Adelaide and Edmonton it ain’t, but this year’s installment of Westmont College’s annual Fringe Festival is panning out to be a great (albeit smaller) alternative for Santa Barbarans looking to get their dose of original alt-theater and art without traveling halfway across the world to do it. The five-day fest will feature 17 productions of original theater and dance, written and performed exclusively by Westmont’s students and faculty. The 2008 Fringe Fest will take place this Tuesday, April 15, through Saturday, April 19, with performances taking place Tuesday through Friday night at 7 and 9 p.m., as well as all day Saturday. Visit westmont.edu or call 565-7040 for tickets and show times, and read on for a couple of super special festival highlights.
1) Gimme Fiction: While the idea behind all fringe festivals is to bring the alternative arts to the main stage, one must remember that Westmont is-above all else-an institution of higher learning. So it is with this is mind that the folks behind the fest have chosen to base this year’s offerings on a slew of literary works. All the pieces being performed have been adapted from books, stories, and a bevy of Hans Christian Andersen tales that are sure to delight-though organizers promise the productions “won’t look quite like the stories from our childhoods.”
2) Members Only: While the Fringe Festival is open to any and all theater-goers, the mind, body, and soul of the event is rooted deep within the school’s own campus. Minus one dance piece, which is being choreographed by Westmont professor Victoria Finlayson, all of the works are written, directed, designed, and performed by the students, making for one very special, grand-scale group project.
3) Package Deal: With 17 productions on four separate bills, it might sound like a bit of a monetary stretch to catch everything this year’s festival has to offer. But worry not, young dramatists, because Westmont is offering up affordable package rates for anyone interested in taking in the whole fest, start to finish. Tickets for one bill will run you $7 a pop, and $10 will grant you admission to any two bills. But for a mere $17, patrons can score an all-access pass for Saturday’s day-long marathon, featuring all 17 pieces. And $25 will buy you an all-festival pass, good for every performance the Fringe Festival has to offer.