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It is almost time for Rogue Festival again, but this time it will be virtual! Watch this page for event and performer info, and you can also go to their website to learn more and purchase tickets when they become available. Also keep an eye on KRL for Rogue Performer Preview articles!

2021 Virtual Rogue Festival offers a booster shot of unique performance in March

For its 20th year, the Rogue Festival planned something spectacular! And then a pandemic hit. So we’re still changing things up with our 2021 Virtual Rogue Festival, March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13 and 14. This year, all of our performances will happen safely via Zoom. Artists from near and far will be presenting their unique form of performance and ideas beamed in from their living rooms all over the world.

While our Festival attendees and artists may miss that in-person buzz of going from venue to venue throughout the Tower District, the two weekends of the Virtual Rogue Festival will still provide what we value the most: a booster shot of original and thought-provoking performance art in a concentrated dose, providing arts-lovers with new and stimulating ideas to carry with them for the rest of the year.

Some of the unintended outcomes of holding a virtual festival have been a pleasant surprise. For example, we managed to schedule every act that applied for the Festival this year, turning no applicant away. We also received far more applications from out of town performers who were able to participate because they don’t have to travel. We’ll host performers from Sweden, Australia, Montreal, New York City, and more this year.

Our local artists have also embraced the new opportunities. Several have filmed new, original works to share with their community. We also have a documentary film on our schedule this year, bringing back the film element of Rogue Festival that we enjoyed over a decade ago.

Tickets to the 2021 Virtual Rogue Festival will be available on February 14th. 100% of the ticket income goes directly to the performers. At that time, you can view all of our Virtual Festival offerings and our schedule at roguefestival.ticketleap.com.

2021 Virtual Rogue Festival Information:

March 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 14 via Zoom
Tickets and schedule: roguefestival.ticketleap.com
Website and update: fresnoroguefestival.com
Ticket prices: $0-$10
Zoom links will be sent to paid ticket holders 24 hours prior to the shows.
For further information, contact co-producer Heather Parish at roguefestival.heather@gmail.com

Also included in the festival:
Online Teaser Show Live Stream on Rogue Festival’s Facebook and Instagram during the week prior to the festival.
Online merchandise sales for Rogue Festival tees and other merchandise
Online auction to support Rogue Festival.
Monitor our social media for more information: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Les Kurkendaal-The Real Black Swann, Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen

Los Angeles , CA – Actor/Storyteller and veteran Rogue Festival performer Les Kurkendall-Barrett brings the world premiere of his brand new storytelling show The Real Black Swann, Confessions of America’s First Black Drag Queen to The Rogue Festival. The show is based on the life of William Dorsey Swann . William Dorsey Swann was a former slave who organized underground drag balls in Washington DC in the 1800’s . In the 1880’s he was arrested for both having a drag ball and being in drag . He went to prison for this for 10 months . He asked President Grover Cleveland for a pardon and this made him the earliest Americans to fight for the rights of the LGBTQ community . Kurkendaal-Barrett says “ As I Black , Queer performer I find this story very inspiring . This man was not only brave, he was ahead of his time . Think about it , without Swann we would have no Ru Paul’s Drag Race , no Madonna and probably no rights for LGBTQ people . I wouldn’t have the career that I have today . I am an openly gay performer and so he paved the way for me. I am able to stand on stage and speak my truth . I think it is a shame that there is practically no information about William Dorsey Swann . It has become my mission to change that.” The Rogue Festival is actually going to be virtual this year. You will be able to see this show on Saturday March 6 at 2pm and Friday March 12 at 9pm. For more info go to www.fresnoroguefestival.com

Festival info: fresnoroguefestival.com

Dockery brings his ongoing pandemic series to The Tower
A live, virtual, & true storytelling performance, from my camera on the east coast to your device on the west. RIGHT NOW: YEAR TWO, playing as part of the Rogue Festival, is an entirely new storytelling show about the bewildering, intense, funny, heartbreaking, surreal, harrowing, and ridiculous effects of our collective quasi-quarantine.

Show times: Sat, March 6 @ 8pm & Sun, March 14 @ 6pm (Pacific)
Location: All shows are on Zoom. Details provided upon ticket purchase.
Tickets: $10 Tickets are available @ roguefestival.ticketleap.com

Since August, I’ve been performing all new, live, virtually performed shows inspired by the moment we all find ourselves living through right now. Like each show in the RIGHT NOW series (which are all available on YouTube), RIGHT NOW: YEAR TWO will be entirely created for the moment in which it’s performed. At the time of this press release, therefore, the show does not yet exist. In this way, it’s a verbal high wire act, a show that will, in effect, present itself to me in the weeks before the performance.

This particular iteration of RIGHT NOW will be inspired by the fact that Rogue marks the start of year number two of our collective experiment in social distancing. Twelve months of isolation, both for me here at the most eastern point of the U.S., and for you there on the other side of the continent.

“The best storyteller in the US… Martin Dockery wins acclaim by sharing his life and life lessons in entertaining style.”” -The Orlando Sentinel.

For more than a decade, I’ve been touring the independent theater festival circuit as a storyteller. Until now, of course, when I lost the thread of my own narrative, just as we all have. RIGHT NOW: YEAR TWO is my bid, both comical and serious, to reach beyond the computer screen and make a present tense connection in a socially distanced world.

Shows I’ve previously performed at Rogue include Right Now (2019), Delirium (2018), Moonlight After Midnight (2017), The Bike Trip (2013), The Surprise (2011), Wanderlust (2010).

For more information on the performer, please visit www.MartinDockery.com.

Donna Kay Yarborough Returns To Rogue with Streaming Horror “Rosegold”

Fresno Rogue Festival veteran Donna Kay Yarborough is more commonly known for comedy and music. This time, she’s back with a pandemically-adapted version of her newest show, “Rosegold”, a terrifying tale of the thing that fuels one woman’s addiction.

Set in a virtual Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, a new attendee named Jamie speaks up for the first time and shares her reasons for drinking. It turns out she is what horror film fans refer to as a “Final Girl”, the sole survivor of a violent event. Ever since, she has tried to drink away the darkness that she cannot rid. The other attendees/ audience learns that what haunts her is more than trauma— much more.

The show, which is “not autobiographical, but is definitely informed by real experiences,” made its nascent debut at 2020 Rogue festival as a staged reading. Yarborough recalls, “That last weekend of the festival, we [participants] all watched our very-literal livelihood disappear in about five days. I thought this little show would never get to grow some legs. Then I realized, just a few tweaks would make it perfect for a Zoom-style format. Very simple, real, and intimate.”

Virtual “Rosegold” has certainly grown its legs. As part of Online@theSpaceUK Season 2, it has received high-praise:

“[Rosegold] toys with the tropes we recognise from both the traditional Christmas ghost story and the type of horror film that includes ‘found footage’…it has a great power in creating the images being described within the viewer’s mind…The words are well-chosen and a sense of unease builds throughout the piece. ????”

—Louise Penn, North West End UK

“…An utterly compelling horror story…Donna Kay Yarborough is so confident, she even mocks the clichés of the genre…

Rosegold is an intense experience and essential viewing.”

—David Cunningham, British Theatre Guide

“… Rosegold is an enthralling work that successfully blends Lovecraftian terror with the everyday horrors of addiction. Simple in its execution, but with far greater depth than one might expect, Yarborough proves herself to be a masterful writer and performer with a great deal of promise. ????”

—Nico Marrone, The Wee Review

“[Yarborough] has a canny knack of telling a tale which both draws you in and repulses in equal measure and… As Jamie tells her story, Yarborough becomes increasingly haggard and distraught (understandably) and does so without recourse to make up or lighting changes – she is clearly in full command of her material and gives a mesmerising performance… this American tale may send you to bed with the horrors – both of the unknown which is in the darkness and that which constitutes addiction.”

—John Chapman, My Theatre Mates

Donna Kay Yarborough is moved by people’s connection with the tale. “I aimed to make a horror show,” she says,”and it seems I hit the mark.”

“Rosegold” will stream March 6th (2:00 P.M. PST) and 14th (6:00 P.M. PST) as part of Fresno Rogue Festival 2021. For viewing information, go to http://www.fresnoroguefestival.com/

To follow the misadventures of Donna Kay Yarborough on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, go to DonnaKaySpeaks.com and @DonnaKaySpeaks

Melanie Gall Presents
Piaf and Brel:
The Impossible Concert

Acclaimed Canadian vocalist, Melanie Gall, comes to the Rogue Festival with her award-winning French cabaret,
Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert.

Edith Piaf and Jacques Brel: two French musical icons. They sang songs of romance, heartbreak, hope and love. They lived lives of drama and passion. This impossible concert, featuring internationally-acclaimed vocalist Melanie Gall, relives the adventure and inspiration of their lives and music. With “Amsterdam” “Milord”,”La Vie en Rose” and other French classics.

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert has been performed in venues all around the world, ranging from theatres in Scotland and around the United Kingdom, festivals in Canada, an off-Broadway run in New York City, as well as performances in Khartoum, Taiwan, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei Darussalam.

Piaf and Brel: The Impossible Concert has sold out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe from 2016-2018, as well as at the Adelaide Fringe and Fringeworld in Perth. It has received glowing reviews from around the world, and has won several awards, including the CBC Best Musical Award and the SoHo Playhouse Best of the Fringe.

????? CBC ????? Adelaide Advertiser
????? Winnipeg Free Press
Edinburgh Fringe Sell-out runs, 2016-2018

Listings information
Venue: Online @ fresnoroguefestival.com
Dates: 4:00 PM – 6 March, 2021; 5:00 PM – 12 March, 2021
Length: 1 Hour
Tickets: $10
Suitable for 10+

For more information, photos, interviews or media contact Melanie Gall at +1-646-544-7664 or music@melaniegall.com. More information is online at www.melaniegall.com.

Beyond the Backyard: UR Here for One-Acts
UR Here Theater is thrilled be officially opening as Fresno’s newest theater company at the 2021 Rogue Festival with Beyond the Backyard: UR Here for One-Acts. We are featuring three 10- minute one-act plays: 2B or Nah: Sexting Hamlet, written by Donna Latham; Byzantine, written by Tlaloc Rivas; and Every Creeping Thing, written by David Beardsley. In just one hour you’ll be entertained with creepers, Shakespearean sexting, cell phones, spoofs, dad-bod, Hamlet, Ophelia, sex tape, LGBTQ, Characters of Color, drama, dark comedy, political satire, climate change, dinosaurs, Clytemnestra, newer works, dramaturgy and talkbacks! All of this for the insane price of $10!
2B or Nah: Sexting Hamlet is directed by Marc Gonzalez and features Damen Pardo, Christine Myers, Drew Anderson, and Christopher Hoffman in the cast. Byzantine is directed by Marikah Christine Leal and features Gabriel Micu and Amber Smith. Every Creeping Thing is directed by Nwachukwu Oputa and features Kay Wilkins, Josh Plowman, Carly Oliver, Michael Fidalgo, Camille Gaston, and Bridget Martin. Dramaturgy is done by Michelle Hill Olson.
Performances are Saturday, March 6th at 8pm and Sunday, March 14th at 2pm. Tickets are at $10. Please visit the Rogue Festival website (roguefestival.ticketleap.com) for tickets and more information.

Las Vegas Lounge Legend, Trudy Carmichael Brings Her Own Brand of Roguish Charm to the 2021 Virtual Rogue Festival!

THE INTERNET – Las Vegas’s most outrageous unknown lounge singer, Trudy Carmichael vows to wow online audiences in her self-proclaimed “FABULOUS” improvised cabaret for the Virtual Rogue Festival at 6:00 pm (PT)/ 9:00 pm (ET) on Sunday, March 7th and 2:00 pm (PT)/5:00 pm (ET) on Saturday, March 13 with her show, “Trudy Carmichael Presents The Improvised One-Woman Show!”

Join fictional legend, Trudy Carmichael (Robin Rothman), musical accompanist, Frankie Keys (Frank Spitznagel) desperately tickling the ivories, and over-the-top host, Shane Taymor (Sean Taylor) for an entirely unpredictable improvised event featuring original songs, starry-eyed anecdotes, and stratospheric high notes – created on the spot based on audience suggestions submitted via live comments from the comfort of their own homes, apartments, or RVs!

“Trudy Carmichael is a legend. Generations of musical improvisers have striven to emulate her rhyme schemes, her clever turns of phrase, and her sultry voice- but no one has tried to follow her wild lifestyle, because they would surely die. Slightly less wild but no less talented is her actress, Robin Rothman, who has been touring the NYC stages for more than a decade. Don’t miss it!” – Meshblog.com

“Robin Rothman as Trudy Carmichael is just full of humor, light, and energy.” – LocalTheaterNY.com

“Rothman clearly has a lot of fun with the wackiness spurred on by audience suggestions and the overall spontaneity.” – TheEasy.com

“Coming to you live from her stylish Las Vegas living room, Trudy Carmichael (aka Robin Rothman) is a gifted musical improviser, which is one of the most impressive skills.” – Cherryandspoon.com

Trudy Carmichael Presents The Improvised One-Woman Show has received critical acclaim at dozens of comedy and Cabaret venues including The Duplex, Sid Gold’s, The Kraine in NYC, and Majestic Repertory Theater in Las Vegas and is an official selection of SOLOCOM, (People’s Improv Theater, NYC,) Providence Improv Festival, Third Coast Improv Festival (Nashville, TN), Alaska Improv Festival, Impro Amsterdam, Downtown Las Vegas Improv Festival, LIT Fest (DC), We The People Improv Festival (Philadelphia) The 20th Annual Del Close Marathon (UCB NY), The New York International Fringe Festival, Baltimore Improv Festival, Steel City Improv Festival (Pittsburgh), Impro En Seine (Paris), Out of Bounds Comedy Festival (Austin, TX), Chicago Musical Improv Festival (iO Chicago), The Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2020 (deferred), The (Virtual) New York Musical Improv Festival, Women In Comedy Festival (Boston), Minnesota Fringe Virtual Festival, FringeLiveStrem Series and The Virtual Edinburgh Horror Festival.

The Rogue Festival is Fresno’s annual non-juried, noncurated festival of theater, music, dance, and the performing arts. Founded in 2002 by Fresno playwright and producer Marcel Nunis, the Rogue presents independently produced performance from Fresno, the Central Valley, and the world. For more information, visit www.roguefestival.com.

WHAT: Trudy Carmichael Presents The Improvised One-Woman Show! in The Virtual Rogue Festival 2021
WHO: Las Vegas Legend, Trudy Carmichael (Robin Rothman)
Live Musical Accompaniment by Frankie Keys (Frank Spitznagel)
Emcee Shane Taymor (Sean Taylor)

WHEN: 6:00 pm (PT)/ 9:00 pm (ET) on Sunday, March 7th
2:00 pm (PT)/5:00 pm (ET) on Saturday, March 13
HOW MUCH: Tickets $5
TICKET LINK: roguefestival.ticketleap.com
RUNNING TIME: 45 minutes
AGES: 14+
SHOW WEBSITE: https://www.trudycarmichael.com/trudycarmichaelpresents

Australian musician, Mark Nunis makes his Rogue Festival debut (virtually) with his show
‘I Sit on my Arse & Play Piano’

Mark Nunis is an accomplished Pianist, Singer, Multi-Instrumentalist, and Entertainer based in Melbourne, Australia. A respected peer in amongst Piano Bar Entertainers around the globe, for over 25 years, Mark has travelled around the world performing on cruise ships and entertaining crowds with his sophisticated piano playing skills and smooth, soulful vocal sounds.

WHAT: ‘I Sit on My Arse & Play Piano – Arse sitting Mark tickles the ivories and spins a tale or 3 all the way from sunny Melbourne, Australia. Original songs woven in with personal stories form the tapestry of this fun and slightly cheeky show.

WHO: Mark Nunis (in collaboration with Marcel Nunis)

WHEN: Friday 3rd May – 5pm
Saturday 13th May – 8pm

WHERE: Virtual Venue 1

Tickets: $9

45 minutes, adults only, latecomers permitted. There will be a live Q & A after the show

In collaboration with his cousin and founder of the Rogue Festival, Marcel Nunis, arse sitting Mark tickles the ivories and spins a tale or 3 all the way from sunny Australia. Original songs woven in with personal stories form the tapestry of this fun and slightly cheeky show.

This virtual show will be pre-recorded and filmed in various places around Victoria, Australia. Lockdown enabled time for reflection and also time allowance to channel in and develop some other creative ideas due to the fact that life slowed down and also that we were home bound for 8 months.
Some of the songs in the show are songs that have been in the ‘vault’ for a while, others, new ideas that came from having the chance to learn and add some new instruments to his bag of musical tricks.
The show also touches on how his parents sacrificed a very nice and well to do life in Singapore, migrate to Australia in 1976, and in that same year, in a house, in the middle of an apple orchard, right in the middle of a scorching Australian summer, came to be the first Aussie born Nunis to ‘Sit on his Arse and Play Piano.

So grab a comfy seat, chuck a shrimp on the barbe and come hang out…virtually, of course.

THE LINE: Waging War against COVID-19

The Fresno City College Theatre Department presents THE LINE to virtual audiences this Spring. THE LINE is a new play by Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen created in the award-winning documentary style that brought you The Exonerated, Aftermath, and Coal Country. At a time in which our own local hospitals feel the insurmountable weight of the pandemic, with cases on the rise and ICU’s reaching 0% capacities, THE LINE offers a visceral lens into the realities of frontline healthcare workers in New York as COVID-19 bludgeons communities and hospitals within the city.

“In spring 2020, we conducted anonymous interviews with NYC frontline medical workers battling the COVID-19 virus,” said THE LINE creators Jessica Blank and Erik Jensen. “Through these interviews, we began to see care as a radical response to institutionalized violence and the systems that perpetuate it. Created from quarantine in ‘rapid response’ to this national emergency, THE LINE presents a fundamental redefinition of what it means to protect and serve, examining the fault lines in our system through the words of the brave people who show up every day to care for us all.”
Director Karina Balfour shared “These are the stories that we heard out of New York last year, but they are the stories that are currently being lived by our healthcare workers in Fresno and the Central Valley. ICU’s with zero capacity, ambulances being turned away from hospitals, the exhaustion, the anger, the fear- this is our community, our people, our stories right now.”
THE LINE had its world premiere through The Public in July 2020 and was viewed by over 50,000 people in 40 countries during its two month virtual run.
The Fresno City College cast is made up of students, alumni and industry professionals including: Vernon Lee Jones III, Adam Khouzam, William MacDonald, Katherine Maitre, Deep Rai, tony sanders, Nicole Turpin, and Paige Willis. Other production members include: Alexandra Yolen Chavez (Stage Manager), Emily Garcia (Assistant Stage Manager) and Ricardo Temores Jr. (Dramaturg).
THE LINE runs March 5-6, 11-13 at 7:30pm and March 7 at 2:00pm. Run time is approximately 70 mins. Tickets are donation based and can be reserved here: fcc-theatre-box-office.eventbrite.com
Audience members will be invited to a virtual talk back with the director and cast on Sunday March 14 at 2pm. A link will be sent out to all who reserved tickets for any performance during the run.

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