Spotlight on: Retrospective




The Scranton Fringe is a performing arts festival, returning for its second year September 29th – October 2nd 2016 to downtown Scranton. With over fifty productions/special events spanning twelve venues to chose from at the festival the task can seem daunting – we are here to help further introduce you to what the Fringe has to offer!


Meet Jessica McDonough, Co-Director/Co-Playwright of New Vintage Ensemble’sScranton Fringe Festival 2016 production Restrospective: Journey to the Center of THE Salacious Pop Icon

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m a Mental Health Professional at Friendship House. In my spare time I enjoy fostering an unhealthy fruit snack addiction and blaming my cats as an excuse for my introversion.

What do you find exciting and challenging about this project?
I think it’s challenging in the ways that we intended it to be- we’re asking ourselves, our performers and the audience to deal with some heavy content at times and to simply be there, with us, and face it head on.
The potential of the show is the most exciting part. Simone and I are really passionate about facilitating a respectful conversation through art. We’ve been fortunate to partner with some really incredible artists, sought feedback from respected voices in the community, and it’s grown into a really exciting piece. Social justice, self-confidence, art and activism all wrapped up in one 60 minute Kanye sized show.

Have you ever worked with New Vintage Ensemble before? How has it been working with them on this show?
I am a proud member of the ensemble- I’ve performed in several shows in the past including Presenting the Spectrettes, Prophesy of a Teenage Sleuth (in which I Convincingly played a teenager) and Pride and Prejudice. I haven’t directed for NVE before and I have never written anything that has seen the light of day so this has been a learning experience for sure, but I really love the process of creating something new collaboratively with others.

Favorite part of the process so far?
Editing- I know it sounds like a silly response but I love going back to the drawing board, and reshaping a piece until it looks and sounds and feels the right way. I’m firm believer in the power of revisiting your intention along the way and allowing it to shift when it makes sense.

Favorite Kanye quote/moment/lyric?
“I always felt like I could do anything. That’s the main thing people are controlled by! Thoughts- their perception of themselves! They’re slowed down by their perception of themselves. If you’re taught you can’t do anything, you won’t do anything. I was taught I could do everything. And I’m Kanye West at age 36.”

How does one love themselves like Kanye loves Kanye?
I recommend acknowledging our strengths and skills and basking in them from time to time.

Why should people come to see Retrospective?
I will personally guarantee that you cannot find another show like Retrospective at this year’s festival. It’s an hour of incredible art, carefully curated with the intention of challenging, inspiring and entertaining.