With more than 165 shows performing five times each on 19 stages across the Twin Cities area, the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival, one of the largest in the nation, looks to be even bigger than last year’s record festival. Through it all, Gustavus theatre and dance and music alumni, along with current students and faculty will play a major role in the 12-day festival. Scheduled in theaters, dance studios, and concert halls from July 31 through August 11, this year’s Fringe Festival will include nine performances written, directed, choreographed, danced and acted by Gusties. Tickets, additional information, and venues for each performance are available at the Festival’s website.
Nine shows with Gustavus connections are known to be a part of this year’s festival. The Gustavus-connected shows selected by the Fringe lottery to be a part of the annual festival range from drama to musical theatre, comedy, dance, and a category called “Something Different,” and will shine a very bright spotlight on the quality and range of talent we’ve come to expect from graduates of the Gustavus departments of theatre and dance and music.
The Gustavus-connected performances for audiences to look for are:
- THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA – UNSCRIPTED
- GRAY DUCK
- ENTRE NOSOTROS (BETWEEN US)
- THE JUNGLE BOOK
- BANG-BANG, MISS AMERICAN PIE
- ON THE MOVE
- FLUSHING NEW YORK
CIRCULATE: “From the hive-mind that brought you the 2013 Audience Pick Clocked comes a new creation, Circulate, a wacky wink into the weird world of news. In an age of buzz feed, gossip columns, and satirical TV news programs,Circulate shines a spotlight on how we create and relate to news media. Guittar Productions devises dance/comedy/physical theater hybrids, hailed by critics as: “a raucously comedic experience”, “magic from the mundane”, and “an exuberant and entertaining mixture… great energy from a young company.”
The directors and cast for Circulate include Renee Guittar ’12, Sarah Jabar ’10, Benjamin Kolis ’12, Rush Benson ’13, Rob Ward ’14, Julio Zelaya ’12, Jordan Bergman ’15, Megan Myhre ’11, and Thalia Bea Kostman.
Circulate will also be presented in Jussi Björling Recital Hall on Sunday, Sept. 28 as part of the 2014 Gustavus Artist Series. Tickets will be available online at gustavustickets.com after Sept. 1.
THE HISTORY OF MINNESOTA — UNSCRIPTED: Brought to you by the same actors who founded the Gustavus improvisation troupe LineUs, The History of Minnesota — Unscripted begins with the premise that “Minnesota has a reputation for being a nice place. But one peek into state history reveals 10,000 tales of intrigue not fit for a church basement supper. Five historians take the stage to tell some of the best TRUE tales of state history you’ve never heard. The twist? The cast of improvisers will bring the historical stories to life through completely unscripted comedy theater. What happens when Minnesota’s historical characters—gangsters, madams, movie stars, and politicians—go through the improv comedy machine? Find out at The History of Minnesota, Unscripted! The stories told are those of historical figures Patrick Coleman, Richard Rousseau, Wendy Jones, Doug Hoverson and Lori Sturdevant.
The cast, from The Theatre of Public Policy, includes Brandon Boat ’08, Tane Danger ’07, Andrew Haaheim ’09, Maggie Sotos ’09 and Jim Robinson.
GRAY DUCK: A new play, Gray Duck, by Gustavus Professor of Theatre and Dance Amy Seham, will be her seventh original script to be presented at the Minnesota Fringe Festival. This year, the new company, Market Garden Theatre, has commissioned the play in collaboration with Wolf’s Mouth productions. Inspired in part by Ibsen’s Wild Duck, the new play depicts four recent college graduates who wrestle with love, work, and the meaning of life in the millennium. With humor and sympathy, the play follows a young idealist, a disillusioned composer, a radical artist, and a computer nerd, as each character confronts his or her own “life lie.” Gray Duck is co-produced by Gustavus alumnus, Ethan Bjelland ’12, who also appears in the play, along with recent alumna, Connie Boatwright ’14.
ENTRE NOSOTROS (BETWEEN US): Including performances by 2010 graduate Jordan Klitzke and fellow dancer/choreographer Melissa Herrada, Entre Nosotros is an “original dance/theater, Mexican/US, Spanish/English collaboration where two strangers uncover the beautifully complex relationship between language, culture, and each other.” Speakers (and lovers) of any language will connect with the joys and struggles of being in this foreign place.
BANG-BANG, MISS AMERICAN PIE: Produced by Forgotten Goddess Productions and written by Cristina Florencia Castro,Bang-Bang features Comfort Dolo ’14, who will play the “Personification of America” in this dark comedy about America, the sex lives of Habitat for Humanity volunteers, and that feeling of not knowing who you are or what the hell is going on.
STRANGETALK is a physical theatre piece described by the Fringe Festival as “a new, wacky show, based on our experiences of everyday (mis)communication. Mime, acrobatics, and clowning bring these characters and vignettes to life, along with electronic compositions, foreign languages, 80’s style dance, and other talents from the cast.” Strangetalk is directed by Thalia Bea Kostman and choreographed by Renee Guittar ’12. The large cast includes dancer Jordan Bergman ’15.
THE JUNGLE BOOK: This Top Hat Theatre production turns the Rudyard Kipling children’s story into an appropriate for all ages musical theatre comedy for this year’s Fringe Festival. Featuring recent grad Rob Ward ’14 as King Louie, The Jungle Book encourages you to “Stomp on down to the Seeonee Hills Jungle for a magical, musical, energy packed adventure! Join Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and friends as together they discover the true meaning of family and the cherished value of love.” An adaptation from Kipling’s novel and Disney’s film, Rob calls it ” 3 quarters Kipling and 1 quarter Disney” and it’s appropriate for all ages.
ON THE MOVE: A large Gustavus cast brings the Ogren-Dehn production of the dance On The Move to the Intermedia Arts stage for the Fringe Festival. “We are spending time in transit: waiting, pacing, on the move, going somewhere. This movement-based show dances through space in jazz, tap, and modern while keeping the rhythm of time on the go.”Directors and cast for On The Moveinclude Hollie Edlund ’13, Rachel Johnson ’13, Sophia Ogren-Dehn ’13, Johnny Bates ’14, Max Beyer ’12, Dan Burnett ’13, Teige Cudahy ’13, Kelsey Hanstad ’14, Allie Kalkman ’14, Erin Simon ’12, and Isaac Edlund.
FLUSHING NEW YORK: The University of Minnesota’s Rarig Center Thrust stage is the site of the third original Fringe Festival show written by Kevin Bowen ’83, who is joined in this venture by his wife, Lynn Pierson Bowen ’82. Bowen describes Flushing New York as “a comedy about two brothers (and their wives) who work for the same plumbing company in Manhattan, but root for different baseball teams during the 1955 Subway Playoffs.”
Scheduling information and tickets for all 169 shows included in the 2014 Minnesota Fringe Festival are available online on the Festival’s website. All tickets are priced at $12 and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Watch this site for additional performances including Gustavus theatre and dance alumni and current students. Updates will be made as additional information is received.
169 shows. 5 performances each. 19 stages. 12 days. Enjoy the Fringe!
Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin