming will be available in various locations throughout the Festival, including Richland Park.

The Sideshow Fringe Festival is a program of the Actors Bridge Ensemble led by co-founders Jessika Malone and technical director, Mitch Massaro. Daniel Jones joins the team this year as creative producer.

Tickets: Tickets are $15 and 50% of all box office proceeds go to participating artists. Tickets are available at and at all festival venues. All Events will be held in one of the festival's four main venues: The Black Box Theatre at Belmont university, The Darkhorse Theatre, The Actors Bridge Studio in Darkhorse Chapel and Richland Park.

Highlights of the 2017 Sideshow Fringe Festival include:

High-Flying Aerial Thrills This summer features five aerial offerings in the Black Box at Belmont including: FALL's special encore presentation of A Bending Of Its Own Kind, which debuted to a standing-room-only crowd at Oz Arts Nashville in June 2017 and features an all-new invented aerial apparatus based on the x-rays of artistic director Rebekah Hampton Barger's spine; New Altitude, featuring mother/daughter pair Thérèse Keegan and Lizard Walker, returns with Lines Interrupted - an all-new family-friendly aerial spectacular; Suspended Gravity spotlights the legendary women who have made music history in an original circus celebration Women Who Rock; and Chimerical Circus will make their fringe debut with an exploration of the identity of the performer and their many masks.

New Local Plays Nashville playwright Nate Eppler (Osborn Award Winner, Nashville Rep's Playwright-in-Residence) pairs with fringe favorite puppet troupe Sailors & Maidens for an Nine Exits; Britt Byrd, winner of Nashville Scene's Best Actress Award, makes her directorial debut with the patriarchy-smashing and gender-bending Marian Or, (The True Tale of Robin Hood); and Diego Gomez presents a world premiere workshop of The Backpack, an experimental performance format integrating traditional and forum theatre practices.

Returning Fan Favorites #ThrowbackThursday kicks off the 2017 Sideshow Fringe with the hottest, sexiest, most awkward tradition of them all - an interactive open mic where brave audience members can dust off their teenage diaries and reveal the inner thoughts of their younger selves hosted by Cassie Hamilton and Mallory Kimbrell of Sailors & Maidens / Meryl & Joyce.

Fringey Fun Sideshow fan favorites Conway Preston and Kara McLeland are back with an interactive comedy fantasy adventure, The Lost Medallion of Gondalor: A Choose Your Own Adventure, and filmmaker and puppeteer Madeleine Hicks will pop up her Sixty Second Cinema at select and secret locations throughout the festival and present your favorite films in a new format that gets in all the goods in under a minute!

Spinning Yarns abrasiveMedia presents an interactive live podcast Mixer Live: For the Love of Loving; Josh Campbell of Spillit Memphis returns to the Fringe to host both a free storytelling workshop and a new format story slam, The Nerve Slam; and F. Lynne Bachleda shares her tales of learning about life while driving for Lyft in Stories From The Backseat.

History of Fringe Fringe theatre is a term used to describe theatre and related performing arts that are not of the traditional two- or three-act play format. The term has been adopted by the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and by alterNative Theatre festivals internationally.

About Actors Bridge Actors Bridge Ensemble is a professional theatre company and actor-training program now in its third decade serving Nashville. Our mission is to tell the stories that impact our community by producing provocative and socially relevant theatre, creating new theatrical works, showcasing emotionally authentic ensemble acting and fostering a nurturing environment where theatre artists at any stage in their development may train and assist in the production of professional theatre.

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From This Author Jeffrey Ellis