Beginning in 1947 in Edinburgh, Scotland, fringe festivals have brought together talented individuals of all capabilities in one location. The Rochester Fringe Festival started seven years ago in 2012 and Geneseo has been a part of it since day one.
Professor of English and music Melanie Blood is well-versed in the Fringe Festival, serving as the Geneseo liaison to the event.
Geneseo performers include assistant technical director of theater Sean McGrath and Allison Leah ‘18, The Geneseo String Quartet, Geneseo Chamber Music, Geneseo String Band, Gajjda Bhangra, Geneseo Honors Recital, A Capella Hour, Music from the South, and “The PETS” staged reading.
“It’s a full 12 hours of free entertainment,” Blood said. “I’ve been part of the festival since the idea was just a concept.”
One of the many talented music groups performing at the festival is the Geneseo String Band, led by lecturer of music James Kimball.
“We play more instrumental music, dance tunes, jigs and square dance tunes—most of which have a New York sort of legacy,” Kimball said.
The string band practices together every Tuesday night in a somewhat unconventional way.
“Some artists in the band might be learning by ear,” Kimball said. “It’s different than the orchestra or the wind ensemble where everybody’s reading carefully composed music.”
Kimball encourages everyone to attend the Fringe Festival, labeling the event as fun and exciting.
Associate professor of English Lytton Smith, who has a background in theater writing, will also be organizing an event for Geneseo’s day at the Fringe Festival. Smith has adapted an Icelandic novel titled The PETS into a play. Smith, with the help of Geneseo theater students, will be holding a staged reading of the play at the festival.
“It’s a very funny, situational comedy,” Smith said. “One of the things I love about theater is that it’s so collaborative.”
For those who cannot attend the festival, there will be another staged reading on-campus two weeks after the event. If it is well received, “The PETS” could become a full-fledged production.
The Rochester Fringe Festival will be held on Wednesday Sept. 12 to Sept. 22. The week-long event will include a comedy show by Eddie Izzard, a silent disco, Cirque Du Fringe and many more interesting and creative acts.
Geneseo students, faculty and alumni will perform on the festival’s last daySept. 22, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the Lyric Theatre.
All Geneseo events will be free of charge. There will be busing to and from the event as well as free parking and refreshments.
Arts and Entertainment Editor Madelyn Dewey contributed reporting to this article.