Rogue Festival 2012!

Feb 18, 2012 | 2012 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Lorie Lewis Ham

by Lorie Lewis Ham

It’s nearly time for Fresno’s Rogue Festival 2012 which will take place March 1 through 10. Recently I had the chance to speak with one of the Festival’s producers, Renee “Solitaire” Newlove, about this year’s event. I also spoke with a few of the performers who will be there this year. So enjoy this intro to our Rogue coverage and watch for several more articles and reviews over the next couple of weeks! And keep an eye on our Rogue Performances event page as we continue to add more and more information about the performers/shows that will be there this year.

Lorie: Can you give me a brief description of what Rogue Festival is?

Renee: The Rogue Festival is an independent performance and art festival that celebrates the performer/artist/musician/dancer/magician/story-teller/etc. Created based on the San Francisco Fringe model, the Rogue Festival has grown to include anything and everything art has to offer. The creative minds of local performers as well as a large national and international group of performers have all come over the past 11 years to make this festival one of the best in the Nation. 🙂

Lorie: What is your position with Rogue?

Renee: I am the Co-Producer for the Rogue Festival, I share my duties with Jayne Day.

Lorie: What year was the first Rogue?

Renee: Rogue started in 2002 and had only two venues and was two days long, they had 1200 audience members. 🙂

Lorie: Are there any changes to this year’s festival/anything different from past ones?

Renee: We have completely revamped our ticketing system! This is our big change this year. We will be selling tickets prior to the Rogue shows at three main locations (Tower Theater, Starline Grill, and The Broken Leg Stage). There will be people floating around during the Festival to make sure audiences know about our changes made this year, and to sell tickets if people have not gotten theirs ahead of time.

Lorie: Any new venues added this year?

Renee: We are working with the Tower Lounge which is located at the Painted Table next to the Tower Theater and Studio 74 for our gallery space.

Lorie: What do you think makes Rogue Festival special and unique and why would you encourage people to attend?

Renee: The Rogue Festival brings in performers and shows that you will never see at any other time in Fresno. There are performers from all over the world who come to Fresno to perform their shows. Each show is unique and the Festival offers something for every type of audience member.

Lorie: Any tips for those attending their first festival?

Renee: Plan ahead! Grab a Rogue Map (your guide to the 2012 Festival) and mark what shows you want to see. Be adventurous. You never know what you’ll see and it’s cheaper than a movie, so why not try something new out! Find one of our great volunteers if you have any questions during the Festival and be on the look out for our performers, they will love to chat with you!

Lorie: Anything else you want to add?

Renee: This Festival has been a labor of love, one that is run solely on the volunteerism of over 100 amazing people. We are always looking to expand our team and would love to have more people get involved. Information about the Rogue Festival and volunteering is on our website.

Editor’s note: You can learn more about tickets on the Rogue Festival website as well.

Tony and Aileen Imperatrice share a little about their Rogue experience. Tony will be performing a one act play this year called “Confessions of a Church Organist”

Lorie: Is this your first Rogue?

Tony:My first Rogue performance was in 2006. I have done three musical performances and this will be my fourth comedic performance.

Aileen: I’ve been involved in the Fresno Rogue Festival as core staff since 2003, when I helped establish the first Rogue Art Gallery.
Since then I’ve been the Artist Coordinator, a venue manager (incl. my own Gallery/Cafe venue space), Board of Directors member, President of the Board of Directors, visual artist participant, as well as performer and now a Producer for a show.

Lorie: What do you like best about Rogue?

Tony: Fringe festivals in general offer performers greater freedom and flexibility.

Aileen: Rogue is a wonderful cacophony of all the excitement in the arts. Performers from all over the world and locally have the opportunity to enjoy friendships and camaraderie as we make this festival happen. It creates an atmosphere of anything can happen and provides the audience with performances they wouldn’t normally get the chance to experience. This freedom of expression provides unique opportunities for talented people to showcase new ideas. I am fortunate to be close friends with the creators of this festival and have had the great luck of being with it as it grows.

Lorie: Can you give me a couple sentences about your act?

Tony: After decades in the church music business, I reflected on the fact that I had many interesting and funny stories to tell. This show gives the audience a chance to laugh at what goes on behind the scenes at church.

Kristie Francis is a singer/songwriter and will be performing her show “Kristie with a K”. She shares her thoughts as well.

Lorie: Is this your first Rogue?

Kristie: I’ve attended before, but this is my first time performing.

Lorie: What do you like best about Rogue?

Kristie: All of us (performers and audiences alike) are taking chances, hoping for the best! The first time I attended the Rogue, I asked myself, what do I have to loose? Even if I don’t care for a particular show, I’m only out a few bucks and an hour of my life! I thoroughly enjoyed every performance – so much variety, enthusiasm, and talent – and I hated to see each show end. I noticed that the audiences were as varied as the performers (age, gender, appearance), and all were energetic, open-minded and eager to be pleased. And everyone was having fun! I knew after one Rogue evening that I wanted to share my music with these people!

Lorie: Can you give me a couple sentences about your act?

Kristie: The experiences and people in life and in my imagination – pleasant or otherwise – are endlessly fascinating and often amusing. I like to write songs about all sorts of things that catch my attention, and when I sing them for people, we discover that we’re all in this together – everyone can relate, and share the music and the laughter, and take that good feeling home with them!

You can find out all the details on both of these shows and more on KRL’s Rogue Performances event page. Check out some Rogue articles from last year including Doing Da Rogue which has tips on how to do the Rogue Festival and an article on the history of the Rogue Festival.

Lorie Lewis Ham is our Editor-in-Chief and an enthusiastic contributor to various sections, coupling her journalism experience with her connection to the literary and entertainment worlds. Explore Lorie’s mystery writing at Mysteryrat’s Closet.



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