KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Aaron Winters

With New York giving the OK for capacity-limited openings of entertainment venues throughout the state starting on Friday, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival confirmed that it is moving ahead with plans for the fall.

But with caveats.

“Everything changes on a dime from week to week, so we are staying flexible,” says festival President Erica Fee.

Leah Stacy

“The start of this story,” says Donny Clutterbuck, “could potentially be the trials and tribulations of becoming a different business every month.”

Thanks, Donny. I’ll take it from here. 

Clutterbuck is the bar manager at Cure, which offers French farmhouse cuisine at the Rochester Public Market. It’s one of the small treasures on the culinary scene here. And like all restaurants and bars in the COVID-19 era, the trial it’s been undergoing is the coronavirus pandemic. As an orange zone designee, Cure is open only for takeout. 

The ninth KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival comes to a provisional close after Saturday's shows. All of the performances have been virtual, as we’ve been reminding people throughout the festival's 12 days. Yet while the scheduled events will be gone, the on-demand shows — which are actually the bulk of the festival — will linger a while in the cloud. By purchasing a ticket before the end of Rochester Fringe on Saturday, you can watch that show through Oct. 10. The schedule, and tickets, are at rochesterfringe.com.

Fringe Day Eleven: Down the rabbit hole

Sep 25, 2020

Fringe festivals are diversity. Today, as the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival moves into its final weekend, we plunge down a Alice in Wonderland rabbit hole of experimental film, experimental interactive theater, and the resurrection of a "Dangerous Signs" show by National Technical Institute for the Deaf's Performing Arts at Rochester Institute of Technology.

"#txtshow (on the internet)"

Fringe Day Ten: Cirque du Fringe goes ‘Laugh-In’ on us

Sep 24, 2020

Now in its ninth year, we already know what to expect of the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival – or most any other fringe festival – even under non-coronavirus conditions. A diverse array of music, dance, theater, spoken word, puppets, magic and more, with artists bending Shakespeare into unrecognizable shapes to suit their own purposes.

With these shows, we will witness great artistic achievement. We will see shows that are works in progress. We will see failures.

"Contemporary Musicians' Guide to Modern Love"

It's clear from the outset of "Contemporary Musicians' Guide to Modern Love" that this isn't just a standard recital presentation.

Smart art must make smart choices.

And the process often means making far more compromises than most artists will admit to. The coronavirus pandemic has forced the arts to re-think everything. As in: To what degree will our society be embracing virtual presentation of the arts?

The answer is being explored in a major way during Rochester Fringe. It is a petri dish of virtual performance as we watch what kind of bacteria, mosses or pleasantly edible fungi emerge over this 12-day experiment. Is virtual arts useful culture, or is it contamination?


At only 30 minutes, the cultural showcase "#FolkloreLatino," presented by Grupo Cultural Latinos en Rochester, is a full-hearted, albeit brief respite from what has been a particularly tragic time locally, nationally, and throughout the world.

Fringe Day Seven: 'Disturbances a Deux'

Sep 21, 2020

COVID-19 forced the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival to reimagine its event for 2020, leaving organizers with the dilemma of how to present its annual selection of multi-genre arts performances at a time when live, in-person gatherings aren't allowed.

Provided by KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

What does dance performance actually look like in the pandemic era? The dance company Pones looks to answer this question literally in its 45-minute video performance “Proximity,” which is available on demand as part of this year’s KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival.