Presented by Neos Dance Theatre with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, the fringe festival takes its name from Akron’s legacy as the birthplace of toy marble-making automation.
“With Akron’s reputation for dance, and audiences hungry for it, the city is a perfect platform for a festival that showcases new and emerging artists,” said Victoria Rogers, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.
To better serve the artists and audience members, the dance company will condense activities into a one-day festival on a temporary large stage under the roof of downtown Akron’s historic Trolley Barn, which was gifted by the Development Finance Authority of Summit County.
Smaller spaces without stages — including an ice cream parlor, gallery and storefront window space provided in collaboration with the Curated Storefront — will feature pop-up performances to round out the festival’s walk-able footprint. The pop-up performances will be free, while the main stage performances on Saturday will have fees starting at $10.
Lucky Plush Production of Chicago, Duane Gosa of Les Ballet Trockadero and Terk Lewis Waters of Complexions Contemporary Ballet are slated to perform, representing nationally recognized groups.
Local participants include Ma’Sue Productions, Inlet Dance Theatre, Groundworks Dance Theatre and Neos Dance Theatre. Additional dance and visual artists — emerging and established — will be chosen by a festival panel.
Plans are also underway to present larger “Lose Your Marbles” festivals in 2018 and 2019. Bobby Wesner, co-founder and artistic director of Neos, says that “Lose Your Marbles” is taking its cues from other fringe festivals, such as the world’s largest and oldest in Edinburgh, Scotland, by giving artists the freedom to present diverse, original and often risky works.
“Akron’s fringe festival will be a fun and informative opportunity for our community to binge-watch the performing arts and then share their opinions about what they’ve seen,” said Wesner. Audience members will be able to vote for the best-of-show performance that will then receive a final showcase on the evening of June 10 and a cash award.
Tickets and details about “Lose Your Marbles” are available at www.loseyourmarbles.org.