Colgate’s Own Fringe Festival

Having started on Thursday, April 5 with Monologue and Spoken Word Night at the Barge Canal Coffee Co., the second annual Fringe Festival culmi-nated on Saturday, April 7 with the per-formance of three short plays in the Hall of Presidents. For the second year in a row, Masque and Triangle organized this festival celebrating theater by involving students in writing, directing and per-forming plays. The annual Fringe Festi-val in Edinburgh, Scotland, where plays are performed almost constantly over the course of a week, inspired Masque and Triangle to create the event at Colgate.

Having expanded from last year, the Fringe Festival included a theater work-shop, a presentation of films called Kinet-ic: Volume 1 by the Colgate Film Society, and the three plays, Check Please, Disaster Dating and When. The first play of the night, Check Please, centered on a series of unfortunate blind dates, all of which had their own unique flaw. The dates ranged from a young boy appearing with his Eeyore stuffed animal to an elderly lady, to a crazed sports fan who brought a headset on the date in order to listen to the sports game to a kleptomaniac. The play, directed by senior Diandra Rivera and written by Jonathan Rand, began the night with laughs. After the two central characters had endured such mishaps as a gay man studying how to be straight for an acting role, a man with a fear of nearly everything – including, almost tragically, the fear of remaining single – and even a mime, they each gave up on their attempts to find love. But, as they left their tables, they happened to bump into each other, and then even the mime finds love as she sits down with the other rejected date, a man dressed in a burlap sack.

Continuing with the theme of searching for romance, Disaster Dating, both written and directed by sophomore Sydney Pollock, examined the results of superheroes speed-dating princesses. As Superman, Batman and The Flash conversed with Cinderella, Belle and Snow White, catastrophes un-folded as Superman’s ego emerged and Snow White was offered an apple. At the end of the play, while the relationships had not en-tirely worked out, the waitress at least had been asked on a date with Superman, while Cinderella regretted her decision to leave Prince Charming.

The night concluded with the play writ-ten and directed by junior Coco Vonnegut, When, which took a darker turn from the other two, opening with sophomore Mary Rose Devine’s character describing how an-noying people make her consider murder. Reflecting on life experiences through a series of monologues, Devine and sophomore Ele-na Kalmus expressed some of life’s struggles, including the struggle to find love.

So the night ended with the reflection that, as much as we laugh at the characters in these plays who attempt to find love and make fools of themselves, we are all just like them. As it turns out, even super-heroes and fairytale characters struggle to find love, but at least these actors showed us that we can laugh at our mishaps and move on to the next table to see who sits there. Through these plays, Masque and Triangle allowed its audience to reflect on life, laugh at our awkward moments and, most of all, see the power theater has to bring people together.

Contact Bridget Sheppard at

[email protected].