Barry McNamara  |   Published September 28, 2021

A Fusion of Disciplines

FusionFest theatre festival to join forces with Classics Day on Oct. 2.

MONMOUTH, Ill. – The eighth edition of Monmouth College’s FusionFest will literally pay tribute to the classics.

FUSIONFEST: Professor Vanessa Campagna says the eighth edition is a reconceptualized ... FUSIONFEST: Professor Vanessa Campagna says the eighth edition is a "reconceptualized" version of annual theatre festival.The annual theatre festival has fused with the College’s Classics Day V, and both events will begin at 1 p.m. Oct. 2 on Dunlap Terrace outside the Stockdale Student Center. FusionFest VIII will last until around 3 p.m., with Classics Day continuing until 4 p.m.

In past years, FusionFest was a 24-hour festival. During the first 12 hours, students wrote new, 10-minute plays. During the final 12 hours, students staged those plays. While this year’s festival includes an original 10-minute play by theatre major Melanie Delbridge ’23 that draws inspiration from classical mythology, the other seven performances will be scenes from Greek and Roman plays, and contemporary adaptations thereof. The creative teams will have rehearsed for 12 hours, spread out over one month’s time.

Monmouth theatre professor Vanessa Campagna called FusionFest VIII the “inaugural, reconceptualized FusionFest.”

“The namesake of FusionFest is no longer the Fusion Theatre, but rather the liberal arts tradition and the interdisciplinary fusions it fosters,” said Campagna. “When COVID-19 necessitated that last year’s festival move from inside the Fusion Theatre to the front steps of Wallace Hall, I found energy and creativity in approaching FusionFest differently. From there, a reimagined festival began to take shape, and now here we are.”

The theatre department is also fusing with two other academic disciplines – art and languages. Students involved in Monmouth’s Art Alliance are painting the scenery, while students from professor Francisco Ángeles’ “Spanish for Heritage Speakers” class will perform a scene from Mojada, a contemporary adaptation of Euripides’ Greek tragedy Medea by celebrated Chicano writer/performer Luis Alfaro.

And one more fusion: A scene from Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex will be presented by theatre students from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg.

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