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The Infringement Festival

Despite the well-publicized struggles of Studio Arena, we’re lucky to have a vibrant theatre community that is the envy of many similarly-sized cities. One of the scene’s brightest – and most irreverent – newcomers is the Infringement Festival, now gearing up for its fourth year in the Queen City. The Infringement Festival provides independent artists and audiences alike with a forum in which they’re not only permitted but encouraged to take chances, push envelopes, criticize, experiment, cross lines and explore uncharted territory. Buffalo’s Infringement Festival is one of many held in cities throughout Europe, Canada and the Northeastern United States, and last year’s event featured over 250 performances and installations by local and visiting theatre and dance companies, puppet artists, musicians, media artists, poets, comics, cabaret acts, virtual reality designers, performance artists and more than a few who defied easy classification.
The 2008 Festival will take place from July 24 through August 3 at various venues in and around Allentown, and organizers are accepting artist proposal submissions through May 9. You can apply online through the Festival’s website ( There is no fee to submit a proposal or to be part of the Festival, and according to organizers, all proposals that are in before the deadline, doable and legal will be accepted.
The Infringement Festival has a feel unlike any other theatre experience. Because performances are usually an hour or less in length, audiences can move from venue to venue and see a variety of performances along with installations and street theatre on the route. The Festival is also a cheap date – many events are free of charge, and most others charge a nominal admission ($5 is typical).
If you’d like to be put on the Festival’s email list, simply send a blank email to They’ll make sure you’re kept up to date with Festival developments and the full schedule once all the details are in place. If you’re interested in getting involved at the planning level, the next organizational meeting will be held on Wednesday, April 23 at 6:00 p.m. at Staples on Allen Street. All are welcome. On Friday, May 9 the countdown to the 2008 Festival will kick off with a promotional party at Neitzche’s.

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