DivaFest: A Celebration of Women Playwrights

The Divine Alchemists by Lucy Fields

You are all the woman you will ever need to be. Right now.

About the Play: What makes you who you are? When a young trans woman named Aerith (Heiress) uncovers her identity, she begins a project to catalog the ways that LGBTQ+ youth create their sense of self from the ground up. As she resiliently learns the art of transformation and presentation, Aerith and her three best friends navigate loss and friendship while challenge the structures that erase their transness. This moving and hilarious coming-of-age story joyfully guides you through the social alchemy of discovering yourself.

Lucy Fields is an actress, playwright, and all-around theatre-maker from Indianapolis. She holds a B.S. in Theatre with a concentration in performance and directing from the University of Indianapolis. 


The Indy Eleven Theatre –  4/28, 4/29, 5/04, 5/05, 5/06 – 7:30PM | 4/30 – 2:00PM 

The Divine Alchemists by Lucy Fields

Ballad of the Book Women by J. E. Hibbard

Without libraries and the education they provide and encourage, we simply cannot expect to have a country of educated people. – Eleanor Roosevelt

About the Play: When Eleanor Roosevelt announces that she will be going on tour to support public libraries and the packhorse librarian project, four charming Appalachian librarians and their mule, Nellie, work to bring their little library up to snuff. From fording streams to fending off criminals, these women will do anything to secure a meaningful education for their community, and they’ll do it with a song in their heart. This inspiring historical play with music sings the songs and tells the stories of a community of passionate women who fought for the joy of knowledge and equitable schooling in the hills of depression-era America. 

J. E. Hibbard (Sweet Dreams Pillowman, A (Happy) Holiday, Plutonian Grove) is a neurodivergent Playwright, Performer, Singer, and Storyteller who has lived in Indiana their entire life with 30+ years of theatrical experiences. Hibbard’s immersion in the arts has lead them here; writing plays for Women (all women), invisible illnesses, animal rights, often incorporating music into the realm of dark comedy or dramedy. 


The IndyFringe Basile Theatre –  4/28, 4/29, 5/04, 5/05, 5/06 – 8:00PM | 4/30 – 2:30PM 

Ballad of the Book Women by J.E. Hibbard

Interested in these incredible plays? There are so many ways to get involved and enrich your DivaFest Experience.

  • April 28 – June 1 – Local portrait artist, Nicholas May, presents two pieces from his hit show Fag Family depicting trans and non binary subjects. Enjoy the paintings in the lobby prior to The Divine Alchemists throughout the run of the show.
  • April 28 – Opening night! – Celebrate the opening of these fabulous shows and join the IndyFringe team for a toast after Ballad of the Book Women.
  • Ballad of the Book Women book exchange – Do you love literature? Is there a book you’ve been wanting to share with the world? Bring a book to the theatre for this production of Ballad of the Book Women and exchange it for another from our little pack-horse library. Plus you can catch up on your history by scanning any of the miniature museum placards posted throughout the theatre. 
  •  Visit the Trans Community resource table – For guests wanting to learn more about the trans experience in Indiana, and for those who have friends or loved ones who are trans, visit the trans community resource table for literature from local organizations supporting trans youth. 
  • Thursday, May 4 – Volunteer Reception – Are you interested in becoming an IndyFringe volunteer? Each year, our festival depends upon dozens of community members who uplift the performing arts in Indianapolis with their welcoming smiles and spirits. Join us as we celebrate our current volunteers and learn more about our joyful fringe community. Registrants will receive a Buy One Get One Free coupon for DivaFest. – 6:00PM – 7:30PM
  • Thursday, May 4 – Scrapbooking extravaganza – Scrapbooking was an essential part of how the Pack Horse Librarians brought news to their constituents. Join us for a light-hearted free crafting hour before the show to celebrate and honor this tradition. –  7:00PM – 8:00PM
  • Friday, May 5 – Post Show Conversation with IndyReads – Cat Cardwell of IndyReads joins the cast and crew of Ballad of the Book Women for a conversation about the show and about how we can continue to support 100% literacy for all – Immediately After the Show
  • Saturday, May 6 – Join the Conversation: A Forum on New Work – Join this year’s Divas as they break down their DivaFest experience and the process of making a new play. Offer your own thoughts and experiences as we work to make our new work development programs even more accessible and inclusive. This coffee hour conversation will be moderated by Becky Schlomann. – 11:00AM – 12:30PM – Register now


This engagement is supported by the Arts Midwest GIG Fund, a program of Arts Midwest that is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from The Indiana Arts Commission.

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