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Fisher at Fringe: Faculty, Staff, Students Participate in Annual Festival

September 14, 2016

Last spring, Fisher announced that it joined the Fringe Festival as an associate higher educational partner.

Students at the Rochester Fringe festival

The talent and hard work of St. John Fisher College students, faculty, and staff will be on display during the 2016 First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival, which runs Thursday, Sept. 15 through Saturday, Sept. 24, throughout downtown Rochester.

During the festival, the College’s Department of Media and Communication will present its annual Student Film Festival at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, in the Spiegelgarden. The film festival will showcase short films, television pilots, and video essays, and include the best work of Fisher students majoring in media and communication and/or minoring in film and television studies.

Films shown include Endgame (a story of corruption in the world of Big Pharma), The Rassler (about the sacrifices made in the world of professional wrestling), and Zombie Harmony (featuring a zombie’s entrée into the world of online dating). The festival also includes the pilot episodes of The Verge (a comedy about a small town news show) and Stalled (focusing on a recently minted Ph.D.-turned Uber-esque driver).

No tickets are required, although a driver’s license or refundable deposit will be required to borrow headphones.

“The work we’re exhibiting at the Fringe Festival demonstrates St. John Fisher College students’ proficiency and versatility in production, technology, and—most important—storytelling,” said Dr. Todd Sodano, associate professor of media and communication and the director of the film and television studies minor.

Before the start of the film festival, Fisher alumni of the department are invited to join faculty and staff from 5 to 7 p.m. at Salinger’s Bar and Grill (107 East Ave.), located just down the road from the Spiegelgarden. The cost to attend the gathering is $15, and guests can register online.

Dr. Rubén L. Gómez, professor of Spanish at Fisher, will also be featured during the Fringe Festival. For the third year in a row, he will play the lead role in the play Rumba & Mojito Picante, running Thursday, Sept. 22 through Saturday, Sept. 24, in cooperation with Rochester Association of the Performing Arts (RAPA) at School of the Arts (45 Prince St).

The play in Spanish and English is a spicy and hysterical theatrical cocktail about racism, homophobia, and conservatism and the only bilingual play in this year’s festival. Through the perspectives of three exceptional women, one comes to see that the only way to beat death is by intensely celebrating life. It will strike a chord with audience members as it addresses the intolerance behind the violent current events occurring in communities around the world from Orlando to Nice.

Performance times and additional details are available at Tickets are $6 to $12 and may be purchased online at, by phone at (585) 957-9837, or at the door up to one hour before the show.

Jeremy Sarachan, associate professor and chair of the Department of Media and Communication, will direct Far Away, a Caryl Churchill play and Theater Apparatus production. The play follows the story of a teenage girl who goes to live with her aunt and uncle and becomes entangled in a dystopian nightmare of war and hat making.

The show is at 9 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 15, and 8:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 16 at MuCCC (142 Atlantic Ave). Tickets are $10 and available online.

Dr. Daryl Hurd, associate professor and chair of the Biology Department, will also perform during the Fringe Festival, as a member of the Rochester Ukulele Orchestra. The orchestra’s performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, at Bernunzio Uptown Music (122 East Ave.). Tickets are $7, and are available online.