Erie Fringe Fest continues throughout February

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Erie Fringe Fest, a month-long performing arts celebration inspired by the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, kicked off last Friday with Comedy Knight.
The Knight Club was packed with an enthusiastic crowd as students and alumni performed stand-up comedy routines. The evening, hosted by the charismatic Rev. Shawn Clerkin, was an uproarious success.
Maddie Rowley, a junior physician assistant major, enjoyed the range of comedic styles, ranging from dark to deadpan and potty humor to existential musings.
“Sometimes I was laughing with the comedians and sometimes at the comedians,” Rowley joked. “All in good fun!”
If you missed Comedy Knight, fear not. Three more Fringe Fest productions will take the stage in the coming weeks, all held at the Schuster Theatre and spearheaded by students.
Lauren Sovisky, a senior communication arts major, is one of the students involved in bringing Fringe Fest to life.
“Sometimes I think people forget Gannon has a theater and Fringe Fest is this month-long theater extravaganza where there is a new show nearly every week,” said Sovisky.
“It gives those of us here at the theater a chance to be creative and show off our work. It’s also a great way for students on campus to witness some unique pieces. This year, most of the shows are fully student-created, written, directed and produced. What you’re seeing was written by people at the same point in life as you, which makes the shows super relatable and relevant.”
All Fringe Fest productions are free and open to the public, but donations are welcomed. Funds raised will be used to help send Gannon students to the 2020 International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. In Edinburgh, students will have an opportunity to present their original works while soaking in performances from around the globe.
Upcoming Fringe Fest productions include “Endgame,” “Therapy” and “The 23:59:59 Show.”
“Endgame,” directed by Alaina Manchester, is a four-character play that explores the cyclical nature of beginnings and endings through bleak humor. It takes the stage 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.
“Therapy,” written and directed by senior theatre communication major Molly Cooke, focuses on the various challenges that modern students face. It will be performed at 8 p.m. Feb. 19-20.
Fringe Fest 2019 will wrap up with the notorious “23:59:59 Show.” Members of the Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Theatre Fraternity will spend 24 hours creating a show from scratch, then perform it immediately afterward. This unique, one-night-only production will take the stage at 8 p.m. on Feb. 23.
The Gannon family is encouraged to attend Fringe Fest productions to show support for the theater community while enjoying high-quality, thought-provoking pieces.

ALEX STAUFF
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