Last chance before they’re gone! — The Nugget Finge Festival ends on Sunday night |

Last chance before they’re gone! — The Nugget Finge Festival ends on Sunday night

Submitted to Prospector
"My First Miracle" chroincles Bennet Caffee's stories on living with bipolar mood disorder. He puts a positive spin on living with a "disorder."
Submitted photo to Prospector |

(Editor’s note: This is the end of the three-part series showcasing 40 shows that will run at the Nugget Fringe Festival, Jan. 18-28. Quest Theaterworks Producing Artistic Director Scott Ewing has compiled submissions from all the performances and what follows are the artist’s description of their work.)

Poetry Out Loud

What happens when high school students find a poem that speaks to them, commit that poem to memory, then recite that poem with passion, clarity and genuine understanding?

Magic is what happens: the magic of “Poetry Out Loud.”

You will be inspired by these young people as they share their recitation skills with the community and bring to life the poetry of classic and contemporary poets alike.

— Steve Hansen

My First Miracle

Five years ago I began taking solo performance classes at the Marsh theater in San Francisco, telling stories that before I’d only shared with close friends. Outrageous stories about my first manic episode that I’d experienced when I was 21. In a sense I was coming out of the closet about having bipolar mood disorder.

Unrestrained, crazy, and unsustainable as those times were I felt privileged for having lived them and loved sharing them with an audience. It was the part of my “disorder” that I considered a gift. I was proud of my misadventures.

Funny and entertaining as they were, performing them helped me get them out of my system and lessen my attachment to them. I became drawn to the bigger story — how I got from where I was then to where I am now.

Without intention, by taking a closer look at the part of my disorder that I’d been ignoring, “My First Miracle” began to reflect the realization I had while developing it — that living without depression was worth letting go of my romantic notions of life in the extreme.

I’m truly grateful for the manic episodes I’ve had, living in a magical world with no limits, at the same time I’m very done with them, except for performing them on stage which I love to do.

— Bennet Caffee

Fringe Factor: Nugget Edition

Come party with the artists!

That was the idea behind my live game show, “Fringe Factor.” I want to throw a party onstage and invite the audience. I want to play lively games and raucous music. I want everyone to leave feeling entertained, exhilarated and exhausted. And hopefully, like any good party, you’ll get to know everyone a little better, and none of it will go quite like you expected.

I’ve spent eight years working with touring fringe festival artists and I love it. I don’t miss my previous work as a performer. But I still feel the itch to be onstage at times. This show gives me a chance to perform while still showing off my fabulous colleagues.

The show is simple. The games are silly, and the props are from the dollar store. But it’s simple on purpose, so that the focus is on the people. The real fun is seeing the performers in a very different light. We usually see them in character, doing a show they’ve rehearsed, in a style they’re trained to do.

In my show, they get to be themselves. They get to be off the cuff. They get to let loose a little bit.

I’ve performed “Fringe Factor” the last two years at Rogue Festival in Fresno. I’m excited to do it here at Nugget. I hope Grass Valley enjoys it as much as I do!

— Grant Knutson

Jerry Grant & the Nujazz Alternative Virtual Orchestra

Jerry Grant and The Nujazz Alternative Virtual Orchestra blending jazz, classical, rock and electronic elements into an eclectic style that speaks with compelling imagery.

Four great musicians live, plus digital audio, make up the fabric of the Nujazz Alternative Virtual Orchestra.

Featuring: Dave Riddles- Baritone sax, Jerry Grant-Tenor Sax, Phil Kember-Trombone, Ananda Vaughan-Guitar

Jerry Grant is a veteran of the Los Angeles film and TV industry, having scored over 500 episodes of television and six feature films. He contributed scoring to many hit series including The Secret World of Alex Mack,” “Quantum Leap,” “The A Team,” and “Magnum P.I.”

He spent 10 years as a studio musician on woodwinds and began vocal, string and horn arranging for records and also organized, conducted and composed for the 12 piece jazz/fusion/classical concert group Spectrum which inspired a natural shift to television and film scoring that kept him busy for the next 25 years.

He conducted film scores, musicals and concert performances of his compositions.

The year 1999 signaled a return to his roots with a new 13 piece jazz orchestra.

The Nujazz Alternative, was born with the new CD, “Rush Hour,” released in 2001 and available on & iTunes.

Now the Nujazz Alternative has been reborn as a virtual orchestra.

— Jerry Grant

Good Clean Humor

No longer do you need to experience stand-up comedy late at night in a room filled with drugs, alcohol and smoke.

Come see Barry Ganga Stukin present “Good Clean Humor” stand-up comedy that tastes good, never insults and is “G” rated. He finds humor in the every day stuff.

He recently said, “Laughter is a gift­ — And causing laughter is an act of kindness.”

— Barry Ganga Stukin

The Menoposse

Life takes on a different flavor when you’re a woman with worn out, underutilized and often discarded body parts. Meet, The Menoposse!

That’s right, we’re a stitched up, patched up, hot flashing mess. We’re ready to party, damn it! And we’re dishing up some mid-life flavored improv that’ll tighten your skin and make you look ten years younger. But screw that. Come on out and deepen your laugh lines!

We’re a ragtag (no pun intended) group of hi-freakin-larious women with over 500 years of combined experience all rolled into one giant cigar on the hairy thigh of life.

We’ll be dishing out some improvisational theater with help from you, the audience. As with life, there ain’t no script in improv. We’re going to ask you to shout out some suggestions and then we’ll let ‘er rip.

It’s gonna be raw, edgy, awkward and hilarious. Kind of like a man in one of those weird man-rompers, only less embarrassing for everyone involved.

Audience members are welcome to bring a well-rehearsed bit of slam poetry or a monologue – and keep it to themselves. Because now it’s our turn.

The cast includes Gold Country favorites Trish Adair, Mary Baird, Marsha Burch, Lindsay Dunckel, Kim Ewing, Lois Ewing, Shawnna Frazer, Linda Meyers, Joyce Miller, Stacy Prater-Vigil and Nandi Szabo!

— Lois Ewing

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