Rogue Festival 2016: Black Wool Jacket

Feb 20, 2016 | 2016 Articles, Arts & Entertainment

by Nat Vickers

The 2016 Rogue Festival is almost here. KRL has been featuring several Festival performer preview articles the last couple of weeks, and still have more to go including three in this issue! This week we also have an article about the Festival itself. We will also be reviewing many of the shows once the Festival begins in early March, 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 2016 website.

The first time a nightclub patron lost their coat check ticket on my watch, he looked me straight in the eyes, smiled innocently, and snarled, “Listen. If you don’t find my coat right now, I will come back there, and turn you into a coat, got it?!”

I was so stunned that I laughed in his face and asked if he was serious.

He wasn’t, incidentally, but was so eager to be reunited with his precious black wool jacket before leaving the nightclub to face a meanly chilly winter’s eve in Toronto that he said the first thing that came to mind, and what was it? The scene from The Empire Strikes Back in which Han Solo splits open the belly of a tauntaun to keep Luke alive on Hoth. And with that rich image in mind and security now paying awful close attention, the patron kindly took leave of the club, and faced the cold…coatless. Rogue

From 2013 until 2015, I took a job as a ‘coat check attendant’ at a downtown Toronto nightclub to make some quick tip money while writing my PhD thesis on performing animals, like circus elephants. I wanted something brainless and uncomplicated! What I found instead was that the prospect of facing a coatless walk home in the dead of winter drew club patrons into battles of Shakespearian proportions. There were mistaken identities, heartfelt soliloquies, once friends turned dueling foes, ambitious dancers striving to usurp nightclub command, and a tempest of passions unleashed upon coat check. When at 3 a.m., the dramatis personae found their tragic flaws in a lost coat check claim tickets. Shakespeare himself would have had a field day with the material.

It was only natural that the inspiration should find its way into a Fringe show.

Black Wool Jacket is the result of these encounters – a one-woman storytelling piece that pits curious academic against a hoard of lost claim tickets and the confessions that spill from club patrons when it seems their coats may not make the trip home with them. What stories do people share with the coat check when they think no one will remember them? This is a story of all those stories – theirs, and mine – from the unbelievable to the inconceivable, the hilarious to the unsavory, the scandalous to the haunting, all entirely true. Are you ready?

Playwright Nat Vickers is bringing her first show to the Rogue Festival all the way from Toronto, Canada, but she’s been behind the tech booth for some shows at the Seattle to Rogue Mini Fringe Festival! She’s excited to be heading back to Fresno, (especially in the middle of a Canadian winter!), this time to be on the stage!

Tickets to Black Wool Jacket are $10. The show will be at Mia Cuppa Caffe’. Dates and times are: Saturday, March 5th @ 2 p.m.; Saturday, March 5th @ 9:30 p.m.; Sunday, March 6th @ 5 p.m.; Thursday, March 10th @ 6:30 p.m.; Saturday, March 12th @ 2 p.m.

Mia Cuppa Caffe’
620 E Olive Ave, Fresno, CA 93728
(559) 499-1844

For more information on Black Wool Jacket, visit Nat’s website at

For tickets and more info on Rogue Festival, visit


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