OnyxFest is Indianapolis’ first and only theatre festival dedicated to the stories of African American playwrights. Onyx Fest was developed in response to the lack of diversity on stage and in audiences of Indianapolis’ theatres. IndyFringe has actively worked towards embracing diversity in the Indianapolis theatre scene by working with African American playwrights to change the Indianapolis theatrical landscape of storytellers, actors, and audiences.

The importance of Onyx Fest: Develop and present voices not often heard and showcase the work of established voices. Engage new and established audiences in the art and craft of production. Bring new excitement to theatre and grow OnyxFest as a center for African American playwrights.

Impact of Onyx Fest: Growth of new works, new audiences, new performing companies, new fringe festival shows. Imagine the new voices being heard – on stage in 2020.

OnyxFest provides a space that: 

Allows artists to tell their stories,

Puts the audience at the center and works collectively towards change,

Breaks down real and imagined barriers of education and race,

And creates conversation.

The number of shows and performance slots varies from year to year.

OnyxFest Covers All Production Costs:

Production costs – often the major stumbling block for new writers –  are covered by co-sponsors of OnyxFest including the venue for performances and rehearsals, technical staff, marketing and promotion, props, and costuming, a stipend for the director, stagehands and talent fees for all performers.

In addition to production staff, the winning playwrights will have access to veteran theater professionals willing to help fine-tune scripts.