Posted by Evan Goldstein, former contributor and Poetry Editor for Issue 4.1
The Rochester Fringe Festival is an annual ten-day multi-disciplinary arts festival, with performances and visual installments spread throughout Rochester, featuring “fringe” arts outside of the mainstream. Fringe festivals like that in Rochester and many others around the world give audiences to many isolated and otherwise cut off artists. Like a large, dispersed literary journal, fringe festivals provide a community for artists and audiences to come together and experience arts on the fringe of the mainstream community. Today was Geneseo’s day at the Lyric theatre, an old church recently converted into an opera house for performances and readings. Geneseo’s day at the Lyric theatre was the first ever reading that Geneseo students have given as part of the Fringe festival, and the first strong showing of Geneseo talent as a whole at Rochester Fringe. We had performances ranging from a capella to improv, to film poems and, here at the “Stories a la Mode” event, a fiction reading complete with ice cream.
The usher was French, and I know that because I heard the soft throaty nasal vowel—ahhsss—and one hard choked consonant—krèm—as he, quietly insistent, led me to the far chamber door and held it open, gesturing to a bar in the
Maya Bergamasco reads at the Lyric theatre. Pictured in the background: ice cream bar.
back of the small hall. Maybe he was French-Canadian. I, playing reporter (press pass and all), got my camera out and crouched in front of the bar, watching the audience, cups of ice cream and little spoons in their hands, watch the writer read her story. A glance up at the barman’s shirt: Hedonist Ice Cream. Yes, I thought: the perfect blog post story. The hands at the tables holding the little cups of ice cream, I’ll take their photographs and interview them about free ice cream, our community hub, come up with a clever “Gandy Dancer as Ice Cream of SUNY System” blog post title, make it home in time for dinner, maybe a night cap—ice cream for dessert, yes. Good plan, delicious plan. The audience leaned toward the stage at the front of the room. Continue reading