by Kate McKnight
The Rogue Festival is almost here! Here is another of several 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.
After the death of both parents, and some other losses, I felt compelled to write a storytelling/solo performance show titled Ashes to Ashes: A Tragicomedy. It’s an exploration of my ability to land on my feet after adversity, and how I’m able to reinvent myself time and time again. In 2013, I wrote a solo performance show for the Rogue Festival that was in response to a series of misfortunes I had experienced the year before. I used more of a character-driven approach with different monologues, and also included poetry I had written during that time period.
Ashes to Ashes is a little different than my 2013 show because it’s not a solo performance; I’ve asked two musicians to join me to function as a musical Greek chorus. I’m very fortunate to be joined by my sister Sarah Serafimidis (who lives in the East Bay) and my friend Abigail Nolte who is a well-known local performer. Both add their beautiful voices and excellent guitar playing to the songs that are interwoven in the script.
The stories are arranged thematically rather than chronologically, and I’ve included parts of several pop and rock songs to augment the storytelling. Sometimes the music echoes and summarizes my different experiences; in other places the songs reveal my inner thoughts and emotions. The audience will hopefully relate to my search for love that lasts and the search for myself. And there is humor! And an audience sing-a-long!
One of the challenges in preparing for Rogue is that we’ll only have three in-person rehearsals by opening night. It’s pretty tough to sing with someone on Zoom, but Zoom did come in handy early on when discussing the concept and the arrangement of the songs. The other challenge for me was overcoming a stretch of writer’s block. I had begun writing before the winter holidays. I had an outline, a couple of sections started, and all but one of the songs chosen. Then, January was a rough month, and I made very little progress. My sisters and I had been preoccupied with preparing our father’s memorial service, and around that time my thirteen-year-old cat Lola died. It felt like grieving was all encompassing. I eventually was able to get past that block in early February.
Be advised that Ashes to Ashes: A Tragicomedy has adult themes and language. The length is about 50 minutes; the venue is the patio at Veni Vidi Vici; tickets are $8 at the door or can be purchased online at fresnoroguefestical.com where you’ll find more details about my performances and other Rogue shows.
Veni Vidi Vici, 1116 N. Fulton St., Fresno
Performance Dates/Times:?Friday, March 3 @ 7 p.m.
Sunday, March 5 @ 3:30 p.m.
Friday, March 10 @ 5:30 p.m.
Saturday, March 11 @ 3:30 p.m.
Rogue Festival Schedule Changes: Donna Kay Yarbrough (Titillated) has been replaced by Rosegold
Joe Medina (MERCH) has been cancelled
Genie Cartier (the Curve) has added a show on Saturday, March 4, at 8:00 p.m.
Amica Hunter (Anatomica) has added a show on Sunday, March 5, at 8:00 p.m.
Katherine Glover (Plan V) has added a show on Sunday, March 5 at 8 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.