Leadership is changing with the annual Asheville Fringe Festival.
Longtime Asheville theater artists and married couple Jim Julien and Jocelyn Reese say they’re moving this summer to Philadelphia, and they’ve already groomed their replacements as festival co-directors.
“We’re basically building a bible of how to run a Fringe Festival,” Julien said. “It’s everything from how to run box offices at the venues to keeping track of sponsorship, how to coordinate all the artist applications. We’ve been working on this for a little while to make sure the transition is smooth as possible.”
The new festival co-directors are Katie Jones and Erinn Hartley. Jones is the artistic director of the Magnetic Theatre in Asheville and Hartley is education director of LEAF Global Arts, which produces the LEAF Festival, and founder of Anam Cara Theatre in Asheville. The Asheville Fringe—among a couple dozen fringe festivals around the U.S. and many more worldwide—is home to new and experimental theater, dance and music.
“Katie and Erinn kind of understand how it works,” Julien said. “And the creative vision they have, the mission they’ve embraced, I think it will continue to be one of the fringiest of the Fringe Festivals.”
The 19th version of the festival happens January 2021.
NOTE: An earlier version of this story had incorrectly stated the last name of Jocelyn Reese.