Fringe at Home offers a silver lining

Around Town

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival at Home will take place virtually this year with over 170 different productions between September 15-26.

Fringe Festival Producer Erica Fee discussed how the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the planning of the festival but not taken away its spirit Friday during News 8 at Noon.

“It will definitely be different but it will also be engaging,” said Fee. “We will still have the wide variety of shows that people have come to expect from the Fringe and it will be totally safe. So it’s a great way to dip your toe into the performing arts and remain safe at home.”

Fee said about forty percent of this year’s Fringe shows will originate from outside the Rochester area. “There’s a bit of a silver lining to all of this in that we are able to not just expand our artist pool but also expand our audience pool this year.”

New this year is something called Fringe Talk. “We have a four-part artist-led conversation series this year – totally free – called Fringe Talk,” explained Fee. “Really the point of it is to engage the public and let audiences see behind the scenes of it, see what artists are thinking and to be able to ask some questions of artists themselves. We have four Fringe Talks this year. We kick off on September 16 with ‘Black Lives Matter and the Performing Arts.’ On September 17 we have a Comedy edition called ‘Too Soon: Comedy in 2020’ and that one will feature Tim Meadows who many know from SNL and stand-up comedian Maria Bamford.”

Fee said anyone can go to the website and search for shows right now. “There are all sorts of filters so you can search by the type of genre that you enjoy whether it be theatre or comedy, dance, music, multi-disciplinary works, children’s entertainment, etcetera or by age range or by ticket price even. About 70 of our shows are totally free. The rest are very low in price. Ticket prices range from a couple of dollars to $25. You can buy tickets now and you will receive in your email inbox a link. We have two types of shows. We have on-demand shows which can be viewed anytime throughout the festival and that’s a little bit like watching Netflix or renting a movie and then we also have live stream shows, about 200 live stream performances.”

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