After a full year of learning and taking direction, theatre students will soon gain license to express their own creativity in the upcoming 2011 CU Fringe Festival.
This week the annual Fringe Festival prepares to dive into its weekend-long set of plays and artistic performances. Students will showcase their own creations, which range from plays to film, comedy and musical performances. CU Onstage, a student group for theatre, sponsors the festival and all events are free to the public.
Many students seem to know little about the festival. Coby Greenberg, a 22-year-old senior film studies major, said he did not see much advertising this year.
“This is the first year I’ve heard about it, which is a bummer because I think it’s something that should be accessible but people don’t really see it around,” Greenberg said.
But there are plenty of CU students who have been waiting a long time for the weekend of festivities. Participants have been preparing for the festival since the beginning of the semester, writing play proposals, holding castings and rehearsing.
Twenty-year-old junior BFA performance major, Passion Lyons, said Fringe is especially exciting because of its liberating nature.
“It’s just your first time to have complete reign over what you want to do,” Lyons said. “You can create your own piece, you can direct it, you can be cast as anything you would never be cast as … So people are just very excited to have total control over their art.”
Lyons is performing in a show called “Songs I’ll Never Sing,” which is considered a staple of the festival. The show gives actors an opportunity to portray musical characters that they would not normally be cast as in a professional show.
“I’ll be singing ‘Mister Snow’ from ‘Carousel,’” Lyons said. “It’s going to be ridiculous and funny…because you’re playing people you would probably never play in your life.”
The whole Fringe Festival tends to carry a lighthearted feeling. With plays like “Harry Potter and the Musical”, the festival works to cultivate a fun atmosphere.
Kelsey Kaisershot, a 21-year-old senior BFA performance major, said the festival is a time for students to develop their work, but also let loose.
“It’s frustrating on the one hand because you wish you had all the time in the world for these projects,” Kaisershot said. “But because of that, it really enforces a fun, playful environment. The whole building is like a circus all weekend.”
Kaisershot is the writer and director of her musical called “Criminal Minds, The Musical.” The satirical piece is based on the CBS drama “Criminal Minds,” and features popular music with lyrics changed here and there. Kaisershot said she purposefully cast actors with little musical experience, upholding the here’s-your-chance mentality of the Fringe Festival.
Each day of Fringe is packed with performances every hour to half an hour. Notable non-play acts include Left Right Tim Improv, a Drag Show, indie-rock band Ivory Drive and the film “Captured.” Kaisershot said there were a few lesser-known plays she thought were worth seeing.
“I’m really excited to see ‘Out at Sea,’” Kaisershot said. “I have no idea what it’s about, but the group of people is very funny. So I’m excited to see what they do when they’re put in a room together.”
The CU Fringe Festival runs April 22 through April 24. To learn more about the Fringe Festival visit the CU Onstage website.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Stephanie Riesco at Stephanie.firstname.lastname@example.org.