“A giant fill-in-the-blank”

From Jan. 14 to 16, various Laurier students will smother molasses all over their bodies, become immune to a zombie virus by smoking marijuana and burst into song.

No, it’s not a cult uprising or Armageddon – it’s FR!NGE.

The FR!NGE festival – an arts event organized and performed by students – has been providing unique, hilarious and horrifying moments for the Laurier community to share for almost 10 years.

“I have to stand up at the beginning before each showing and say, ‘Okay, so there’s going to be swearing and blood and strobe lights so if you have a problem with any of those you should leave now’,” laughed Kate Cooper, one of this year’s FR!NGE producers with four years of festival experience.

Based off of the worldwide arts festival with its biggest events in Edinburgh, Scotland, FR!NGE at Laurier engages with the concept of celebrating independent productions on a smaller scale.

Providing individual projects with a budget allocated from the previous year’s ticket sales, FR!NGE gives students artistic license to take an idea and see it come to fruition.

“We are not affiliated with WLUSU. We are not a campus club and because of that we don’t have to necessarily be grouped in with affiliations and any bureaucracy that happens.

This way we get full artistic control over the product,” explained FR!NGE’s other producer Adam Cilevitz, who has been with the festival for five years.

Cilevitz explains that one year he wrote a play about panda porn and was able to make it into a production through FR!NGE.

“I really enjoy the outlet,” he continued, adding, “There’s no other that allows you to express yourself in the same way.”

Because the festival does not enforce censorship on its productions, Cooper notes that there is great potential for creativity.

“There’s a lot less red tape with it. I hesitate to put censorship on people, so if your play involves smearing molasses on yourself in front of the audience, you have at it – which will happen this year,” she said.

Cilevitz added that part of FR!NGE’s overall goal is to offer something different and cater to “the population of Laurier that lives a bit on the fringes.”

And with the termination of Laurier’s theatre program over 10 years ago, FR!NGE fills a special niche.

“Laurier at one point had a drama program and they got rid of it, so FR!NGE keeps that element alive,” explained Andrew Posen, who has acted in, written for and been a co-ordinator of the festival.

Posen also explained that with the dissolution of several theatre companies in the region, the festival provides plays and dramatic performances for the entire community.

While FR!NGE has been known best for theatre in the past, this year the festival has for the first time brought in six films, along with six plays.

“A lot of people in the film studies program are aspiring filmmakers. In the past we’ve been able to showcase maybe the one or two films, but this year I wanted to make it more balanced,” said Cilevitz.

With each film and play not exceeding 30 minutes in length, the festival provides the opportunity to witness the creative work of one’s peers in an approachable way.

And for Posen, the festival has appeal to anyone, regardless of whether they are involved in the arts.

“You don’t know it’s not for you until you try it,” he explained.

“You will laugh a lot,” he added.

The plays:

Written by: Andrew Posen
The tale of a formerly popular superhero whose decline in perceived usefulness leads to eviction from his secret lair, which leads to despair when he realizes that his lair has in fact been discovered.

Going Up
Written by: Carly Lewis
Going Up features an odd assemblage of strangers who are forced to abandon what they know about elevator etiquette when they become trapped.

The Whirligig of Time
Written by: Travis Herron & Luke Dotto
A rag-tag group of World War One soldiers in the trenches of war-torn France get the call to go over the top and rush the German front lines; each tries to convince another to go over the top instead with increasingly ridiculous rationales.

The Fairy Godfather
Written by: Lisa Sondergaard
The world’s most exciting rendition of Cinderella takes to the stage in a musical extravaganza that’s sure to be Broadway’s greatest hit! The only problem? Prince Charming can’t act.

Girls Who Ride Horses
Written by: Maeve Strathy & John Kaye
Girls Who Ride Horses is an exploration of the pressures put on women, as well as their self-destruction. The audience will observe a variety of forms of pressure.

Public Display of Reflection
Written by: Adam Cilevitz
In the middle of a burgeoning career as an actress, an unnamed character sits in front of her vanity mirror. As she reflects on her past, present and future, her “reflection” seems to be uncannily dissociated with her physical presence.

The films:

Written by: Dave Rodgers
Tom and Andy, a couple, live together with their common friend Laura. As Tom becomes increasingly emotionally distant, Laura becomes obsessed with Andy. Laura moves out, leaving Tom and Andy to deal with each others’ dysfunction.

Stoner vs Zombie’
Written by: Tim Green
A graduate student at Laurier drops a test tube that smashes and lets a zombie virus loose. The only antidote for the virus is cannibis. Since it just happens to be Apr. 20, known as “Four Twenty”, many students are immune, leaving them in a quest to survive.

At the Bat
Written by: Wade McAdam
A comedy about relationships and conscience.

Written by: Mike McMurran
This film centres around an urban legend of a preacher that apparently snapped and killed a young couple after they attended the opening night of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre back in the ‘70s.

Written by: Ron Butler
This film takes two characters, Francis and Anna, through intense moments of understanding and coming to terms with their relationship.

We Shall Not Look Upon Its Like Again
Written by: Ted Steiner
Extrapolating upon Godard’s theoretical musings as to the perpetuity of humanity’s repetitious intellectual evolution, the aim of this short film is to further probe the theory of the “no-thing”; Existing – according to Godard – simply between “something” and “nothing.”