The Infringe festival features 30 shows, including drag performances, comedy, musicals and spoken word, as well as alternative theatrical projects involving genre mashups, surreal dance performances and original concepts. The slate features Jen Pagan’s treatise on pleasure relating food to sex; a retelling of the original sin story from Eve’s perspective; a Shakespearean rewrite of John Hughes’ “The Breakfast Club” and more. Visiting companies hail from New York to Florida and Vancouver, British Columbia.
The festival includes two dozen jury-selected productions, and other presenters working in conjunction with the event as BYOV (“Bring Your Own Venue”) shows. Many venues are in Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, and shows also take place at Ashe Cultural Arts Center and Southern Rep Theatre. The festival has a party Saturday night at Art Klub featuring a puppet rock band from North Carolina’s Toybox Theatre and Edwin Salas’ Mexican Purgatory, as well as a DJ spinning disco and new wave music. A closing night party at midnight Sunday at d.b.a. features a tribute to glam music by Glamrock Superfoxx.
Show tickets are $10 each (BYOV shows may be more), and a festival pass is $120. The box office is on the second floor of the New Orleans Healing Center, and it accepts credit cards. Cash only at the door.
Here are some of the festival highlights.
The drag performer has entertained audiences on five continents, is making a movie, writing a book — and will take the stage in New Orleans.
“Ask a Black Woman”
Shanara Sanders’ show is based on her podcast of the same name, in which she invites people on the streets of Los Angeles to ask her anything, and she records her responses and conversations, often addressing sensitive subjects. Sanders combines the podcast’s content and spoken word in the performance. (7 p.m. Friday, 11 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.)
“Bloodborne — Unmasking the Red Death”
The Mudlark Puppeteers use several types of puppets to explore Edgar Allan Poe’s short story about the plague and fear of death, but from the perspective of a house servant instead of Poe’s Prince Prospero. (7 p.m. Thursday, 9 p.m. Friday, 11 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday at Mudlark Public Theatre, 1200 Port St.)
Canadian clown artist and performer Candice Roberts assumes her alter ego Larry in a comedic piece about a “hoser” — a Canadian stereotype of a beer-guzzling regular guy — who attempts to be a woke feminist without compromising his masculinity. (9 p.m. Thursday, 11 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at AllWays Lounge & Theatre, 2240 St. Claude Ave.)
Toybox Theatre has presented whimsical puppet shows at several New Orleans fringe festivals, and brings two shows and its puppet band this year. Using different types of puppets, “Shitfarmer” tells the story of a humble and downtrodden custodian who is helped by a mysterious stranger. (5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Thursday and 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Sunday at Happyland Theater, 3126 Burgundy St.)
“Songs of Travel: Tiny Cabaret”
Bremner Duthie has presented cabaret shows in New Orleans as well as a fringe show about cabaret. He sings tunes celebrating travel and wanderlust. (9 p.m. Saturday at AllWays Lounge & Theatre, 2240 St. Claude Ave.; 3 p.m. Sunday at Southern Rep Theatre, 2541 Bayou Road)
“Wear and Tear”
The Austin, Texas troupe The Back Pack has developed its own form of non-spoken comedy through movement, dance, music and the use of drawing on large pads of paper that are worn or carried by the performers. The show features a series of vignettes. (9 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday and 11 p.m. Sunday at Ashe Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.)