With Fringe Fest Erie 2014 just on the horizon, we thought it important to introduce Gannon students and prospective readers alike to some of the fantastic featured performances taking place throughout March. This being the case, I’ve decided to take a look at a show I feel I (and many readers) may feel a personal connection to.

             “Love Actually Isn’t” is to be directed by Zach Flock, a Gannon employee and artistic director of Dramashop. “The author is Dan Johnson, an Erie native now living as an aspiring screenwriter in L.A.,” Flock said. “The show is much lighter than many of our main stage offerings this season (for example, “Copenhagen”, which was a post-death conversation between physicists), but the level of artistic integrity remains equal with what we strive for as a company.”

One question some may ask is what, if any, connection the show had with popular film, “Love Actually.” Flock immediately acknowledges their similar themes, but creates a conscious separation of the two: “The two aren’t connected in the way many would think (i.e. through the same author being a sequel, etc.); rather, it explores many of the same inspired feelings (searching for love, loss of love) without a clear connection.”

The production is going to be a staged reading, meaning there will be no props, no costumes- merely the actors with their scripts. The audience will hopefully take more meaning from the text than the actors’ performances, necessarily- but that doesn’t mean Dramashop isn’t as confident in their performers as ever. For those who are attending the festival for the first time, Flock had this to offer: “From what I’ve seen regarding the shows this year, one of the biggest themes this festival is promoting is variety; This production has only been performed one other time (at the Hollywood Fringe Festival),” Flock said, “while meanwhile, another performance is ‘The Good Doctor,’ written by beloved playwright Neil Simon.”

Fringe Festival 2014 is bound to bring in theater folk young and old, and as Flock hopes, perhaps some unfamiliar with the culture. “My hope is that as many people as possible take advantage of the festival. No one is necessarily trying to stand out; we’re more interested in working together as a whole, and excited about the fact that Gannon and Erie are interested enough to hold a month-long Fringe Festival,” Flock said. “In general, we often think of Dramashop as a small part of a much larger local community. Any time we’re choosing shows or dates, we’re doing so with other theaters and production companies in mind in order to offer something different than might already be showing.”

This is a view backed and supported by our Edge staff, who encourage you to check out the other write-ups published over the last week on each of the excellent shows being featured during this month-long special occasion. With all of the variety flowing throughout the festival, there’s sure to be something for anyone on the hunt for culture and entertainment.