The Rochester Fringe Festival is a 10-day extravaganza of shows held every year, showcasing several types of unique art from international, national and local artists.
Among the various spectacles includes the show “Write Like a Girl,” which consists of Geneseo’s very own lovely ladies: English majors juniors Jennifer Galvao and Isabel Owen, English and adolescent education major senior Arianna Miller and political science major sophomore Jasmine Cui. Each student will be sharing their original creative writing pieces with a prominent motif of women’s empowerment.
This opportunity arose for the girls when assistant professor of English Kristen Gentry arranged the festival performance and picked the students herself to perform, according to Galvao.
Miller will be sharing her poetry at the festival, which illustrates her own firsthand experiences as a woman dealing with relationships within her life. Some of the included poems include “When I Stay,” “Anatomy of a Wine Glass” and “Aftershock.”
Miller described one of her favorite works, “Node Management,” as “a cry for women’s independence from men.”
“I think a lot of women are going to respond to it,” Miller said. “I get really inspired and write furiously for a length of time.”
Miller was given the chance to do the show through her creative writing class, although she originally had not planned to appear at the Fringe Festival.
Alongside Miller, Galvao will be presenting her fiction writing. Her short story, “A Liturgy of Hours,” aligns itself very naturally to the rest of the segment and the trope of girl-power.
Galvao wanted to make sure that she presented the unconventional role of women in literature—one that is often ignored in today’s media. Her objective was to create a story with a realistic female role.
“I really like the idea that women can be the center of fiction that isn’t necessarily romantic,” Galvao said.
“A Liturgy of Hours” tells the story of a nun who lives in a cloistered convent after she got pregnant as a teenager and had to give up her baby.
The title, “A Liturgy of Hours,” relates to the cycle of times in which the nuns come together to pray. It is also the only time in the story where the main character allows herself to speak out loud.
Galvao said she sympathized with the protagonist when she is challenged, specifically when the character must decide whether to stay silent and hold onto her vow or to find forgiveness in herself. Although Galvao is nervous about sharing her art, she feels it is worth it because of the important message the piece carries.
“I would say it’s a pretty quiet story that follows someone who doesn’t speak and I feel like it’s more about the quiet transformation she comes to with herself,” she said. “[The ending is] gratifying and fulfilling, but it comes from a very quiet moment.”
Alongside Miller and Galvao, Owen will present her creative non-fiction piece and Cui will showcase her poetry.
All in all, it looks like all these women will blow away the audience. Make sure to show your support on Sept. 23 at the Rochester Fringe Festival when these ladies take the stage. Listening to their work is not only an experience everyone should have, but it’s also something that will enable empowerment. These writers are creating a localized revolution by allowing their voices to be heard through artistic outlets.