A Fresh Festival Of Performing Arts

Westmont’s annual Fringe Festival, a week-long gala of contemporary theater and dance, returns to campus Tuesday, April 15 through Saturday, April 19. Seventeen original productions by students and faculty fill four performance bills. The public is invited to nightly performances in and around Porter Theatre Tuesday through Friday at 7 and 9 p.m., and a marathon performance Saturday beginning at 4 p.m. Admission is $7 for one bill, $10 for any two bills, $17 for a Saturday pass and $25 for an all-festival pass. To reserve tickets, please call (805) 565-7040.

Professor John Blondell is the artistic director behind the festival, but most of the productions are written, designed, directed and performed entirely by students. This year’s festival includes several works inspired by the stories of Hans Christian Andersen and Nikolai Gogol.

Junior Nolan Hamlin has written and directed “Mind of a Mer Girl,” a surreal exploration of the subconscious of Andersen’s “Little Mermaid.” Dance professor Victoria Finlayson has choreographed a version of Andersen’s “The Red Shoes,” and senior Jonathan Hayward has adapted Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” into a one-man play, the man’s madness accelerating to the tune of a Brahms violin concerto.

Andersen’s “The Little Match Girl” will get a second look in an adaptation by junior Sarah Halford. Halford will also perform in “The Watermelon Wives,” adapted from the Biblical story of Rachel and Leah by junior Diana Small. In her version, the sisters, married to the same soldier, are deserted by their husband and must fight out their differences in a refugee camp.

For more information, contact the theater department at (805) 565-7040 or blemons@westmont.edu.

Click here for a schedule of events as well as program information.