Rochester’s new Fringe Festival provides showcase for RIT

Students, faculty offer diverse and unexpected expressions of theater, art, music and more

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A. Sue Weisler

Among RIT’s contributions to the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival is AstroDance, a series of pieces related to astrophysics and the phenomenon of black holes. From left are Nicholas Shaw; Thomas Warfield, director of the NTID Dance Ensemble; and Joseph Fox.

Rochester Institute of Technology students and faculty will have a chance to show their right-brain proclivities at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival Sept. 19–23.

“RIT is renowned for intertwining the arts with technology and innovation,” says Meredith Smith, associate vice president for government and community relations. “Now everyone can see RIT’s arts community come to life at the Fringe with more than 20 performances and exhibits.”

Theater, film, music, art, multidisciplinary projects and a fashion show of wearable technology are among the RIT presentations. Most are free. RIT performances and exhibits will take place at The Little Theater complex, 240 East Ave.; Christ Church, 141 East Ave.; and at Gallery r, 100 College Ave., all in downtown Rochester.

Spirits Within, a collaboration among Eastman School of Music professor Stephen Kennedy, dancers from FuturePointe Dance Company and RIT professor Marla Schweppe’s 3-D Digital Design students, will receive four performances at Christ Church (admission $10).

“A lot of people don’t think of the arts when they think of RIT. They think of technology,” Schweppe says. “This festival is a wonderful opportunity to show what we can do.”

The RIT Players will be performing four one-act plays written by members of the group.

The festival is a chance reveal an aspect of RIT that many people may not have seen before, says student Brittany Remington, vice president and marketing director for the RIT Players. “Arts and theater culture is one of RIT’s hidden gems.”

For a complete list of RIT performances, go to

For more on the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, go to