2015 Lake Effect Fringe Festival Performances Include :
February 4, Thursday performance 8pm:
No Outlet Improv - Troupe members Katie Fahey, Lizzy Sulkowski, Eirann Betka, Mackenzie McElroy, Ryan Hinkle, and Nick Milbratz along with new cast members Cleo Patra, Mike Nichols, Colleen Watt, and TJ Corbett are bringing short-form, fast-paced, interactive fun to audiences of all ages. No Outlet is a Grand Rapids original entertainment group that is working throughout West Michigan to promote and perform improvisational theater.
February 5 - 7; 8pm Friday & Saturday, 3pm Sunday:
The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company will present John Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi. Webster was a contemporary of William Shakespeare’s, known for writing dark tragedies. The play follows the title character as she marries a servant of her household in secret, against the wishes of her two brothers, who seek to control the fortune she inherited from her first husband. The production is directed by Alisha Huber, a guest artist from Virginia who previously directed Pigeon Creek’s all-female cast Julius Caesar, and the company’s acclaimed, recent production of Romeo and Juliet. The cast features actors Kathleen Bode, Kat Hermes, Sean Kelley, Scott Lange, Katherine Mayberry, Bridget McCarthy, Janna Rosenkranz, Julia Steudle, and Chris S. Teller.
Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Company is Michigan’s only year-round, touring Shakespeare Company.
February 8, 15, 22, & 29
This year, Dog Story’s popular Comedy Outlet Mondays will continue throughout the Festival at 8:00 pm each Monday night, for the low price of just $5.00. Improv! Sketch! Music! Puppets? Laughter needs an outlet in every city and for Grand Rapids, Comedy Outlet Mondays is that outlet. Audiences can expect: From 8 – 9 p.m., local and statewide comedy performances break legs and challenge you to not pee your pants from laughing. From 9 – 10 p.m., a free improv jam and workshop is hosted for anyone, especially those who wants to dip their toes into comedy water and explore the hilarious and intoxicating magic that is improv.
February 12 - 13; 8pm Friday & Saturday:
Art by Ellis will present Anton Himself, and Masha, Too, by Karen Sunde. This two person show examines a moment in the life of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov and his sister Masha. Immediately following the critical failure of his play The Seagull, Anton returns to his family home to struggle with the future of his writing career. Meanwhile, his sister Masha tries to find the right way to tell her brother she is getting married. The production features actors Roger Ellis and Katherine Mayberry.
Art By Ellis is a recently formed theatre company, founded by Grand Valley theatre professor Roger Ellis, which most recently produced God: Redux at the Dog Story Theater in December.
February 14, Sunday, 8pm:
Urban Arts - 24 Hour Theatre: Urban Arts is a new theater group in Grand Rapids whose mission is to advance the education of performance art to people of all ages in Grand Rapids. This group is taking over the 24 Hour Theatre Project, which was previously produced by Theater 616. A series of short plays are written, rehearsed, and performed within the space of 24 hours, featuring the work of a variety of local playwrights, directors, and actors. The culmination of 24 hours of hard work by local writers, directors and actors come together in a one-night-only performance!
February 18 - 19, 8pm Thursday & Friday:
M.Y. Musical World - Inferno - the Musical, by Ian Mockerman and Julia Yob is a tragic, film noir-style reimagining of the classic Dante's Inferno by M.Y. Musical World's Ian Mockerman & Julia Yob. Set in a pre-Pearl Harbor dirty town in 1941, the musical begins in prison, where a convicted criminal is given the chance to tell his side of a disastrous story. Clever characters, witty banter, and a mix of French jazz and contemporary music theatre melodies take audiences on a tragic journey where they are reminded that 'not every story has a happy ending.’ Directors Ian Mockerman and Julia Yob lead cast members, Katy Scott, Laura Uzarski, Elizabeth Yob, James Weyer, Jordan Cyr, Meagan Beitner and Eric Roeters.
February 20 - 21, 8pm Saturday & 8pm Sunday:
The Throwbacks - An Evening with the Throwbacks
The Throwbacks are four jazz vocalists accompanied by a small ensemble, performing classic pop standards and songs from golden age musicals, the great American songbook, etc. You'll hear songs made popular by Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Bobby Darin, and many more. A lounge style musical concert with great music and comic interactions with the musicians and audience. The Throwbacks are Chaz Bratton, Carson Reau, Austin Campos and Zack Bowser.
February 26 - 28, 8pm Friday & Saturday, 3pm Sunday
Urban Arts - 10 Minute Plays in Performance - the Best 10 Minute Plays by local playwrights
Urban Arts is also taking on the production of the 10 Minute Plays by W. Michigan playwrights, formerly produced by Stark Turn Players. Stark Turn’s dissolution led the way for the remaining board members, Beth Anne Schaub and Anessa Johnson, led by Adam Hyde to form a new company, starting with the 10 Minute Playwriting Competition. The best of the submissions will be presented with winners being offered the chance to write a longer work for the 2017 season.
March 4 - 5, 8pm Friday & Saturday
Urban Arts - Stones In His Pockets by Marie Jones.
Kyle Westmaas and Adam Hyde will present this tragicomedy set in a small town in County Kerry, Ireland, which is being overrun by a Hollywood film crew filming the “Quiet Valley”. The story centers on Charlie Conlon and Jake Quinn, who, like much of the town, are thrilled to be employed as extras for the movie. The efforts of the production crew to create a proper, romanticized “Irish feel” often conflicts with real life in a rural Irish town and the result is hilarious. Amidst the comedy however, the harsh realities of rural life surface and real stories are poignantly told.
The play calls upon the cast of two to perform all 15 characters, often switching gender and voice with swift dexterity and the absolute bare minimum of costume changes.
Stones in His Pockets won the Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Award for Best Production in 1999, two Olivier Awards in 2001 for Best New Comedy and was also nominated for three Tony Awards
March 6, 3pm Sunday
No Outlet Improv - Festival Closing Event
To close out the 4th Annual Lake Effect Fringe Festival, No Outlet Improv returns with one more fun afternoon of interactive improv!
The Lake Effect Fringe Festival seeks to highlight performer-focused theater in a non-traditional theater space, creating an intimate performance experience for audiences who can expect different seating configurations and differing levels of interaction with the performers at any given performance. All performances take place in the black box performance space of the Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson SE, Grand Rapids, 49503. Tickets for all events can be purchased in advance on the Dog Story Theatre’s website: www.dogstorytheater.com, and are $14/adults and $8/students and seniors.