On the Fringe
By Jay Hoppe, Staff Writer
Inspired by tradition. Driven by passion. A student-produced arts festival is taking its second run around the Southern Oregon University campus, and will be continuing its escapee celebration for the next five days (until June 5th). Invented by students in 2014, the Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF) provides a platform for young artists to produce both new, inventive works and is an outlet for creative passions. From guerilla theater to beatboxing jugglers to pop-up playgrounds. OFF is sponsored by the Oregon Center for the Arts at Southern Oregon University, taking place every year on campus and the town of Ashland.
Fringe Underground is this year’s prominent theme. Tyler Kubat, the festival’s artistic director, shares that this theme focuses on the “creating and recreating” of art and can be demonstrated in all of the vents being held for this weeklong extravaganza. One of the most compelling performances listed for this year is An Ill Word, which was last seen performed in the SOU event Shakespeare in Contemporary America (see article). Directed by Frankie Regalia, An Ill Word will be making its Fringe debut June 4th and 5th in the downstairs arena at the SOU Stevenson Union and in the theater department on Friday.
Sunday was a host to a few Fringe events such as Crash, a performance by Sean Muir using a combination of hi-hats and hand cymbals. Accompanying Sean was an equally musical performance featuring SOU students and professors performing various interactive free-jazz, progressive, and generally eclectic compositions called “Hello America”. The last event of the day was a fundraiser and farewell recital hosted by Colin Thomas Campbell, who combines classical and musical theater including Rossini, and Vaughan Williams – to Leonard Bernstein, the Four Seasons, and Billy Joel.
The Oregon Fringe Festival is hosting a menagerie of other events, which can be found either on the official Fringe site or Facebook. The greatest show on earth is coming back this spring. Come and join us in the celebration of the arts and entertainment! Are you ready for Fringe?