Rockford Fringe Festival

Psst, it’s me, Connie. I’m producing the Rockford Fringe Festival (with a very limited budget) so that’s why my website is this year’s Fringe website. If we are successful, then next year the Fringe will have its own website! Until then, ask me how you can be a part of the Fringe!

Meet the Fringe Team and Talent!

Subscribe to the Rockford Fringe Festival on Apple Podcasts & follow the Fringe on Facebook! You can also find us on Twitter and Instagram @rockfordfringe.

Producer & Writer

Saturday, July 9 from Noon-6:00 p.m.

The Rockford Fringe Festival is a one-day celebration of original theatre, music and dance performances on an outdoor stage in Rockford’s Walker Park. Interested in performing? Fill out this form. Want to check it out? Come for one show or stay all day. This free event will take place rain or shine. In fact, the theme is ‘Rain or Shine.’ Bring your own chair.

Robbie Ellis.

Event kicks off at Noon with comedy songmaker Robbie Ellis and our host is Rebecca Ann Carver.

Rebecca Ann Carver is hosting the Rockford Fringe Festival.
A Chicago mock show.

Last summer, I wrote, directed and produced the web miniseries The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show. Five episodes aired on Facebook and YouTube. This Chicago-based mock show featured professional actors and musicians. Watch it here.

Playwright

My plays Feverland and Hotbed received staged readings.

My 10-minute drama Natural Life will be performed at the Rockford Fringe Festival on July 9 along with my one act play Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Southwest China.

My 10-minute political drama What Comes Next was part of Chicago Dramatists’ St. Patrick’s Day 48-Hour Play Festival in 2021 and my full-length plays Hotbed and Feverland received staged readings through their First Draft series. A scene from Hotbed was featured at Chicago Dramatists’ “Decade of the Dramatists” in 2020.

I contribute to Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago. We meet every week at The Annoyance Theatre and read scenes from new works. I’ve had the following 10-minute plays read this season: Dora’s Bait Shop; Natural Life; and The Lunker of the Lake. In January 2022, my essay But First Let Me Tell You What Makes Feel Weak was read and I’ve had several scenes from my play-in-progress Nothing Could Be Finer Than To Be In Southwest China read this spring. Prior to the 2021-2022 season, I’ve had dozens of scenes and short plays read at the The Den and Russ Tutterow theaters and on Zoom.

Radio Reporter

Interviewing Paula Poundstone. Photo: Michele Vasguez.

As a reporter for WNIJ, I interviewed artists, scientists, politicians, civic leaders, survivors, environmentalists, naturalists, Paula Poundstone and a clown.

You can find more than 100 of my radio stories by clicking here. I also hosted the arts series State of the Artist. Here’s a link to my artist interviews.

Public Events Director

Social Justice Writing Pop-Up at the Alpine Dam.

I am the director of Now What Pop-Ups. The premise is simple: We “pop up” in a public space, write and share our work. Since 2015, we have hosted more than 200 pop-ups. We also host reading, painting and dancing sessions and they are all free and open to the public.

Painting Pop-up at Alpine Park.
Popping up at Wester Park in Rockford.

I conceive and organize free, seasonal outdoor public events. In the fall, hikers met at Sugar River Alder Forest Preserve for the Silent Hiking & Writing Party. We hiked, wrote and shared.

Last December, we went Winter Solstice Poetry Caroling. Instead of Christmas caroling, we recited poems on the night of the solstice at different homes in Rockford. I won a 2022 Micro-Action grant to produce another one, so put “Poetry Caroling” on your calendar for Wednesday, December 21, 2022!

During the pandemic, some of my events took place on Zoom, like the Quarantanniversary I conceived and directed for Tuesdays@9 Chicago.

Music & Comedy Director

I book the musical and comedy acts for Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago and sometimes perform as A Host Of Golden Daffodils.

Instructor

I teach Radio Play & Podcast Production for Chicago Dramatists.

Photographer

When I worked for WNIJ, I wrote nearly 200 articles and took pictures along the way. I love to capture moments of happiness and intensity in art and politics, especially outside.

Illinois politicians share a laugh as they update the public about infrastructure. Sen. Steve Stadelman (podium), State Rep. Maurice West, Governor J. B. Pritzker and Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara (L-R).

Jim Lichtscheidl (Photo provided)
Hear the 8-minute podcast featuring Minneapolis artist Jim Lichtscheidl!

Hear my Paula Poundstone guerilla interview.

After I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in theatre from Cornell College, I pursued theatre and film in Minneapolis from 1991-2007. That’s also when I met my husband Jesse. We got married, started our family and moved to Rockford, Illinois in 2007 where I became the editor at Rockford Writers’ Guild for nine years and hosted the literary podcast Guildy Pleasures. From 2018-2021, I was a reporter and digital editor at NPR member station WNIJ. Now I am the music & comedy director and a contributing playwright for Naked Angels Tuesdays@9 Chicago and a network playwright at Chicago Dramatists, where I also teach classes about radio and podcast production. Last summer I wrote, directed and produced the Chicago-based talk show The Stormy, Husky, Brawling Show and I write a daily blog for WordPress.


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