The inauguration of the Great Salt Lake Fringe Festival, in 2015, joined a network of fringe festivals across the globe dating back to 1947. The idea for the GSLFF was born when Nina and Michael Vought, professors of theatre at Westminster College, stumbled upon the New Orleans Fringe Festival and were captivated by the array of unique performances.
From Aug. 3–12, the GSLFF holds its fourth season of theatre, dance, music, performance art, comedy, drama, and more (over 20 different productions) — now at The Gateway. Plus, on Thursday, Aug. 2, 6–10 p.m., on The Gateway’s Olympic Plaza, 400 W. 100 South, is an opening party with live music, show previews, food trucks, aerial arts, and more. The opening event is free to the public.
GSLFF Festival Performances (partial list):
Return to Roswell — The Every Woman Theatre Company
Three sisters journey back to the place that has been their biggest source of contention: Roswell, New Mexico. To the oldest, it’s a place of wonder. But to the others, it brings only frustration. Perhaps though, this trip will be different. Maybe this time they will find something truly out of this world.
This Is The Plays — Ryan Simmons
A 1980’s flashback deconstructing Mormon musical theatre, one troubled sister at a time.
In The End There Was Snow — PYGmalion Productions
Two people in a strange land. A sky full of lights. Death around the corner. Friendship. Regret. Lineage. A story about what we want to pass on. A conversation before the end.
Seep — SALT Summer Research
This show is an exploration and presentation of research conducted at the Rozel oil seeps found near the Spiral Jetty. It consists of multiple works of movement that emphasize different aspects of research done on various tar pits, the fossils found within, and the lives of prehistoric animals imagined from over 10,000 years ago to today. This is a collaborative work, funded by the W.M. Keck Foundation through Scientists and Artists Learning Together Summer Research at Westminster College.
In Spite of Ourselves — Wit’s End Theatre Company
They were in love. Are. Were. Maybe. They’ve grown apart, or back together. This has all happened before, or it’s a sign of what’s to come. They can’t stand each other, and they can’t let each other go. This play is based on the poem “All My Love Poems Sound Like Break Up Poems” by Ashe Vernon.
KOF 77 — L.L. West/Utah Rep
KOF 77 — Louis XIV . . . The Sun King — Louis Quatorze — Le Roi Soleil — Louis le Grand — Louis le Grand Monarque, is going off the rails! Is he crazy like a fox? Or is he simply crazy?
Shooter — Wasatch Theatre Company
Written by local playwright and actor Mark Macey, Shooter is a play about He, a man who has recently committed a mass shooting. Tracing his history and his motivations, He lets the audience hear and experience his history and motivations. A Greek Chorus accompanies He on this emotional journey, at some points offering commentary and at other points assuming the crucial players in He’s life. Shooter is a compelling commentary on the current gun control debate and a way for us to see beyond the labels to the human side of the issue.
Behind These Walls — Act Risk No More
Act Risk No More’s mission is to use the arts to save lives. By writing and telling their own stories of pain, confusion, and what it means to come out on the other side, they create performances that resonate with anyone who has ever felt alone, afraid, unloved, angry, sad, or incomplete. All of the stories are written by the performers themselves.
The Ballad of Emotional Incompetence — MotionVivid
The Ballad of Emotional Incompetence explores the artist Dat Nguyen’s struggle and desire for feeling belonged through the interplay of movement, text, visual imagery, and interactive media. This personal story unfolds through memories, often reenacted with the absence of people that associated with these memories. This absence creates a hollow space that emphasizes feelings of loneliness/emptiness while posting questions regarding how one seeks belonging and visibility in a foreign culture whose values are at odds with the artist’s value of acceptance. While exploring abstract ideas and compositions, Dat allows space for empathy and compassion by laying bare his times of struggle, turmoil, and happiness.
The Secret Son of Hitler — Kallisti Theatre Company
A bus crash! Some mayonnaise! A crossbow! Undergarments! The Secret Son of Hitler! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry from laughing too hard, you’ll wish you could eat a tuna fish sandwich. Gather your loved ones and come to enjoy a spectacular spectacle penned by recently escaped lunatics.
The Eulogy — Michael Burgos
The worst (or, possibly best) funeral speech ever given. An absurd, theatrical parody of a funeral speech, The Eulogy features a menagerie of characters whose inept and inapt speeches give anything but a proper homage.
Turn to Page 93 — Utah Repertory Theater
There is no such thing as truth. There are only facts, colored by a narrative. Only one thing happened. The story doesn’t tell the story.
The Tempest: O Brave New World, an experimental adaptation — Renaissance Now Theatre & Film
“We are such stuff as dreams are made on…”
Adapted by Sarah Re, Shakespeare’s The Tempest : O Brave New World, captures the essence of the play in an experimental work combining dynamic physical theatre movement, sound, and film projections exploring themes of the enduring quality of love, the individual’s need for freedom, the temptation of revenge, the possibility of redemption, and the discovery of the heart which houses the deepest of human hopes and dreams.
Prospero, in his ambivalent wisdom and desire for revenge, creates a swirling storm where the shipwrecked characters, cast upon the shore, must face themselves as their error and blindness are drawn away, like an ebbing tide, to cleansing and restoration.
“The rarer action is in virtue not in vengeance.”
My Suicide Note — Collin Williams
My Suicide Note is a truly one of a kind dark comedy. Williams takes his actual note from his attempted suicide, and uses a decade of experience as a standup comedian and storyteller to weave humor in and out of a genuinely astounding life story described as
“honest, heart-wrenching, yet somehow FUNNY!”.
My Suicide Note truly proves that laughter is the best therapy.
Marty Has Cancer — Prufrock Productions
Choi and Rhoul haven’t seen Marty in a while. Then, over coffee and a stale muffin, he casually tells them he has cancer. And he wants to go to Hawaii. Marty has Cancer is a dark comedy about friendship, coming-of-age (in your 30s), and the absurdity of American Idol.
Triple Threat — Linnea Horvath
Triple Threat is a three-part show which integrates dance, acrobatics and tumbling. This is a fun and family-friendly show for all ages full of surprises of tricks and flips along the way. Horvath created this work to experiment with different ideas in dance and to grow as a dancer. One reason she loves to perform is to inspire. In her show, she hopes to inspire others along the way, whatever inspiration the audience gathers from it.
NOTE: The productions above is a partial list, and the dates and times vary. All performances are held at The Gateway, however, at separate locations on the grounds, so be sure to note the exact address of the venue when purchasing tickets. Tickets $5–70, greatsaltlakefringe.org.