Fringe Festival Highlights Art, Film and Theater

The 18th annual Ursinus Fringe Festival, Oct. 4 through Oct. 7, showcases the creative talents of artists on campus and in the community.

Student one-act plays begin at 5:30 p.m. in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on Oct. 4, followed by a Fringe launch party in the Kaleidoscope lobby and an art walk at 6:30 p.m.

The one-act plays include Cutting Hairs by Tommy Armstrong ’20; Mac and Beth by David Walters ’18; and On Your Shoulders Ink and Pillow Problems by Claire Hughes ’20.

Modeled after the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, Ursinus Fringe is a community-driven event that takes place in several locations on campus, including the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center and Olin Plaza.

Some of the acts are a collection of student one-act plays, and it will also showcase various acts from beyond Ursinus, including a balloon artist and professional drag performers from Philadelphia and New Hope, including hostess Miss Thunder Showers and the winner of Philly Drag Wars, Anita Manhattan.

One of the especially exciting aspects of Fringe is the opportunity for Ursinus students to feature their own artistic work, says Dominick Scudera, a professor of theater and Ursinus Fringe coordinator.

“This year, students from the Sculpture I class will present an art walk, featuring illuminated and site-specific artwork,” Scudera says. “In addition, there are three student playwrights presenting their latest works, and a Fringe Cabaret that will feature a variety of student performers.”

Scudera described Fringe Festival as “an exciting opportunity for artists to try out new ideas and present fresh material to audiences. The Ursinus Fringe Festival brings professional artists to campus to share their work, and also provides a forum for Ursinus artists to present as well.”

Fringe might also spark interest with film buffs: along with short films dedicated to the festival of dance cinema, there will also be an off-campus film screening.

“We are also taking the Fringe on the road this year,” Scudera says. “There will be a bus to Phoenixville to bring students to an exclusive screening of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”  

Fringe’s diversity of events, from theater to film to dance, illustrates the wide range of talent in and around our community. In response to what is rewarding about working on the upcoming festival, Scudera notes, “The Fringe Festival allows art to flourish on our campus—and that is always a worthwhile endeavor.”

Events include:

Wednesday, Oct. 4

5:30 p.m., Blackbox Studio Theater: Student one-act plays.

6:30 p.m., Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center: Fringe launch party and art walk (in various locations).

Thursday, Oct. 5

Noon, Olin Plaza: Balloon artist Megan Weber.

6 p.m., Lenfest Theater: Dance Cinema Festival featuring short films from around the world with choreography for the camera in a myriad of forms and expressions. Brought to Ursinus in partnership with the Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema.

9 p.m., Blackbox Studio Theater: Drag Show.

Friday, Oct. 6

Noon, outside the Kaleidoscope: Flash Mob. Join the cast of Hair for music and the creation of a human peace sign.

10 p.m., Colonial Theatre in Phoenixville (bus leaves campus at 9:30 p.m.): Screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Saturday, Oct. 7

7 p.m., Blackbox Studio Theater: Ursinus Fringe Cabaret, followed by a 90s dance party sponsored by Seismic Step. —By Madison Bradley ’18