Rogue Fest to return to the Tower District with performances from Fresno State creatives

Fresno Writer’s Live will showcase Fresno State writers. (Courtesy of

By Jazmin Alvarado Villegas, Reporter

The Rogue Performance Festival celebrates its 21st year with performances from up-and-coming Fresno State writers. 

Rogue Fest was founded in 2002, said Jaguar Bennett, one of the festival organizers. It was created by Marcel Nunis, a Fresno playwright and video producer. 

Nunis is a Fresno State alumnus whose goal was to promote local creativity. Bennett said he wanted to provide an outlet for artists, like himself, in theater, music, dance, film, spoken word, performance art, puppetry and magic.

The festival will run from March 3 through March 11 in Fresno’s Tower District. Each date will offer a variety of performances. 

“Creative writing and literature students from Fresno State’s Department of English will headline the ‘Fresno Writers Live’ performances,” said Jefferson Beavers, the event organizer and communications specialist at Fresno State. 

Professor Brynn Saito’s undergraduate English 195 senior seminar class, students from the San Joaquin Literary Association and the Chicanx Writers and Artists Association will curate the writers event, according to Beavers.

“It’s so important for young and emerging writers to have a chance to read their work, share it with a live audience and enter into the creative community. I’m excited for all of our English students, undergrads and MFAs who will partake in this amazing festival,” Saito said. 

The Fresno Writers Live performances will include 20 upcoming writers, six graduate students from the Master of Fine Arts program and 14 undergraduate English majors. 

Malaise Carney, a graduate student at Fresno State, will be reading her work. This will be her second time being a reader for Rogue Fest, and she said what she’s looking forward to the most is listening to what her co-readers will present. 

She believes reading at Rogue Fest is a wonderful opportunity for students to share their work beyond the MFA program. 

“Last year, I was surprised by how many people from Fresno State and beyond came to the reading and how kind they were during and after the event to all the readers. I’m glad there are events like Rogue in Fresno for MFA students to practice reading their work and sharing their writing with broader audiences,” Carney said.

The festival is organized by community volunteers and funded by wristband and merchandise sales.

All of the Fresno Writers live performances will take place on the back patio at Veni Vidi Vici, 1116 N. Fulton St. The tickets will cost $8 per show after a one-time purchase of a Rogue Fest wristband.

Fresno State’s English department has played a role in the festival almost every year since 2006. Its current show, “Fresno Writers Live,” has been presented annually since 2017, according to Beavers. 

Here is a list of the days in which Fresno State students are performing:

  • Saturday, March 4, at 5 p.m. Curated by the San Joaquin Literary Association, this show features graduate students sammi h. tripp, Yamille Moss, James T. Morrison and Mialise Carney.
  • Sunday, March 5, at 2 p.m. Curated by the Chicanx Writers and Artists Association, this show features graduate students Cristina Sandoval and Juan Huerta, with undergrads Leslie Kay Quintana and Faith McKesson.
  • Thursday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. Curated by Saito’s undergraduate English 195 senior seminar, this show features undergrads Vincent Landeros, Emily Peacock, Dirk Tharpe, Stella Velez, Beth Contreras and Vivian Aguirre.
  • Saturday, March 11 at 2 p.m. Curated by Saito’s undergraduate English 195 senior seminar, this show features undergrads Noah La Fleur, Nayeli Guerrero, Audra Burwell, Sharon McClain, Taylor Seals and Kaly Sous.