Fort Collins Fringe Festival provides a platform for local and emerging artists to explore their passion for performance, and the city of Fort Collins gets to enjoy the show.
This year’s festival occurred July 27-30. Here are the five best performances:
“Premonitions” is an original play by Dominique Mickelson, a junior at Front Range Community College. The performance explores issues like depression, anxiety, abusive relationships, rape and self healing. Mickelson found her cast and started directing them two months before the Fringe Festival weekend, creating a heart wrenching performance in a short period of time.
Ben Means, a star in Mickelson’s play, said he enjoyed performing in the venue.
“There’s an intimacy of theater in a small space that helps ground the piece in reality in an abrupt way,” Means said. “For this play, it’s crucial to blend the fourth wall for the audience to identify more with the characters.”
“Premonitions” won the Windsor Community House Best of Fringe award.
2. “Under the Stars with Brews and the Bard: As You Like It”
Band of Toughs, a theater group from Boulder, put on the Shakespeare play “As You Like It” with modifications, creating a half-Shakespeare and half-Band of Toughs performance.
This play is a romantic comedy that explores relationships. The Band of Tough’s version was particularly unique because it took place throughout the Lee Martinez Park.
“I would encourage people to go to a Fringe Festival to push their own boundaries,” said Monica Dionysiou, an actress with the Band of Toughs. “There are all kinds of performances, and it gives people an opportunity to ‘binge watch’ a variety of live performances.”
Band of Toughs won the Audience Pick award.
3. “The Eggplant and Other Domestic Incidents”
Natalie Scarlett, the director and writer of “The Eggplant and Other Domestic Incidents,” uses improv to explore the intimacy of a relationship that has transcended words. As the audience entered the venue for this performance, they each drew a card to determine the order of the performance they were about to witness, making them a decision maker for the actor’s script.
“The performance is an impression of an intimate relationship,” Scarlett said. “With this idea (of drawing cards), all of the scenes seem to be happening simultaneously. “Although the characters and themes stay the same, the chronology changes, which gives different meanings to each scene.”
Scarlett is currently writing a new screenplay.
4. “The Awkward Fives: Improv Comedy Show”
The Awkward Fives is a collective group of actors that got together a month and a half before performing at the Fort Collins Fringe Festival. Their show consisted of improv games, and the audience helped determine the setting of each scene. Some of the stand out story lines included Eleanor Roosevelt as a bachelorette and a story about Franklin the red zebra.
“Improv is not that easy of an art form though,” said Kambrie Kriegshauser, an actor with the Awkward Fives. “Practicing improv is vulnerable; the subconscious tends to come up in improv.”
5. “Impossibilities: A Magical Date Night”
James Lopez, also known as “The Amazing James,” performed a date night full of magic. Lopez said he loves involving couples in his shows.
“I do magic because I get to do things like this tonight,” Lopez said, introducing himself to the audience. “I get to create connections and opportunities between people.”
Lopez said he loves performing the Fort Collins Fringe Festival because he gets to try something different every night.
“Fort Collins Fringe Festival offers how much creativity is in Fort Collins besides what’s marketed,” Lopez said. “Artists get a platform to try new things, (and) the shows are ones that can’t be seen anywhere else.”
Fringe Festival Award Winners:
- Artist’s Pick: “Move: A Mountain Goat’s Monologue”
- Audience’s Pick: “Under the Stars with Brews and the Bard: As You Like It”
- Windsor Community House Best of Fringe: “Premonitions”
Reporter Julia Trowbridge can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on twitter @chapin_jules.