New venue, edgy new work to highlight performances, panels and workshops presented by varied artists
TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. — Celebrating its fifth year of showcasing original, non-traditional, provocative performance art, the Hi-Desert Fringe Festival (Hi-DeF) will return to a live, on-site format at a new venue in Wonder Valley. The event, designed to establish a forum for promoting cultural equity and community involvement through a progressive theatre movement, will offer a full day of panels, workshops and performances presented by an array of artists on Saturday, May 14.
Dubbed “Hi-DeF Hi-5” in honor of its anniversary year, the festival will unfurl on the sprawling grounds of the fabulous Tower Homestead Guest Ranch at 76969 Amboy Road in Wonder Valley. The artwork-filled, Old West-style property will provide an inspirational creative setting for participants as well as allow for the comfortable observance of outdoor COVID protocols.
The day’s activities will be hosted by Hi-DeF co-founders and co-producers Miri Hunter and Ann Van Haney, both of whom are highly active as performers and makers in the thriving Morongo Basin theatre community. Hunter, the producing/artistic director of Thought Theatre, has just been honored as Best Director in Greater Palm Springs by the national online publication Broadway World for SHAKESPEARE IN REVUE, a play she also conceived, presented last July by Joshua Tree Summer Theatre Under the Stars. Van Haney, a film/television actor, improv performer and sketch comedy writer, has appeared in many productions. Her play THE MEXICAN REVELATION debuted at Thought Theatre in 2020 and received four Desert Theatre League award nominations.
“It is so great to be able to have a live festival for our big anniversary year,” Hunter said. “In celebration, we are inviting past performers as well as new ones to join us. Because Ann and I have such a great rapport, we’ve been able to keep the festival going through these crazy pandemic years and continue to connect with great artists. Hi-DeF is a creative arts festival for the Hi-Desert community and beyond, and the vision keeps us going!”
Added Van Haney: “We created this event as a forum to encourage new and established artists from the Hi-Desert and around the world to share original, innovative works, and to create a space that makes theatre approachable and enjoyable for all. Hi-DeF is a true celebration of theatre on the edge, and I am so happy with how it is growing and evolving. It’s a joy to collaborate with Miri, and I can’t wait to see what the future brings!”
Hi-Def Hi-5 is accepting performer applications through March 15. To apply, and for admission pass pricing and the event scheduling information, please visit hidesertfringe.org. The Hi-Desert Fringe Festival is a program of Project Sheba, a minority and woman-owned nonprofit organization founded by Miri Hunter.