“Visiting festivals without a core theater component reminded me just how unique Mass Ave. really is. It is the best festival site in the United States.”
As cofounder of the Indy Fringe Festival, Pauline Moffat continued pursuit of her interest in Fringe Theatre through her fellowship by “following the cultural buzz of the fringe world and finding out the secrets of why fringe is such a fast growing and long lasting theatre phenomenon.” She visited the United Arabs Emirates, Mauritius, Canada, and her native homeland, Australia.
Moffat’s experience was mostly cultivated through interviews. In Perth, she interviewed the Minister of Arts on the establishment of a fringe festival in one of the most remote cities in the world. She learned, “how Fringe World was seen as a vehicle to build and brand the city as hip and welcoming and as a way to build community and breathe life into downtown Perth.” She explains, “the entire population of city and state embrace the fringe. The city throws a month-long party and a month-long light show.” Moffat ended her trip by attending the World Fringe Congress in one of the most iconic cultural cities on the planet, Montreal which celebrates its 3rd centenary this year. While there, she was able to share ideas, experiences, and inspiration with directors and organizers from 120 fringe festivals across the globe.
Moffat saw the experience as “space to breathe, space to think, and time to spend with family.” She was able to share her husband’s passion for architecture in Dubai and he shared her passion for small and little known cultures like the Republic of Mauritius, a tiny island nation in the Indian Ocean halfway between Africa and Australia. In Mauritius, they were able to meet with performers who had been at IndyFringe in 2015, help them design a new theatre, and plan a future fringe festival.
This fellowship experience allowed Moffat to see first hand what makes the largest festivals in the world successful and experience cities that totally embrace the fringe movement. Moffat’s work in Indianapolis continues, devoting as much time to her community and pursuit of fringe festivals as possible. For her, the gift of creative renewal was “incredibly important and heartening,” something much appreciated as she continues to serve the IndyFringe community.