ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — The Rochester Fringe Festival starts a week from today.
The festival, which runs from September 13 through the 24, has shows from music, to art, to performance art, to comedy, and everything in-between. The producer of the festival, Erica Fee, discussed the festival in the News 8 studio Tuesday.
When we say multidisciplinary when we’re talking about fringe, what does that mean? What kind of shows are in the Rochester Fringe Festival?
Sure. So the Rochester Fringe is now the largest multidisciplinary Performing Arts Festival in New York State. And that encompasses everything from theater to comedy, music to dance, children’s entertainment, and shows that can’t even be categorized to be quite honest.
Local, national talent, what’s that kind of blend or percentage like?
Well, we have a whole range of talent. Many local people are involved, also regional, national and international. We have some very big shows coming in, that are international productions. But it’s a range of people from emerging to superstar. And most of the people who perform at the fringe are from New York State at least, but we do have people from all over the place.
And when we’re talking about the actual formatting of it, what kind of specific venues are there a lot of street performances… just broad-stroke it for us, what kind of you know what people can go to in terms of venues and locations.
So the festival is a bifurcated festival, meaning there are two halves and we have a section that’s curated by the venues themselves, so that’s venues like Geva Theatre Center, Eastman School of Music School of the Arts, the JCC, the list goes on and on. And then we have some headliners that the Fringe itself produces. So those include our big shows that are free outside public access at Parcell, Five and Martin Luther King, Jr. Park. And we also have for all 12 days of the festival, we place what’s called a Spiegel tent, at the corner of Main Street and Gibbs Street across from the Eastman Theatre and we have 12 days of entertainment in that Spiegeltent.
In 2020, you guys did essentially an online-only festival. 2021 was hybrid. This is the most in-person it’s ever been here in 2022. How did you know this was the right call to do it this way this year? And do you guys still have any COVID protocols that people should know about?
Well, one thing that we really discovered this year was how hungry performing artists were to get back on stage. We were actually overwhelmed with submissions this year, more submissions than ever before. So we really felt that this was the time to get back totally in person. Some of our very big venues are back this year for the first time since 2019. Those include the Spiegeltent, Geva, Theatre Center and School of the Arts. And we are just thrilled to have everybody back in person. We do still have a few online shows though, because we don’t think that that’s going away that does provide people with an option if they can’t physically get to the fringe.
We appreciate you taking a few minutes. It’s coming up really fast. You plan these years in advance. it’s Coming up pretty soon here.
It’s a little stressful if I’m honest with you, but we’re very excited. We’ve got a great team together and all the shows are really excited too; and it’s going to be a lot of fun.