Gannon University Hosts Fringe Fest

Posted: February 8, 2016

Students and faculty in Gannon University's theatre department won't be going to Scotland for this summer's International Collegiate Theatre Festival/Edinburgh Festival Fringe, but instead, they will bring a bit of the festival to Erie.

The Fringe at Gannon University offers a taste of the experience of the Edinburgh festival, which is known for productions featuring smaller casts, edgy material and non-traditional staging.

"This experience is not about coming up with a complete production design," said Fringe producer Jax Vadney. "It's scaling things down to the essentials and focusing on character, props and costume."

In Edinburgh, the Gannon University students were given a single two-hour rehearsal to adjust to the performance space. Because the Erie Fringe productions are not performed in the Schuster Theatre, the experience is very much like what the students will encounter on their next trip to Edinburgh in 2017.

"We model that exact process here," Vadney said. "It teaches the students the structure that happens in Scotland, gives them ownership and also teaches them to have responsibility."

"I want to see their process and what they're learning. Are they getting practical experience so that when they graduate they can say they know what it means to design or direct?"  

Vadney pointed out that because Schuster Theatre main-stage productions are directed by faculty, the student directors of the Erie Fringe plays can get valuable feedback on their process, their strengths and areas for improvement.

For the sixth year, the Erie Fringe Fest will include local producing theaters throughout Erie, including All An Act Theatre Productions, Dramashop and PACA.

Schuster Theatre productions:

"An Apartment With Grayson"

Written and directed by Michael Fujito

Feb. 8 and 9 at 8 p.m.

Zurn Hall, Rm. 101

*NOTE - This play includes stage violence, sudden loud noises and adult language. The production is not appropriate for those under the age of 16 without an adult.

"Six Sigma"

Written and directed by Michael Haas

Feb. 22 and 23 at 8 p.m.

Palumbo Academic Center, third floor lounge.

NOTE: Some productions, both on campus and off campus, may contain adult language and situations. Admission to all on-campus productions is $5 with the proceeds supporting the Schuster Theatre's participation in the International Collegiate Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in August 2017. For more information about Fringe Fest Erie, please contact Fringe producer Jax Vadney at vadney003@gannon.edu.