by L. Nicol Cabe,
Anna Sell, & Peter Aguero
The 2017 Rogue Festival is almost here. KRL will be featuring several Rogue Performer Preview articles between now and the beginning of the Festival on March 3. You can find all of the Preview articles so far, & an interview with this year’s Festival director about this year’s festival, in our Arts & Entertainment section.
We will also be reviewing many of the shows, and we may even do some more video interviews. Check out our Rogue Performer event page for more information as it becomes available, and you can also check out the Rogue 2017 website.
by L. Nicol Cabe
I am a 90s kid. I get nostalgic about Ring Pops and Hammer-pants and grunge music and Goosebumps. But the 1990s were also a time of intense science reporting. I don’t think many people my age remember that, but some incredible discoveries were made that decade. We found the first exo-planet: a gas giant orbiting close to its star, so we saw its shadow. We also found a huge hole in the ozone layer above Australia. I saw my first solar eclipse, my first lunar eclipse, and slept through one of the most devastating hurricanes, Hurricane Hugo (which pales in comparison to today’s monster storms). I read excitedly about the rovers landing on Mars and with fear about the destruction of coral reefs. I read a Mad Magazine special called Purple Acid Rain, combining two hot topics of the time.
I also fell in love with Star Trek. My mom got me hooked on The Next Generation, a show which rarely used science accurately, but which found ways to extol human virtues like intelligence and cooperation in a way that still makes me hope for the best for our species. Other science fiction and fantasy obsessions followed: Frank Herbert’s Dune series, Orson Scott Card’s Speaker for the Dead series, Fahrenheit 451, 1984, The Giver, and Brave New World. These writers found ways to talk about frightening subjects, like nuclear winter, censorship, deep space exploration, and more by focusing on how these issues affect people. Of course, that’s what narratives do.
Climate change is a hard subject to talk about, as Al Gore and most climate scientists have learned. But it is fascinating, don’t you think? Are we going to live in Waterworld or Mad Max? Will we end up on a space station, the planet below us a desolate husk of what it once was? Will we survive all of this and become the enlightened space travelers in Star Trek?
I want to know, and the only way I can know is to speculate. Not just what climate change may do to the world—acid oceans, sprawling deserts, massive hurricanes, and daily smog—but how we will handle that. I still cling to my Star Trek-induced hope for us, that we will survive this. We are an intelligent species, and we do cooperate with each other from time to time.
So, that’s what Tidal Surge is about. I play three women, across three generations, each at a different period in climate change history. A city floods, petroleum only exists above the Arctic Circle, and tropical diseases have moved far north. But what other world do these women know? They survive and even thrive.
Performances of Tidal Wave will be:
Friday, March 3 2017 7:15 PM — 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, March 4 2017 6:45 PM — 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 9 2017 6:00 PM — 6:45 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 2017 8:00 PM — 8:45 p.m.
Fulton Street Art
1118 N Fulton St, Fresno, CA 93728
Sh*t Show: A Story of Invisible Illness
by Anna Sell
“Do you know where the nearest bathroom is?” I do. At all times. And exactly how many steps it takes to get there.
As a founding member of Box of Clowns, I was last seen lurking about Fresno in September at the Seattle-to-Fresno Mini Rogue Festival. We brought the surreal with Mustache Party: The Salvador Dali Show, the second of our company’s full-length productions. By finding delight and humor in unexpected places, Box of Clowns aims to create visceral, emotional, and provocative experiences for our audiences. Together we have toured internationally and won several awards for the work that we have done.
For Rogue Fest, I applied these same values to the creation of my first one-woman show, Sh*t Show: A Story of Invisible Illness. Here I bravely perform a magic act in reverse: making invisible illness visible! When I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease, I was faced with a metric crap-ton of social stigmas and have found that the best way to wade through the bullsh*t is to strap on my large clown shoes and find some humor in it all. Laughter is, indeed, the best medicine!
I created this piece for many reasons, the foremost being Invisible Illness Advocacy. It is difficult enough struggling with a disease without adding the additional layer of invisibility. I find myself uniquely equipped to tackle this. I am a clown. I was born to find humor in the bleakest of moments and laugh through the tears that pour from my face. Every day we are faced with a choice: to accept the hardships we are given or to make lemonade. I chose option letter C and made a pie instead. Everyone has a story to tell. We are all living out the story of our lives. Sometimes it feels like we are writing that story, and other times it feels as if someone is dictating it for us. I want to empower people to reclaim their lives and their stories through movement and laughter, or a pie to the face.
Sh*t Show: An Invisible Story of Illness performances are:
Friday 3/3 at 8 p.m.
Saturday 3/4 at 5 p.m.
Wednesday 3/8 at 8 p.m.
Friday 3/10 at 6:30 p.m.
Saturday 3/11 at 3:30 p.m.
Fresno Soap Co.
1470 N. Van Ness Ave.
by Peter Aguero
Daddy Issues started as a personal challenge to myself. I’d been telling autobiographical stories for years with The Moth and other projects. I had an opportunity to do an hour at Under St Marks Theatre in the East Village, so I took a look at my backlog of stories. I noticed that many of the stories I’ve told have to do with significant relationships in my life, one of which is the tumultuous relationship that I’ve had with my father. I took six of those stories and found a thread and started working the show. It was a great exercise. The more that I performed the show, some stories got swapped out for others, narrative twists revealed themselves, and I made more than a few discoveries about the nature of my own memories. The Fringe circuit has been key in the development of the show. Every time I’ve gotten a run, I’d find myself editing on the fly and tightening the show, eventually getting it into the form that will be performed in Fresno. I’m very proud of this show as a narrative experiment.
It was very important to me that I make sure that the show has never been an hour of a disgruntled son slagging on his father. I try to be as honest as possible, presenting the truth from my perspective as best I can through the filters of time and memory. Some of the most interesting interactions I’ve had with audience members relate to their surprise in feeling empathy toward either or both main characters. I have always tried to steer away from attempting to make an audience feel any emotion or to teach a lesson. Instead, I always focus on presenting what happened, how I responded, and how I felt about the moment. That, to me, is the best storytelling that I can do.
I grew up in a blue-collar town in NJ, across the Delaware River from Philadelphia. My home was a tumult in a relatively quiet place. (It’s a strange thing to try to give personal background in the context of promoting an autobiographical show, just about anything I mention could potentially be a spoiler for the show.)
There are things to laugh about in Daddy Issues. There are things to cry about as well. It’s a show made of stories from my ages of 5, 9, 13, 15, 23, and 36. That’s a long time. It’s a bit of a rollercoaster at times. I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I feel that the issues that are the subtext at the heart of the show (masculinity, bullies, forgiveness, and the importance of love and support, to name a few) are at the heart of who I am and who I am trying to become as I get a better understanding of my own self.
I hope to see you at the show. Please don’t bring my dad. It would be awkward.
Here’s a trailer: vimeo.com/116219393
Performances will be at:
1296 N Wishon Ave, Fresno, CA
Check the ticket page for dates and times: roguefestival.ticketleap.com/daddyissues