Updated: 09/18/2013 6:26 PM
Created: 09/18/2013 2:22 PM WHEC.com
By: Janet Lomax
You can't help but share the excitement when Erica Fee talks about the 2nd annual First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival. This year, it is expanded to 10 days with a whopping 360 performances, which is double the number of performances from last year. Fee says they've grown up a bit.
Erica Fee, Rochester Fringe Festival Producer, said, “Last year, we were a baby fringe. This year, we are definitely a surly teenager. We have gotten a little bit of attitude and we're back.”
Something new this year is the Spiegeltent. Fee is excited about it. The Spiegeltent is 73 feet in diameter and 26 feet high. It arrived from Orlando, Florida last weekend. It is in a parking lot at the corner of Gibbs and Main Streets. During the festival, it will be known as One Fringe Place. Inside, you'll find velvet oak mirrors and an antique bar. It's much more than a circus tent. The Cirque Du Fringe show and the Silent Disco will take place here. Fee calls it amazing.
Fee said, “It's like being inside Mary Poppins' handbag because you walk in and it suddenly feels like the largest place in the world!"
It takes someone with a worldly view to bring all of this together and as producer, Fee has the credentials.
Fee said, "I went to London and Drama School and became a professional actor. While I was in London, I was cast in a hit play called "I Am Star Trek" which took me to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. That's where I got the bug."
That "bug" morphed into running her own theater production company in London for 10 years. Now for the next 10 days, she and a staff of 30 will oversee 180 acts, 360 performances including the main headliners, stand up legend Mark Maron known as the "comedians comedian" and Pulitzer Prize winning author and humorist Dave Barry.
This is Fee's 2nd year as festival producer. She says she's learned a couple of things, one that Rochester audiences welcome new ideas.
Fee said,"We also learned people like to sample new things, so we've tried to have a lot of different shows. They're not very long, but they enable people to try a bunch of different genres in one day!"
News 10NBC is proud to be a media sponsor of the Rochester Fringe Festival. For more information on shows and schedules, click here.