Initiated in 2008, Sweet Briar’s Fringe Festival is all about bringing people together to appreciate the arts, from the traditional and serious to the offbeat and funny. This year’s lineup boasts a colorful mix of art exhibits and performances centered on the College’s unique “landscape for learning.”
The Fringe Festival will be held Thursday, Feb. 2 through Sunday, Feb. 5 at various indoor and outdoor venues across campus. With the exception of the musical “Baby,” all events are non-ticketed and free. Patrons are encouraged to spend the day on campus, enjoy a relaxing meal with or without entertainment, and visit some of the nearly two dozen shows, gallery exhibits and tours on the schedule.
The first Fringe Festival was created to call attention to the arts at Sweet Briar, said Shelbie Filson, the College’s box office manager. “We have so much going on all year, but rather than having to visit the campus over several months to attend individual performances and exhibits, we wanted to make numerous artistic events accessible over a few consecutive days.”
In 2008, the art community’s response to the call for proposals was so strong that the final schedule featured 25 events. For this year’s event, Filson and her co-organizer, associate professor of music Nick Ross, put together a diverse selection of art, including dance concerts, voice recitals, poetry readings and outdoor art workshops, as well as a guided tour of Sweet Briar House led by its 19th-century host, Daisy Williams.
Filson is particularly excited about the concert musical, “Baby,” which will be presented by Sweet Briar Theatre with a full cast and orchestra. Filson said that due to the newly introduced music theater major at Sweet Briar, the College is planning to offer more musicals and operas as part of its production schedule.
Other highlights include Thursday night’s Comedy Club featuring 7 Hills Improv and a poetry reading from the newly released anthology “Entering the Real World: VCCA Poets on Mt. San Angelo” at Pannell Gallery Saturday afternoon.
VCCA fellows, Sweet Briar faculty and students will read in the midst of the exhibit “This Green Earth: Landscapes from the Permanent Collection.” Dinner that evening will feature a live show by Sweet Briar’s very own rock band, FaSt, followed by the complete works of Frederic Chopin, performed by Ross on piano and Wesley Baldwin on cello.
Please note that some events may be subject to change.