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Watch CalArtians at the Hollywood Fringe Festival

Colorful graphic image for Hollywood Fringe Festival 2023.
A number of CalArtians are working on Hollywood Fringe Festival (HFF) 2023 productions. | Courtesy of the HFF via Facebook

The 13th edition of the Hollywood Fringe Festival is well underway, with more than 1,000 performances taking place in dozens of venues in and around Hollywood through June 25. It’s not surprising that the work of dozens of CalArtians are featured both on and off the stages.

Here are CalArtian productions at the Fringe:

  • [Updated 6/26] The Lemming Effect from the Misfit Toys Collective, features a company comprised entirely of current CalArts students and alums. The psychological drama takes a deep into the mind of a young nonbinary individual struggling to find their place in the world. The play was written and directed by Grant Garcia (Theater BFA 24) and produced by Rory James Leech (Theatre BFA 23). The cast includes Kelli English (Theater BFA 24), Jack Goldwait (Theatre BFA 24), Zoe Hertzberg (Theatre BFA 25), Shireen Hediari (Theatre BFA 24), Sang Hun Kim (Theatre BFA 24), Olivia Ross (Theatre BFA 24), Sawyer Shine (Theatre BFA 23). The music team includes Oliver Gifford (Theatre BFA 24) and Kimi Sheng (Theatre BFA 26), with Jordan Ryan (Theatre BFA 24) as stage manager and Matthew Goodrich (Theatre BFA 24) as the Assistant Stage Manager.
  • Birds and the Curiosity creates a magical meet-up between 9-year-old Zhigeng and adult Zhigeng, reflecting on a child’s experience of “joy, heartache, friendship, humiliation, loss, creative agency, family and talking hamsters.” The production incorporates dance, puppetry, and shadow play to evoke the dream-like world of children and memories. The production was co-written and co-directed by Gefei Liu (Theater MFA 24) and Olivia Xing (Theater MFA 24). Performances run June 23-25.

  • Boom, Headshot! A Greek Tragedy is a “gaming-meets-musical theater extravaganza [that’s] tragic and bonkers.” The production is an ode to friendship and acceptance against the backdrop of MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing games) and the apocalypse. The production team includes sound designer Barmey Ung (Music MFA 18), director/creative producer Jared Pixler (Theater MFA 21), producer Brooke Harbaugh (Theater MFA 22), and production stage manager Gina de Luca (Theater MFA 21). Pixler is one of the founders of MB Stage Productions, which has been part of the Los Angeles theater scene since 2013. There are performances on Thursday, June 22 and Saturday, June 24.

  • Evelyn Riley is Dead is a comedy clowning piece about the reading of a wealthy Hollywood starlet’s will. The eccentric individuals attending feel they’re entitled to the inheritance and will do whatever it takes to get the money. Harry Golby (Theater BFA 22) and Jamie Cayer (Theater BFA 22) wrote, directed, and star in the show, and are joined onstage by fellow CalArts alum Lauren Ashton (Theater BFA 22).

  • Ghosts Can’t Pay Rent is a sapphic comedy in which a “wisp, a witch, and a waitress all learn to live in an apartment where the souls are as overdue as the water bill.” CalArtians among the production team are: Pixler, creative producer; Harbaugh, producer; Park Lytle (Theater MFA 25), creative producer; Kensaku Shinohara (Dance MFA 22), sound designer; and Cassy Sottile (Theater MFA 24), stage manager. There is a performance on Thursday, June 22.
  • Julie Jean Kristin Bird is a “multimedia remix” of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. The show features Elisa Rosin (Music BFA 15) and Zach Davidson (Theater BFA 15) as producers.
  • Runaway Rue is a kid-friendly show about a dog named Rue who learns they’re moving across the country to “Hollywoof.” Based on a true story, the pop musical mixes a cast of people and puppets, with Rue finding out the meaning of family. RS Buck (Theater MFA 18) is the production’s lighting designer, and Margot le Duy (Theater BFA 24) is the costume associate.
  • The Seagull is an unconventional and highly poetic adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s classic play. Cad Apostol (Theater MFA 2024) is the production’s lighting designer, Josh Sobel (Theater MFA 22) serves as director-producer, BK Dawson (Theater MFA 21) stars as Dorn; Alejandra Jaime (Theater MFA 23) stars as Medvedenko, Juan Ayala (Theater BFA 21) as Polina, Avalon Greenberg-Call (Theater BFA 23) as Konstantin, Adzua Amoa (Theater MFA 21), Yameng Deng (Theater MFA 24) is the assistant director, and Donté Ashon Green (Theater MFA ) stars as Arkadina. There are performances on Monday, June 19 and Saturday, June 24.
  • The Year That Carrie Fisher Died is a two-person show that follows Lukas, a trans-male geek, and Quinn, his bipolar polyamorous pansexual bestie who game their way through the 2016 election. The show features the work of Cassy Sottile (Theater MFA 24), as stage manager; Emmanuel Bradshaw (Theater BFA 20) as projectionist/video editor; and Pixler as creative producer. There is a performance on Thursday, June 22.

*This is not an exhaustive list. If you know of additional CalArtians at the Hollywood Fringe, please email with the information.

Picture of Christine N. Ziemba

Christine N. Ziemba

Christine is the director of Content at CalArts, responsible for the Institute's editorial in both print and online platforms. In addition, she oversees CalArts' social media accounts. In her spare time, she writes about the Santa Clarita food scene at

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Watch CalArtians at the Hollywood Fringe Festival