Grassroots theater festival in Banglatown commences Nov. 15, launches new mentorship program

"I really liked the idea of telling stories. And as audience members we put our emotions on these inanimate objects … and believe that they live and have feelings." That's what Carrie Morris said about her puppetry for a profile of her and her theater project, CMAP, in Banglatown. 

As part of CMAP, she also helps produce the Detroit Fringe Festival. Now in its fifth year, the grassroots theater festival is bigger and more diverse than ever. 

The festival, which has a mission "to advance the medium beyond the traditional play while connecting neighbors and artists through the performing arts," takes place over four days starting Thursday, Nov. 15. Performances are held at four venues in Detroit and Hamtramck, including the Ant Hall, CMAP Detroit, Light Box, and the Jam Handy. 

The performances themselves are diverse in medium, genre, and representation of actors and creators. There will be, of course, more traditional theater shows alongside aerial displays, theatrical podcasts, poetry readings, and more. 

"For five years the Fringe Festival has showcased genre-defying, eclectic, compelling new works by some of metro Detroit's most dynamic performing artists," Morris says in a press release. "We are thrilled to offer this generative opportunity for artists to collaborate and learn from each other, to connect and build networks, and to continue to expand their creative potential."

The Detroit Fringe Festival also launched a new Professional Development Mentorship program, which connects Fringe performers with arts professionals "to further their creative development, foster relationships and generate networks of support and collaboration."

The Detroit Fringe Festival takes place from Thursday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 18. Discounted pre-sale tickets range from $8-15 and an all-inclusive festival pass costs $70. View the full festival lineup and purchase tickets at

Read more articles by Aaron Mondry.

Aaron Mondry is a Detroit-based freelance writer. Visit his website and follow him on Twitter @AaronMondry.
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