College News

Undergrad Actors - Two Macalester juniors star in a Minnesota Fringe Festival production

July 26, 2012

CATEGORY: College News
RELATED STORIES: Stephanie Stuart in London, Young Author, Theater Apprentice
RELATED PROGRAMS: Theatre and Dance

Each August the Minnesota Fringe Festival brings almost 200 shows—drama, comedy, music, and dance—to over a dozen Twin Cities venues.

This summer, Macalester juniors Rob Gelberg '14 (English/Creative Writing major, North Caldwell, N.J.) and Alana Horton '14 (Theatre and Dance major, Northampton, Mass.) co-starred in one of those Fringe Festival dramas, a two-person play written by Gelberg called To and From on the Earth. Their production was staged at the HUGE Improv Theater, 3037 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis, from Aug. 2 through 11. For more information, see http://www.fringefestival.org/2012/show/?id=2400

The play, an earlier version of which won Gelberg top honors in the 2010 New Jersey Young Playwrights Competition, is set in a coffee shop in which God and the Devil have decided to meet and have a conversation.

Minnesota Fringe Festival plays are chosen through a lottery system because, as the website says, they believe “everyone has the capability to make great art—and, more importantly, everyone should get their chance to try.”

Although To and From on the Earth wasn’t chosen in the original lottery, Gelberg and Horton prepared it anyway, tentatively planning to produce it in Gelberg’s backyard. At the last minute, the Fringe Festival made a call for additional productions that were ready to go, and Gelberg and Horton got their shot.

Gelberg, an English major, and Horton, an English and theater major, are co-directing the piece as well as handling all costume and set design. Both students appeared last year in Macalester’s production of The Laramie Project. Horton also performed in Mac’s Antigone; Gelberg, who is interning at the Guthrie Theater this summer, had the lead in Mac’s The Inland Sea.

Additionally, Gelberg had taken a class from Beth Cleary, "Playwrighting and Textual Analysis," and is currently studying abroad in a NYU-based London program in playwrighting.

Isabel Nelson '05 (Theatre and Dance and Religion major), Heather Bunch '05 (Theatre and Dance major), Peytie McCandless '11 (Theatre and Dance and Music major), and Willie Gambucci '12 (English major), all performed in TransAtlantic Love Affair's "Best of Fringe" show, Ash Land.  TransAtlantic Love Affair has won "Best of Fringe" 3 years in a row, and the company was founded by Isabel Nelson '05 and Diogo Lopes.  

Fringe Festival 2012

From left to right: Allison Witham, Derek Lee Miller, Adelin Phelps, Heather Bunch '04, Willie Gambucci '12, Peytie McCandless '11, Eric Nelson, Isabel Nelson '04