Reading of New Play ‘Wild Eden’ by Lauren Ferebee

Tuesday, June 18 at 7 p.m.
Lauren Ferebee’s
Wild Eden 

The Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival New Play Series is pleased to welcome former HUB BUB Artist-in-Residence and Scrappy Shakespeare co-Founder Lauren Ferebee with a reading of her brand new work Wild Eden.

FREE! Donations accepted.


Lauren is a Feminist content creator making
dark comedy and collaborative art.

She is a Texas native and theatremaker who has made work in New York, Nebraska, Texas, and South Carolina.

She creates playful and meaningful theatrical experiences, from classical theatre in bars, houses, and parks to traditional stage plays, engaging audiences in creative experiences that empower, include, and connect. 

She founded and/or co-produced numerous projects in Spartanburg, South Carolina, including a summer Shakespeare series, a new works reading festival, a Shakespeare in the bar series, and a live, late-night, local talk show.

In 2016, she was a nominee for the USA Fellowship in theatre, and as a playwright she has been a finalist or semifinalist for numerous awards and fellowships including the Princess Grace Award, the O’Neill, the Shakespeare’s Sister Fellowship, and others.

She has also been a juried resident at the Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and HUB-BUB, and holds a BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in drama.

She is the current co-director of Dallas-based new play incubator The Aviary, and a curator for Spark and Echo Arts.

Local Fashion Designer to Open Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Saturday

Sparkle City will shine bigger and brighter than ever when The House of Mann hits the catwalk on the opening night after-party of Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Saturday, June 1, 2019, at West Main Artists Co-op.

“This is going to be a really big splash for Spartanburg and the Festival,” Director Sandy Staggs said. “I don’t think there’s ever been anything like this in Spartanburg, and these glamour fashions will undoubtedly open some eyes and drop some jaws. It’s going to be a great way to kick off the Festival with a glittery bang.”

House of Mann is an international fashion brand by Spartanburg-born and Carolina-based artist Brandon Hilton and his partner. Having been seen in magazines like Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and Paper, House of Mann is renown for its colorful, glittery, and revealing gender-bending fashions for men and women. It has dressed some of pop culture’s biggest names, including Alyssa Edwards, Kim Petras, Laith Ashley, Allie X, and Desmond Is Amazing.

 At the Fringe Festival, House of Mann will premiere its new summer and fall collection. The runway show and after-party will start at 8 p.m., immediately following the Festival’s opening reception. The reception is free; the fashion show/after-party is $10 in advance or $15 at the door.

“We are putting on the ritz,” Staggs said. “The music will be loud, the lights will be flashing, and the models will strut their stuff in clothes that defy the imagination. Victoria’s Secret’s Angels now have competition.”

Although this may be a first for Spartanburg, it is not the first time that The House of Mann has dazzled Carolinians. Its fashions were seen in 2018 at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, NC. And just this past March, its international campy style was seen in Abbeville, SC for a fundraiser for the Humane Society of Greenwood. HOM’s 2018 fall and winter collection was first revealed in Charlotte, NC, the company’s headquarters.

In preview of the premier, Hilton said his summer and fall collection will feature lots of mesh, metallics, sequins, and even some fringe. “We have a very eclectic approach to fashion, since we began as a costume company,” he said. “Attendees can expect larger-than-life costumes and over-the-top performances. It’s going to be the first fashion event of its kind in Spartanburg for sure.

“Being from Spartanburg, this is a nice milestone in my career,” he continued. “I’m so glad to be able to get the Festival off to a quick start, celebrating art in my hometown. It’s going to be very special for me. Through my work, I’ve been able to do all kinds of really cool things, and it is my hope that this will get people’s attention and inspire them. Like, if I’ve done all these things and I’m from Spartanburg, anyone can.”

Most of HOM’s clothing is custommade, but its current fashion statements can be seen online in various videos and on the company’s website: The clothing includes handbags, sunglasses, jewelry, pants (bottoms), shirts (tops), dresses, harnesses, jackets, jumpsuits, leotards, outerwear, and underwear.

           The Festival will be all month long — June 2019 — and will feature about 125 artists and 32 performances, including the Tony-winning Broadway musical Fun Home. Other major attractions include performances and appearances by the Rev. Jim Dant of Greenville, who has been in the national spotlight for his book This I Know: A Simple Biblical Defense for LGBTQ Christians; and film director and producer, television writer and producer, playwright, and actor Del Shores, who is well known for his works Daddy’s Dyin’: Who’s Got the Will?, Southern Baptist Sissies, and Sordid Lives. Several other regional playwrights, musicians, actors, and writers will also present their creative output. The Festival will end Saturday, June 29, with a live concert featuring no less than six bands. Also, there will be an art exhibition — Out of the Box — featuring unique, odd, and strange work of art by artists from far and wide. For more info, please visit online:

Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival: 29 Events in 29 Days

For the entire month of June, Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival will host performances, plays, cinema, comedy, spoken word, a fashion show, music, and an art exhibit to give public exposure to creative works that are often considered to be too unusual for mainstream acceptance.

Among the most notable events will be several performances of Fun Home, a Broadway musical that won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical. It will be produced by Proud Mary Theatre Company, South Carolina’s first and only theatre company dedicated to presenting LGBTQ+ voices and stories. Fun Home, based on the controversial graphic novel memoir by Alison Bechdel, is set in the Bechdel Family FUNeral Home and is about the author’s coming-of-age as a lesbian and her relationship with her gay father. A live orchestra will provide accompaniment.

Another presentation that has national acclaim will be A Sordid Evening with Del Shores, featuring playwright, actor, producer, and director Del Shores, who is known for his plays and films Sordid Lives, A Sordid Wedding, and Southern Baptist Sissies. The double-bill program includes his new stand-up comedy show The S – Stirrer, followed by a VIP reception and on-stage intimate interview and questions from the audience. 

Closer to home but still on the national radar will be the Rev. Jim Dant, Senior Minister at First Baptist Greenville. Dant will present his popular comedy lecture Stories I Can’t Tell In Church. Rev. Dant has been in the national spotlight for his progressive stance on LGBTQ issues, most notably in his book This I Know: A Simple Biblical Defense for LGBTQ Christians. He has written several books and is a much-sought guest speaker. As pastor of Greenville’s 100% inclusive First Baptist Church, Rev. Gant has been complimented, cursed, blessed, blessed out, near deified, and damned for being an LGBTQ ally. His Festival appearance will makes for a lot of laughs and a lot of tears through his unique insight and comedy.

“We have been very lucky to get some very prominent, very high-profile, and very respected guests and shows in the Festival,” Festival Director Sandy Staggs said. “I want this Festival to be another feather in Spartanburg’s artistic hat, a hat that can be worn again for many years and with great pride.”

The Festival will kick off on Saturday, June 1, with a free opening reception that will spotlight the local talent of Proud Mary Theatre and musicians such as Mike “Firebox” Johnson.

The featured event of the evening will a runway fashion show by The House of Mann, a Carolina-based fashion company that has been seen in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Paper Magazine, and CNN (Cable News Network). Designer Brandon Hilton has dressed some of pop culture’s biggest names, such as Alyssa Edwards, Kim Petras, Laith Ashley, Allie X, and Desmond Is Amazing.

Local talent based at the West Main Artists Co-op will also be recognized when Spartanburg’s Scrappy Shakespeare presents the classic Much Ado About Nothing — in a very unclassical way. This ragtag group of performance artists is known for its creative and outrageous interpretations of Shakespeare’s works.

Spartanburg-based Sparkle City Improv and Alchemy Comedy Theater of Greenville will host of double bill of improv antics on Monday, June 17.
Other theatre companies and playwrights that are on tap to present work include the USC Upstate Shoestring Players (Keep This for Your Records), Greenville-based playwright and actor Lauren French and her solo show Intimate Dinner or Tap Water Is Fine, devised theatre artist Erika Phoenix’s Fragments, Zachary Urban (All That Shines Is Not Silver), Robert Fuson (Barbie Liberation Organization), and Brook Nelson (White Picket Wives).

For people seeking music, Kate and James Riedy, a brother and sister duo, will present Broadway Genderbent, a showcase of Broadway show tunes sung by the opposite gender than what is usually expected. They will sing songs from Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, Dear Evan Hansen, Shrek, and more.

June 25 will focus on the cinema arts and will include a screening of the surreal short film Fugue and a sneak preview of the full-length film The Awakening of Lilith. Both films are by writer/director Steven Adam Renkovish of Easley both deal with grief and one’s sense of reality. Renkovish and actress Brittany Renee Smith will be at the event that will include a question-and-answer session with the audience.

On June 28, the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Inn riots, Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival presents Stonewall: 50 Years Later as a celebration and remembrances of the benchmark event considered to be the launch of the modern gay liberation movement. Patti O’Furniture, the Carolinas’ Queen of Comedy and Cocktails, will be evening’s emcee in a festive program that includes an encore performance of Movement by Proud Mary Theatre Company, a trivia contest, door prizes, and more.

On the final day of the Festival — Saturday, June 29 — the  Fringe Rockin’ Finale will be a day-long concert of bands and musical artists, including Brandy Lindsey and the Punch, Satori Tree, DysFUNKshun, Wounded Hollow, Irises, and Splatter Punx and more!

Throughout the month, the art exhibit “Out of the Box” will be open for public viewing Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on evenings when the Festival is open. 

“This is going to be a crazy but wonderful Festival,” Staggs predicted. “This is something never seen before in Spartanburg — or even in Upstate South Carolina for that matter. People will be entertained, shocked, impressed, distressed, inspired, amused, confused, and nearly any other emotion you can think of and that’s alright. That’s what a Fringe Festival is all about.”

For a complete lineup of events and more details, please visit online:

This program is funded in part by Chapman Cultural Center, its donors, the County and City of Spartanburg, and the SC Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts and the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC.

Call for Artists: Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Seeks Artwork for ‘Out of the Box’ Exhibit


Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival is Calling All Artists to submit artwork to its “Out of the Box” exhibit that will run for the month of June 2019 at West Main Artists Co-op.

The exhibit will be called ‘Out of the Box,’ and it is open to any artist in all mediums. We are looking for the unusual, the odd, the highly creative, the strange — anything paintings and sculptures that might be considered on the fringe of creativity.

The Festival reserves the right to reject submissions that are hateful, in bad taste, truly offensive, or otherwise unacceptable by even the most liberal evaluation.

To apply and submit work for the exhibit, email basic information about yourself as an artist and a photograph of the art you wish to submit at

Spartanburg Fringe Arts Festival Call for Performance Artists

The Spartanburg Fringe Festival is seeking artists to perform and showcase in this inaugural summer festival that will celebrate and promote performances and other art forms that are normally considered outside of the mainstream of creativity.

The festival will be held June 1-29, 2019 at West Main Artists Co-Op and other venues in Spartanburg. The deadline to apply is April 15, 2019.

Performers in all disciplines are invited to apply including theatre, music, dance, film, comedy, spoken word and more. However, the Festival is also open to visual artists as well.

“Think of this as a cross between a classic ‘fringe’ festival and South Carolina’s Spoleto arts festival in Charleston,” Festival Director Sandy Staggs said. “The aim is to push the boundaries of performance art as we know it in Spartanburg by featuring artists working on the fringes.”

“We want to create an open and accessible platform for artistic expression to both emerging local artists and give our more established artists an opportunity to present works that may not fit into their general programming for various reasons.”

Headlining the Festival are several Co-Op resident performing artists including the Proud Mary Theatre Company, which will present the troupe’s first musical “Fun Home,” the Tony-winning and groundbreaking work based on the graphic novel  by Alison Bechdel; Scrappy Shakespeare and their summer production of “Much Ado About Nothing”; Sparkle City Improv; a new work  by playwright Anna Elliot; performances by musicians Josh Tennant, Sydney McMath, Addam Duncan, live art and performance by The MADDDArtist , and much, much more.

According the Festival’s website, “The festival is uncensored – content is entirely up to the artist, experimentation is encouraged. The festival is inclusive – artists from a variety of cultural perspectives, artists from underrepresented communities, and artists presenting work that is culturally specific and geographically diverse are encouraged to apply.”

Most of the Festival will be held at the Co-Op in The Venue, the converted sanctuary of the former church. The Venue is normally dedicated as exhibition space for WMAC’s visual artist (and guest artists), but is also suitable for plays, concerts, and dance performances. It will seat more than 100 people.

Both short (5-30 minutes) and full-length (45-90 minutes) programs are being sought in all mediums with an emphasis on “fresh, new, different, edgy, and most of all, local.” Staggs added.

“The Festival both celebrates the artists and collaborates with the artists in a partnership that gets their work shown and attended, and ensures (in most cases) our artists are compensated.”

“If you are an artist or an art lover, hold on to your seat. We want to blow your mind.”

Other venues, galleries, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, bookstores, etc. in the city and county are encouraged to add their “fringe” performances & events to the Festival line-up as well.

Additionally, the Fringe Festival is currently seeking sponsors.

To apply or for more information, please visit, email or call (864) 580-8385.