GRAND RAPIDS — The eighth annual Lake Effect Fringe Festival here will begin Feb. 11 and run into March.
Held in the black box space at the Dog Story Theater, 7 Jefferson SE, the festival focuses on West Michigan playwrights, directors and performers. It seeks to highlight performer-focused theater in a non-traditional theater space. It creates an intimate performance experience for audiences who can expect different seating configurations and differing levels of interaction with the performers at any given performance.
Tickets for all events can be purchased in advance on the Dog Story Theater website, www.dogstorytheater.com. They are $15 for adults and $10 for students senior citizens, plus Eventbrite fees.
Fictional Friends Improv will kick off the festival by performing a one-night fundraising event to help raise money for the space rental fee for the remaining Festival participants. Titled “Throw $ at LEFF,” the event will be 8 p.m. Feb. 11. The evening will include fan-favorite games, some classics from the vault that haven’t been performed in years, and a few things that have never been performed for an audience, or performed at all.
Feb. 13-16, The Pigeon Creek Shakespeare Co. will perform playwright Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 farce “She Stoops to Conquer.” Performances will be 8 p.m. Feb. 13-15, and 3 p.m. Feb. 16.The Feb. 13 performance will be pay-what-you-can, in $5 increments, and tickets for that night will be available only at the door. PCSC is Michigan’s only year-round touring Shakespeare company.
The Brutal Sea troupe will present its new full-length play, “Mangoyle!,” Feb. 20-23. A futuristic comedy that includes matures themes and language, “Mangoyle!” contains a living gargoyle, gnomes and a coven of punk-rock witches. It will run at 8 p.m. Feb. 20-22, and 3 p.m. Feb. 23. The Feb. 20 is pay-what-you-can, in $5 increments, with tickets available only at the door.
Feb. 27 through March 1, the Hole in the Wall Theatre Company will present “Naples Story: Welcome to the Neighborhood.” The 90-minute show is inspired by a collection of Italian scenarios from the 1500s, and is performed as sketch improvisation. Hole in the Wall is Grand Rapids’ only commedia troupe. Performances will be 8 p.m. Feb. 27-29, and 3 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1. The Feb. 27 performance is pay-what-you-can, in $5 increments, and tickets are available only at the door.
At 6 p.m. March 3, Grand Rapids Maggot Baby will screen its no-budget horror comedy movie “White Girl Wasted,” along with the terrible “Lobster Cabin” and a few repugnant film shorts. The event is a fundraiser for the LEFF and is restricted to patrons 18 and older.
At 8 p.m. March 5 and 6, Pyus Calleryana will present “TV Program.” The show takes audiences on a journey through late-night television. This show is for mature audiences.
At 8 p.m. March 7, the festival will close with “24 Hour Theatre: LEFF Edition.”It is an event where five writers, five directors and a group of actors present five new short plays that are entirely produced in a 24-hour period. The shows still need actors, and interested ones should send a message to 24 Hour Theatre, providing their email address and what roles they prefer.
The writers begin writing at 8 p.m. March 6 in the Little Space Studio, and usually finish around 2 or 3 a.m. the next day. Directors will arrive at Dog Story Theatre at 8 a.m. March 7, and actors at 9 a.m. to rehearse throughout the day. The presentation is being co-produced by Rachel Finan and Cody Colvin.