Going Rogue

A sneak peak of Rogue Festival featuring a variety of acts kicked off Thursday night

By Roger Munoz

Photos by Katie Eleneke / The Collegian

Photos by Katie Eleneke / The Collegian

The Tower Theater had a two-hour teaser for this year’s Rogue Performing Festival Thursday night.

The annual festival, which began in 2002, features independent artists performing a variety of performing arts acts.  The festival offers a wide range of acts that include storytelling, dance, music, art, film and comedy.

The Rogue Festival aims to celebrate performers by eliminating the jury process and simply letting artist share their work.

“Art is about self-expression, and there are actually several artists who have created shows out of personal experiences,” producer of the Rogue Festival Barbara Coy-Hogan said.  “And some of them are uplifting, some of them are sad and some of them are scary.  And how can you possibly decide, based on that, if they’re in the festival or not.”

Stephen Mintz, a publicist for the festival, said that Rogue wants to help performers as much as possible.

Mintz said Rogue is one of the few festivals that give all ticket sales back to the performers.

“So performers can come here and maybe make a few dollars,” Mintz said.  “They can promote their shows by carrying signs or giving out fliers.  So it’s really this grassroots effort where the performers want to work together instead of fighting each other for some prize.”

Dancers from the Belly Dance Coalition of the San Joaquin Valley perform the “Hizz Ya Wizz Fire and Ice” preview show on the Tower Theatre stage Thursday night.

Dancers from the Belly Dance Coalition of the San Joaquin Valley perform the “Hizz Ya Wizz Fire and Ice” preview show on the Tower Theatre stage Thursday night.

This year’s teaser show gave performers three minutes to promote their acts to audience members before the big show.  Bárbara Selfridge, a first-time Rogue performer, said the festival gives performers the platform to showcase their passion to a wide audience.

“It’s unusual and you’re taking a risk when you do it, but it’s well worth it” Selfridge said.  “It could be terrible, but it could be wonderful.  It could be like the best theater you ever see. So you fall in love with it.”

Coy-Hogan urged people to come out and see a show, since there’s much to choose from.

“There’s everything from dance, music, comedy, and there’s a couple of magicians,” Coy-Hogan said.  “Everything is honestly great. You can’t go wrong.”

This year’s festival will feature 60 performers that will perform over 260 shows in 10 Tower District venues.

The Rogue festival begins today and concludes March 8.  For more information on upcoming shows and tickets prices visit www.roguefestival.com/calendar.

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