Barry McNamara  |   Published August 30, 2016

Fusion Fest III

Alums Fotis, Bybee to join student playwrights at opening theatre event
Some sequels just keep getting better, and that is the expectation for Monmouth College’s Fusion Fest III.

“Fusion Fest has been highly successful in the past two years,” said Assistant Professor of Theatre Vanessa Campagna. “We have more than 20 students participate each year, and the performances have sold out. We anticipate equal success this year.”

A series of short plays will be written, staged and performed in 24 hours, the public performance will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Fusion Theatre, 230 S. Main St., the College’s downtown theatre.

Two of the plays will be written by accomplished Monmouth College alumni.

“We are continuing the tradition of using Fusion Fest as an opportunity to connect with our alumni,” Campagna said. “Matt Fotis (’01) and Jess Bybee (’14) will write for the festival this year, and we are delighted to have them.”

Now a theatre professor at Albright (Pa.) College, Fotis was a mainstay on the Monmouth stage during his days as a student. He is the author of Long Form Improvisation & American Comedy: The Harold. Bybee is a graduate of The Second City Training Centre in Chicago.

The festival will kick off will blind drawings at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 9, as the playwrights will draw for their directors and actors. Playwrights have until 7:30 a.m. Sept. 10 to write their plays. The plays will then be handed to directors and actors, who have until 7 p.m. to rehearse, memorize and stage them.

The rehearsals – which begin at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 10 – are free and open to the public. The theatre will be cleared by the evening and will re-open at 7 p.m. A half-hour later, the audience will be able to watch the controlled chaos come alive on the stage.

“Theatre is an inherently collaborative act,” Campagna said. “The theatre faculty are continually impressed with the way our students work with each other to create theatre, but to see them do it in 24 hours is especially rewarding.”

Tickets for Fusion Fest are $5 for adults and $3 for students, seniors and patrons with a Monmouth College ID.
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