Spontaneous plays set to pop up around Kent

Sara Petersen

If a few actors happen to burst into your classroom, don’t fret. Fringe Fest is this week, today through May 2.

Fringe Fest is a weeklong string of small theatrical productions on and around campus. Its name came from the idea of performing on the “fringes” of mainstream theater.

Two students started the festival at Kent State in 1998. During that year, the theater program hosted Celebration of Stars, an event where alumni came back to Kent State to perform. The Student Theater Festival that year was canceled because of Celebration of Stars, and many students were upset.

In response, they held small productions all over campus, and the tradition continues 11 years later, said Chuck Ritchie, associate professor of theater.

Senior theater major Molly Maclagan, head of the Fringe Fest committee, said there is a great sense of community and students get heavily involved.

“A lot of students get the chance to get on-stage,” Maclagan said.

Many productions will happen in classrooms in the Music and Speech Center and at sites such as Risman Plaza and Heritage Park in downtown Kent.

– Sara Petersen