Rogue Performer Preview: The Jester of All Maladies

Feb 18, 2023 | 2023 Articles, Arts & Entertainment, Rogue Festival

by Kurt Fitzpatrick

The Rogue Festival is almost here! This is our first of several official Rogue Performer Preview articles that will be going up between now and March 3. You will be able to find all of them, along with a preview article about the Festival itself, in our Rogue Festival category and you can find more info on our Rogue Festival event page over on KRL News and Reviews. Tickets for the Rogue Festival can be purchased on their website and you can find this year’s schedule.

I’m glad to be coming back to Fresno for my tenth Rogue festival! I have not been here since 2019 when I was performing my solo show Behind Every Great Mariska Hargitay Is a Great Kurt Fitzpatrick in Marcel Nunis’ Tent o’ Tales. Since then, I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma – a form of cancer that attacks the lymph nodes. Which brings me to my current show, The Jester of All Maladies, which is the story about my cancer journey from diagnosis to remission.

Kurt Fitzpatrick

I understand that cancer may not seem like a prime subject for a comedy show, but I found that I needed to laugh to get through it. So I figured there must be laughs to be had in telling the story, and there are. I put this show together last year with a help of a dramaturge (which is basically a playwriting editor) named Megan Philips, and played it in one festival: Philadelphia. Rogue is my West Coast debut, and my touring debut of this show.

Rather than tell the story that I tell in my show, I’d like to mention some things I learned over the course of my journey that might be helpful to others.

My advice to people is to get checked out by a doctor if something is amiss. I waited a long time to see a doctor, but if I had waited any longer, who knows where I’d be now. I was having kidney issues and weird pains in my stomach and finally my swollen left leg got me in to see a doctor. It never crossed my mind that I might have cancer. Then, once things were confirmed, I reached out to everyone I knew on social media and started to share my journey. I don’t think everyone necessarily needs to go to that extent, but it’s good to have some kind of community supporting you. And it’s important to get help. I was lucky to get support through the organizations Cancer Care and the Leukemia Lymphoma Society, giving me access to counselors and mentors. Now that I’m healthy, I’ve been able to return the favor by becoming a mentor to cancer patients myself.

And if you get non-Hodgkins lymphoma, do not, under any circumstances, watch the Netflix documentary series on Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker Serial Killer. Don’t do it. You’ll get to the end of the series and (spoiler alert!) learn that he died in prison of non-Hodgkins lymphoma. That will ruin a potentially good night of escapism.

See The Jester of All Maladies at Spectrum Art Gallery, 608 E. Olive Ave., Fresno. Friday, March 3 @ 7 p.m., Saturday, March 4 @ 3:30 p.m., and Sunday, March 5 @ 3:30 p.m

If you love local theatre, be sure to check out Mysteryrat’s Maze Podcast, which features mysteries read by local actors. You can find the podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, and also on podbean.

Check out more theatre reviews & other local entertainment articles in our Arts & Entertainment section. You can also find more theatre coming up on KRL’s Local Theatre event page.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.