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Fringe Festival 2019

RochesterFringe.com

Watching the dark and dystopian world of "The Handmaid's Tale" on television inspired Shayna Swanson to create its opposite: a world where women come together and lift each other up.

The result is a performance show she named "Brave Space."  Swanson, founder of Chicago-based Aloft Circus Arts, calls it a circus show inside of a blanket fort.

It features an all-female cast of circus performers and 250 yards of fabric.

RochesterFringe.com

Rochester's first murder, 182 years ago, is still somewhat of a mystery today.

"All these people who lived in that neighborhood heard the shot -- including his wife -- and never went outside to look at see what happened," said Aprille Byam, creator of "Wanted: Who Killed William Lyman?," a Rochester Fringe experience premiering this weekend.

Jeff Spevak / WXXI News

Watching a guy regurgitate a string of razor blades doesn’t necessarily ruin a beautiful September evening in Rochester.

Among the hundreds of shows in the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival lineup this week is one called, "Suffragettes Unite!"

The performer is jazz singer Ann Mitchell. She doesn't sing in this show, but speaks the words delivered by suffrage leaders Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women, including Sarah C. Owen.

"She was just another woman, like you or myself, that was at the convention,” Mitchell said. “She was part of the movement."

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As the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival continues this week, eight of Rochester's leading actresses will take the stage to portray 22 different women exploring universal themes such as grief, motherhood, dating, and survival.

Fred SanFilipo / for WXXI News

Giant inflatable sea creatures made their way into downtown Rochester on Saturday night as part of this year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.

A performance by the French street theater troupe Plasticiens Volants had to be canceled Friday night due to high winds.

But they did two shows on Saturday night, as the group turned downtown into a giant aquarium with the U.S. premiere of Pearl: Secrets of the Sea.

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Sufian Zhemukhov immigrated to the United States from Russia in 2010 to pursue his work. He's an associate research professor at George Washington University and teaches European history and Russian history at the University of Maryland.

He said navigating American culture has been the most difficult part of his transition. Along the way, Zhemukhov took a storytelling class to hone his English skills.

He'll be using those storytellilng skills this weekend when he's town for the 2019 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. His show is called "Flirting Like an American."