Running on its 20th year, the Fringe Festival takes place over eleven days during the summer in Minneapolis venues ranging from the Mixed Blood theater to the Music Box theater.
This year numerous current and former Gusties, including Rob Ward, Sarah Jabar, Renee Guittar, Benjamin Kolis, Autumn Ike, and Connie Boatwright, to name a few, performed in productions of their own.
The festival aims to, “…give our artists a welcoming, affodable option to produce their own shows. From stage veterans to people who are brand-new to theater, Minnesota Fringe is a forum for anyone with a story to tell.” The majority of the Gusties who participated worked to produce a show called CLOCKED, which was the sixth most-attented show out of the 176 total shows that were performed during the festival.
One current Gustavus student that participated was Senior Theater Major Rob Ward.
“Alumni Benjamin Kolis, who was one of the directors, asked me if I wanted to be part of a devised physical theater production that he and alumni Renee Guittar along with Sarah Jabar were creating,” Ward said.
Being that a majority of the cast of CLOCKED had worked and performed together prior to working on this piece, they were able to get down to business immediately, lending to the success of the show.
“Everyone was very relaxed and chill, so I never felt like an outsider. It was so much fun working with them outside of Gustavus because we got to hang out together after rehearsal where everyone kind of acted just like we all would have back at Gustavus. By the time we got to our first run, it was like we were one big Gustie family,” Senior Theater Major Connie Boatwright said.
Ward expressed similar sentiments. “Although it wasn’t at Gustavus, there was a good amount of familiarity when working with my fellow cast members. I’ve been in previous productions with many of them, so I was totally comfortable trying new things with this group,” he said.
While Gusties don’t often get the chance to work together as a large group outside of campus, this group has demonstrated its commitment to both theater, as well as to carrying on the Gustavus tradition of excellence.