At this opening fringe buffet, sample the delicacies of the 2019 Rogue Festival

Whether you’re new to the Rogue Festival or a grizzled audience veteran, the “Rogue Teaser Show” can be a vital piece of reconnaissance in terms of scoping out what you want to see in the coming days.

Doors for the preview show at the Tower Theatre open at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28, and the performance starts at 7. Participating Rogue artists will offer two-minute snippets of their acts. (And you can tell a lot from two minutes, I assure you.) Plus, you get a chance to meet and mingle with Rogue performers, and there’s a silent auction to benefit the festival.

The 18th annual Rogue Festival runs from Friday, March 1, through Saturday, March 9. The fringe-style festival, one of the oldest in the country, will present more than 250 separate performances of theater, music, dance, comedy, spoken word and magic from 53 performing groups in 11 different venues, organizers say.

There’s a tremendous diversity in terms of performers and content. Seasoned local performers make up part of the roster. So do out-of-town performers, many of whom have developed their shows while on the demanding international fringe-festival circuit. Some shows are polished. Others are still in the rough. As the organizers explain:

The mission of the Rogue Festival is to eliminate all barriers between the independent artist and the audience. The Rogue is a non-curated festival, meaning that Rogue Festival staff do not select the acts that perform at the Rogue. All applications to perform in the Rogue Festival are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. No one controls what’s in the Rogue, so it is a true First Amendment zone — you can see the greatest show ever, you can see the worst show ever, and you will definitely see shows that will challenge your comfort zone.

Tickets to the teaser show are $10. Most shows in the festival are $12 or less, with all proceeds going to the performers. You also need to buy a wristband, a one-time $3 purchase that serves as your ticket (and helps fund the festival).

Check out the Rogue website for a complete schedule. I’ll be posting more coverage as the Rogue unfolds.


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Covering the arts online in the central San Joaquin Valley and beyond. Lover of theater, classical music, visual arts, the literary arts and all creative endeavors. Former Fresno Bee arts critic and columnist. Graduate of Columbia University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Excited to be exploring the new world of arts journalism.

Comments (1)

  • Jackie Ryle

    Great overview, Donald! Thank you! I’ll sure be there – tonight and at every opportunity!!


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