ABSFest is proud to offer Burlesque, Circus and Business Workshops! Train with artists from around the country in the ABSfest Sexy Seminary in stagecraft, circus arts, fire performance, burlesque and more. Open to all levels! Dive on in. Click the yellow “Add to Cart” button under the workshop description to purchase. *You will be redirected to PayPal to complete purchase.

EDUCATION is an essential component of ABSfest. JOIN US FOR WORKSHOPS! Our Accessibility Discussion is FREE TO ALL. Our other classes are amazingly priced at $35 adv./$45 day of.

Saturday, May 23, 2020






Intro to Poi and Voi with Dana Beaufait & Sako

Songwriting with Charming Disaster

Orange Peel Main Stage

Orange Peel Community Room


Burlesque at its Best When it all Goes Wrong with May Hemmer

Orange Peel Main Stage


FREE Community Discussion: Making Our Events Accessible to Disabled & Recovering Artists with Brawling Beauty and Tik Tok

Orange Peel Community Room

Songwriting Workshop with Charming Disaster

This 90-minute interactive songwriting workshop is geared toward both beginner and experienced songwriters. It will be fun and low-stakes, but also give you practical tools you can use in your own creative practice.

Together we will explore tools, tricks and techniques for generating inspiration, crafting lyrics, and working through creative blocks, including: songwriting prompts, mind-mapping exercises, what are the right questions to ask when you feel stuck, and more. We’ll do exercises and write a song together to put these approaches into practice. Although this workshop is focused on songwriting, most of the techniques we explore are relevant for any kind of art or performance.

This workshop is taught by singer/songwriter collaborators Ellia Bisker and Jeff Morris of Charming Disaster, who have written hundreds of songs (many of them together) and released numerous albums (many of them together). 

Intro to Poi and Voi with Sako Tumi and Dana Beaufait

Come sample the beautiful and meditative arts of Poi and Voi, also known as Vei Poi! Dana Beaufait is the ORIGINAL creator of Veil Poi and has taught this stage-worthy skill in the US and Japan to flow artists, bellydancers, variety performers and folks just looking for something new and fun! Sako Tumi is a career artist and adept Poi-spinner, specializing in fire and LED light-up Poi. Together they will offer an overview of basic technique with each prop, and some more in-depth tricks for the willing. Both Poi and Voi will be available for loan and purchase at the class. 

Free Community Discussion: Making Welcoming Spaces for Accessibility and Recovery in Performance Art with Brawling Beauty & Tik Tok


Are you an event producer wanting to make your shows more accessible to Disabled folks and artists in Recovery? Wondering what it takes to be a better ally, to accommodate service animals, wheelchairs, or folks with sensory overload? In this community discussion, join Tik Tok and Brawling Beauty as they share their experiences, tips and best practices for good allies. More festivals are taking concrete steps toward allyship; let’s build on that trend by taking time to listen, learn and share!

‘The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.’ -Alan Watts

Burlesque at its Best When it all Goes Wrong with May Hemmer

The wrong music plays…the music shuts off…you’re working with a live band…it all goes wrong. What do you do?! How can you save the situation? Let’s work on the fine art of going with the flow. We’ll stretch, warm up and share a couple of hilarious stories of stage nightmares before exploring some show-stopping, routine-saving tactics. We will also practice some graceful moves to cover tripping, falling, slipping, etc. Our cool down period will be followed by a Q&A. Bring your dancing shoes, because we will be grooving! There will be NO choreo to learn for this class. It’s all about getting out of your comfort zone. ALL LEVELS.

The festival is happy to offering SOBER MEET-UPS with Clyf Hangar for our sober artists. Meeting information will be available to festival artists.

SOBER MEET-UPS with Clyf Hangar

The Safetease Zone is a sober space for ABSFest artists, staff and support crew  to come and just feel safe, be able to speak their truth, or sit in a space with others who might share your experience.  

From Clyf: “Coming into burlesque, I had so many things to consider. Will I be accepted with my body type, skin, age, and gender? Can I do this without taking a drink or drug? Will I be the only sober one? I realized that I’m not alone. People in the community have shown me grace and support solely from speaking my truth. I was allowed my spot at the table and I want to create that space for everyone!” Join us for a warm, welcoming meet-up for our sober artists.

Friday – Midnight meeting at the staff lodging, address on the artists log-in page.
Saturday – possible check-in lunch, Schedule tba.
Sunday – 2pm Farewell meeting at the Grey Eagle before the bus

Classes will be held at The Orange Peel – 101 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC 28801