Wright State Theatre will hold its first Parking Lot Fringe Festival April 24–25

Student-created plays, musicals, monologues and comedy are among the performances sure to entertain audiences at Wright State Theatre’s inaugural Parking Lot Fringe Festival on April 24 and 25.

The Parking Lot Fringe Festival is a two-day outdoor theatrical event that gives students the opportunity to perform safely in front of a live audience.

Performances take place Saturday, April 24, from noon to 4 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m.; and Sunday, April 25, from noon to 4 p.m. and 4 to 8 p.m., on the Grand Entrance steps to Wright State’s Creative Arts Center.

Admission is free although donations will be accepted. Patrons may park in Lots 12 and 13.

Marya Spring Cordes, festival director and associate professor of acting, described the festival as a “weekend full of student-created plays, musicals, monologues, comedy and musical excerpts driven by the purest tradition of storytelling, where a band of troubadours unpack their trunk and send the magic dust of creativity flying into the open space to weave a tale out of theatrical (or parking lot) thin air.”

The tailgate-styled event was created from scratch to fill the void for student-produced works normally produced in the Jubilee Theatre Directing Lab. Audiences will feel the raw and unfettered energy of youth in the impassioned work performed during the festival.

Among the highlights of the festival will be revues of the music of “Fats” Waller and the Four Seasons, student-written comedies and music, and two special performances of the social justice drama, “The Exonerated,” by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen and directed by respected Dayton actor Alan Bomar Jones.

The play explores abuses in the criminal justice system leading to innocent men and women being incarcerated.

“It’s happening today and it happened years ago in ‘The Exonerated,'” Jones said. “Laws change, police officers change, politicians change, but the hatred and prejudice remains the same. It’s part of several generations of hate-filled upbringing. This play reminds you that no one is safe.”

Audience members must observe masking and physical distancing guidelines while on the Wright State campus. Patrons may bring a camp chair, blanket or other means of sitting as well as non-alcoholic beverages and food.

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