For eight days, the UC Davis Theatre and Dance department will be hosting the second annual The Edge Performance Festival at Wright Hall. The festival presents a series of works written, directed and acted by UC Davis undergraduate students. There are also a few graduate student performances included as well.
Last year’s inaugural event was a hit with students and faculty. This year, the festival will have Solo Explorations, Undergraduate One-Acts and midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show that attendees can participate in. Two new events have been added: a staged reading of Caridad Svich’s The Way of Water, which is about the effects of the BP oil spill, and Hour of 5’s Performance Work, which is a series of five-minute acts of scenes, monologues, dances and songs.
Will Klundt, a second-year MFA acting candidate with the UC Davis Theatre Department, is this year’s assistant artistic director for the Hour of 5’s. He will also be one of the several MFA actors performing in a solo show that he wrote and directed for Here I go: MFA Solo Explorations.
“The ‘edge’ in the title has quite a few meanings. Not only are we at the edge temporally, as we are producing almost entirely brand new performances, but often we are also experimenting with styles and theories of performance as we mix traditional theatre, performance art, music and dance,” Klundt said about the festival.
In the span of a single night, audience members will get the chance to see jazz singing or a short scene or even modern dance — basically whatever strikes their fancy. Not only that, but most of the work on display is also new – written and acted out by UCD students – and has never been performed until now.
Jennifer Adler, a senior dramatic art and music major, is a writer and performer for the festival. She wrote Welcome to Heaven, which is about a young man’s experiences after his death, and she will be singing an aria for the Hour of 5’s. Adler expressed appreciation of the festival as a stage for students to showcase their unique and creative works for the public.
“Welcome to Heaven is based on my own experiences with grief and it showcases grief from a unique perspective, being that of the person who died,” said Adler. “I think students should come to the festival to see a wide variety of original theater that they wouldn’t normally be able to see.”
Jeremy Oase is a second-year MFA actor who will also be joining Klundt in Solo Explorations with his own piece titled Where Eagles Dare: Mission to Mars, a surreal tale of a NASA mission specialist in charge of cockroaches named Shane Thompson who goes on a mission to Mars to save mankind.
“The Edge Festival is about students having the opportunity to present student work, which is awesome. It’s a festival, so plan on wearing garlands and dancing around the maypole — kidding!” Oase said. “Although, Rocky Horror is another story. It’s really just a lot of talented people doing their thing.”
Many of the students who are involved are excited about The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which, for those who aren’t quite up to date with their rock musical plays, is a parody of science fiction and horror movies that starred film nobility such as Susan Sarandon and Tim Curry. Audience members are encouraged to wear outrageous costumes and sing along with the songs.
Kymberly Sugano, a junior wildlife, fish and conservation biology major, is one of the emcees for The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The event takes place on Saturday nights, including the night of Picnic Day.
“This is a great way to see a variety of different shows. It’s always a lot a fun and personally Rocky is the highlight. You get to dress up and really interact. And it’s Rocky; how can you not enjoy it?” Sugano said.
Short plays, dance performances, one-actor shows and even dancing in fishnets for The Rocky Picture Horror Show: The Edge Festival is already spilling with performances waiting to be discovered and attended by all.
Solo Explorations at 7:30 p.m. in the Arena Theatre 4/12 and 4/13
Main Stage Dance at 8 p.m. at Main Theatre 4/12 to 4/14 and 4/19, 4/20 and 4/22
The Way of Water at 9 p.m. in the Arena Theatre 4/12
Rocky Horror at midnight at Main Theatre 4/14 and 4/21
One Acts/Hour of 5’s at 9 p.m. in Lab A 4/13 and 4/20, 5 p.m. 4/15 and 3 p.m. 4/22
$10 per event. Visit theatredance.ucdavis.edu for more info
MICHELLE RUAN can be reached at email@example.com.