Award-Winning Solo Show MO-TO-THE-ONCLE Returns To KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Award-Winning Solo Show MO-TO-THE-ONCLE Returns To KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

Last year's favorite Mo-to-the-oncle (pronounced MO-to-the-AWN-uh-kuhl) returns to the 2018 KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival (Wednesday, Sept. 12 - Saturday, Sept. 22) on Saturday, September 15 at 6 p.m. and Sunday, September 16 at 4 p.m. at the School of the Arts Ensemble Theatre (45 Prince Street, Rochester, NY 14607). Tickets are $15 at, where more information is also available. Remaining tickets will be available at the door starting one hour before curtain.

Mo-to-the-oncle is a solo comedy play about a Bronx teenager who must wear a monocle to school after his dad loses their vision insurance. In a story that unfolds through a series of monologues performed by the play's writer and star Melissa Cole, Cole employs elaborate costume changes to transform herself into several larger than life characters in this provocative and humorous take on race and adolescence. "Some actors might lose or gain a ton of weight for a special role, but my secret 'method' is to keep switching wigs," says Cole. "I call it the 'Daniel Day-Lewis approach'," she jokes.

Cole performed at last year's Rochester Fringe Festival and says she fell in love with both the festival and the city, and hopes audiences will enjoy this updated version of Mo-to-the-oncle. "Rochester was one of my first stops when I began my national Fringe tour earlier last year," Cole says. "I have extended the show's length with additional characters and musical numbers since I was last here."

For Cole, returning to the Fringe was a no-brainer. "I received so many messages asking if I would be coming back, and I just could never forget all the love I got in this city." After performing at Fringe festivals in Orlando, Pittsburgh and Providence among others, Cole likes to think of her return to Rochester as a homecoming. "Ultimately, I'm a New Yorker, Mo-to-the-oncle is a New York story and it makes sense that I felt connected with my audiences here more than anywhere else."

For more information, visit

More about Melissa Cole: Melissa Cole (Writer/Performer) is a New York City-based SAG-AFTRA actress, improviser and writer. In 2015, Cole was a finalist in the NBC & Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre Diversity Scholarship Showcase, which features rising sketch comedy actors. A Long Island, NY native, Cole is a graduate of New York University.

More about Fringe: Since its debut in 2012, the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival has become one of the most successful fringe festivals in the U.S., attracting more than 78,000 attendees in 2017. Now an 11-day event, this multi-arts festival boasts over 500 performances and events - more than a quarter of which are free - in 25+ venues in downtown Rochester, NY. Celebrating and inspiring creativity, the Fringe - which is partially curated by the non-profit festival and partially by festival venues - includes everything from theatre, music, comedy and dance, to children's entertainment, spoken word, visual arts, film, and much more. Please visit for a complete schedule, tickets, and more information.

Photo Credit: Brian Harris

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