RIT events continue at Rochester Fringe Festival

10-day festival concludes Saturday evening

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A. Sue Weisler

Visitors to RIT’s Photo House exhibit last weekend during the Fringe Fest at the Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. The free exhibit continues through the festival, which concludes Saturday night.

About 2,500 people attended free performances and events by Rochester Institute of Technology students, faculty and staff during the first weekend of the 2015 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. The event of more than 500 eclectic performances continues though Saturday at various venues in downtown Rochester.

RIT is a sponsor of the community collaborative event, now in its fourth year. The festival is a celebration of the performing and visual arts in downtown Rochester, featuring world-renowned performers as well as up-and-comers.

View a video from RIT performances from the first weekend of the festival.

RIT-related events this coming weekend include Al Biles and GenJam jazz, The Galileo Band (faculty), Dangerous Signs, Digital Stories from RIT performance art, Kill House live art, Vocal Accent a capella, Signatures Magazine Presents poetry, Eight Beat Measure, Brick City Singers, RIT Surround Sound, Proof of Purchase, RIT Players Backstage, RIT Singers, The Sunshine Group and RIT Improv comedy.

All RIT-related events are free and will be held at Gallery r, 100 College Ave.; Little Theatre and the Little Café, 240 East Ave. Some performances at other venues may require tickets, which will range from $3 to $25.

An art exhibit, Theater of War, features images of war and a performance of how contemporary conflict is absorbed in popular culture. Players will create narratives based on news accounts of current conflicts.

“The First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival brings artists to our city who are not afraid to think outside the box and take risks,” said Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren. “Events like this improve the quality of life in Rochester, which helps us create more jobs, safer and more vibrant streets, and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

Luane Davis Haggerty, director of Dangerous Signs, said it is important to be part of such a large community art event.

“One of RIT’s missions is innovation,” she said. “Fringe theater is innovation at its finest, so having students involved and exposed to a level of experimental and experiential theater opens new pathways for them.”

Here’s a sampling of other RIT festival offerings:

  • RIT Singers, Eight Beat Measure, RIT Vocal Accent and Proof of Purchase, perform a variety of repertoire.
  • Signatures Poetry: Signatures Magazine, RIT’s award-winning undergraduate art and literary magazine, offers poetry and prose readings by RIT students, faculty, staff and alumni.
  • Brick City Singers: RIT’s all-male a cappella group and Hawaiian shirt enthusiasts perform a broad repertoire of “good time” music with some wacky antics and amusing skits.
  • Dangerous Signs: An American Sign Language performance group that uses mime, dance, sign and music to illustrate community in collaboration.
  • RIT Improv: On the Fringe. Three teams, The Improvessionals, BrainWreck Improv and Work in Progress will demonstrate the art of improvisation storytelling.
  • The Sunshine Group won the 2014 RIT Battle of the Bands and will perform.
  • Digital Stories from RIT: Student performances include readings by the works of RIT students, blending social media platforms with fictional and familiar settings, and combining local elements and wild imaginings.

For a complete schedule of RIT Fringe events (and notations on interpreted performances) as well as the shuttle schedule to and from RIT, go to www.rit.edu/fringefest or contact RIT Director of Special Events, Lynn Rowoth, at 585-475-7408 or lynn.rowoth@rit.edu.

Note: Video available for this story