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The Fanzinis Premiere in New York State at 2023 Rochester Fringe Festival

July 25, 2023
Cultural Exchange with Sister Festival in County Cavan, Ireland

Rochester, NY, USA—In its first cultural exchange with its sister festival, Cavan Calling in County Cavan, Ireland, the Rochester Fringe Festival celebrates its connection with this international event by hosting the Cavan-based street theatre troupe in one of their most popular shows, Ballet Poulet by The Fanzinis as one of its curated shows at the 2023 Rochester Fringe Festival.

Meanwhile, the Rochester Fringe Festival is sending one of our finest and most popular improvisational duos, Bushwhacked, to County Cavan to wreak hysterical havoc on Irish audiences. Bushwhacked will perform as part of Cavan Day at Cavan Calling on July 29 at 11 a.m., 12 noon, 3 p.m. (15:00), and 4 p.m. (16:00), where they will take audiences on the hilarious journey of a highly interactive summer camp experience in “Camp Bushwhacked.” Tickets for this Irish premiere are available through Townhall Cavan ( While tickets are free for the Cavan Day performance, booking is essential as only 12 tickets exist for each performance. Bushwhacked will be back in Rochester in plenty of time to gear up to bring the house down at the Rochester Fringe.

Cavan Calling is a festival of performing arts and local genealogy, inviting the global Cavan diaspora home for a celebration of Cavan and its culture, people, history, and landscape. The cultural exchange between the two festivals grew out of Monroe County’s relationship with County Cavan (Ireland) as its sole sister county worldwide.

“We are delighted to have this opportunity to enjoy the much-celebrated Fanzinis here in Rochester—and to share one of our most beloved and talented comedy duos with County Cavan in exchange,” said Erica Fee, Rochester Fringe Festival producer. “Our connection with our sister festival, Cavan Calling, has become a conduit that will introduce our audiences to cultural experiences they would not have otherwise.”

“I would like to congratulate the Rochester Fringe on putting together such an exciting and innovative program,” said Tommy Ryan, chief executive of  Cavan County Council in Ireland. “I have no doubt that audiences in both Cavan and Rochester are in for a real treat.”

Funding for the Irish run of “Camp Bushwhacked” has been provided by Cavan County Council.

The Fanzinis in the U.S. premiere of “Ballet Poulet”
Two self-described “world-class Olympian-level idiots,” The Fanzinis are street theatre circus duo Kim McCafferty and Con Horgan, and they present their Ballet Poulet(yes, that translates to Chicken Ballet) at Parcel 5 on Friday and Saturday, September 15 and 16 (two shows each evening; check for showtimes), and in the Spiegelgarden at One Fringe Place on Sunday, September 17. They bring us their latest masterpiece: Kimtastrophe has prepared a poetic, delicate and tender ballet, while Constantine has prepared a display of mayhem that somehow involves chickens. Together they delight audiences of all ages with their non-verbal mix of circus and comedy. “Ballet Poulet” is contemporary clowning and physical comedy at its best, a comedy for all ages.

The duo describes “Ballet Poulet'' as “a comedic battle between dance and circus, elegance and simplicity, beauty and silliness, logic and absurdity.” Said Tara McGowan, director of the Coride Sligo Arts Festival in Ireland, “The Fanzinis are consummate professionals, extremely talented and hilarious street artists. ‘Ballet Poulet’ is an incredible experience and a real treat for audiences of all ages.”

“A must see for everyone!” added Céline Reilly, programmer at the Savour Festival Kilkenny in Ireland. “Bring your friends, your family, bring your granny and grandads, we promise they’ll all love it!”

Fanzini Productions is one of the foremost street arts companies in the Republic of Ireland, touring nationally and internationally, thanks to grants from Culture Ireland that have allowed them to perform in the United States, India, and South Korea. Demand for their performances has taken them to Germany, France, Portugal, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia, and Cape Verde.

Kim and Con have worked with world-famous master clowns and have received six project awards from the Arts Council of Ireland to develop their shows. They also founded and continue to produce the National Circus Festival of Ireland, a national showcase for top national and international circus performers.

All performances of “Ballet Poulet” are free of charge. Their appearance at the Rochester Fringe Festival is made possible in part by grants from Culture Ireland and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Col. Patrick O’Rorke AOH Division 7, Monroe County, NY.

This project is supported by a grant awarded to Rochester Fringe Festival from Empire State Development and I LOVE NY/New York State's Division of Tourism through the Regional Economic Development Council initiative. The 12-day Rochester Fringe Festival is the largest multidisciplinary performing arts event in New York State. Since the festival's inception in 2012, nearly 670,000 people have attended more than 4,500 performances by regional, national, and international artists, from emerging to superstar. From drama to dance, comedy to children’s entertainment, music to magic, and so much more, this internationally-known powerhouse encourages creative expression while nurturing the artistic process, all while supplying new audiences to established and emerging arts venues. The Rochester Fringe Festival strives to be diverse and inclusive, and to stimulate downtown Rochester both culturally and economically.

In 1947, eight theatre groups showed up—uninvited—to perform at the newly established Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland. Although not listed in the official program, the groups performed anyway, at venues they found for themselves. The following year, a Scottish journalist coined the term “festival fringe” to describe these non-curated shows that began turning up annually. The Edinburgh Fringe is now the world’s largest arts festival and the third largest event after the Olympics and the World Cup.  Today, there are more than 250 Fringe Festivals worldwide, with nearly 50 in the United States. The Rochester Fringe Festival was the first in Upstate New York.

Sponsors include New York State Council on the Arts; University of Rochester; Monroe County; Ames Amzalak Memorial Trust; Daisy Marquis Jones Foundation; Rochester Area Community Foundation; Nocon & Associates; ESL Foundation; RIT; Waldron Rise; Elaine P. and Richard U. Wilson Foundation; Louis S. and Molly B. Wolk Foundation; Konar Enterprises; Mary Mulligan Trust; Max and Marian Farash Charitable Foundation; VisitRochester; Nazareth College; St. John Fisher University; Monroe Community College; The Pike Company; 13WHAM TV; CITY Magazine; D&C Digital; WXXI; Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation; Wegmans; Hyatt Regency Rochester; Canandaigua National Bank; Genesee Beer; Black Button Distilling; The Rubens Family Foundation; City Blue; Aspire Transformation Services; Hamilton A/V; Wilkins RV; McCarthy Tents & Events; Broccolo Tree & Lawn Care; The Harley School; Boylan Code; Bond Schoeneck & King; Yelp!; and the House of Guitars.


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