Let me just start this off by introducing myself.
I am Hannah, a marketing major from a small town called Towanda, Pennsylvania. A town so small that Scranton feels like a huge, bustling, intense, separate universe.
This summer is the first time that I have gotten to traipse around the city on foot, exploring the history and glamour of a proud coal town.
Of course there is the Steamtown Mall, a place that I had been to once on a field trip (remember when I said that my town is small?).
Then there are the alluring artisan shops scattered around every corner. Whether they lie in a dark alley, or stand out on a main street, they seem to create a vortex of interest. My journey has taken me to several amazing venues, and the first one that comes to mind is The Leonard. Which (surprise!) happens to be a part of the Scranton Fringe festival!
As soon as I stepped foot in the theater, I could feel energy spark in the air. The lights were dimmed, some turned off completely. Soft motes of natural light filtered in through the windows at the front of the building, just enough to illuminate the stage. Old, heavy curtains were drawn aside, framing the brick backdrop of the stage. The authenticity of the house stood out, drawing my attention to the well-worn seats of the balcony, and to the slightly dusty light fixtures along the walls and on the ceiling.
Did I mention the energy? As I walked through the seating areas, I could almost hear the rustling of seats, the faint chatter of the once opera house. Chandeliers and soft colored walls led me to the hallway in the front of the building. To my left, a fashionable little bar sat in darkness. Although it was obviously a newer addition to the theater, it only added to the mystique of the venue. The harmony between its past glory and present luster was delightfully engaging.
This little theater is an entity, a character demanding its presence be known. And it is just one of many in this coal town. This is just one reason that Scranton is an amazing host for a festival such as the Fringe. Stay tuned for more insights from an out-of-towner!