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Artrageous encourages audience interaction for show at Maryland Theatre

Artrageous encourages audience interaction for show at Maryland Theatre

Art becomes alive right before an audience’s eyes through one group of artist’s creative performances.

Known as “Artrageous,” the team consists of individuals of various talents such as singing, dancing, painting and costume designing.

The group is known for their engaging performances and together they work as a team, according to one member of the group, Lauri Francis.

They will perform from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March. 14, at The Maryland Theatre in downtown Hagerstown.

“We focus as a troupe really and not really as one individual. We all feel like it’s not a job, it’s like more of a service or something we love to do, something we love to bring to communities and to meet people and enjoy this experience together,” said Francis during a telephone interview from New Mexico.

Before the curtains open, Artrageous will put on a pre-show event in which they will greet the audience, perform activities with them and hand out souvenirs that they will need to participate in the show.

Each show is filled with live dancing and singing with skits of comedy stand-ups. An act of ancient art of puppetry called Bunraku, is also included in the show.

The group pays homage to legendary entertainers in the form of creating portraits of them and singing their songs.

“There are many different art forms on the stage from live art being created in mere moments before people’s eyes,” Francis said.

After the show, Artrageous will host a live art gallery that will feature all of the show’s paintings that have been created during the show.

Audience members will be invited to come on stage and take pictures in front of them, add their own artwork, and get their shirt splattered with paint.

“So the show itself is just an incredibly fun experience and it’s a joyful experience,” Francis said.

Their performances attract people of all ages from kindergartners to older adults.

Francis said that although the group does not aim to be mainstream, they still acknowledge what’s in vogue and incorporate it into the show using their own style.

“You always have to follow what’s trending to a certain degree, we don’t like to be mainstream, like we would never choose a song that’s so overdone or people that are so used to ... we’re fairly creative people so we are always trying to come up with new things and improve the show and luckily we have a troop of amazing people who are really hard workers and are always striving to take the show to the next level,” Francis said.

The main goal for Artrageous is to share their passion for the arts with communities.

“We really feel strongly that the arts are so incredible for your brain, health, and well-being and we love to share that. It’s just sharing a love of the arts with people and we hope that people leave feeling like joyful or maybe a little happier than when they walked in, getting to experience something they’ve never have before, and (having) just a nice heightened sense of community of having done something together with each other which I think is really cool,” Francis said.

She said the audience’s creative expressions is the heart of their shows.

“It’s about releasing the kid inside yourself for a couple of hours and just having a really fun time and you don’t need to be creative, and you don’t need to have ever picked up a pencil and drawn something ... you just like to have a good time, have fun, (and) share an experience with your friends. “I’ll say if you’re on the edge of wondering if you should come, just come,” Francis said. 

If you go …

WHAT: Artrageous
WHERE: The Maryland Theatre, 21 S Potomac St, downtown Hagerstown 
WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, March 14
COST: $19 to $49
CONTACT: Call 301-790-3500 or go to www.mdtheatre.org/Artrageous.php

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