‘FAT’ Penned and Performed by Theatre Student Greg T. Nanni

BY Robbie Armstrong, September 30, 2020

“You’ve seen vaudeville acts. You’ve seen comedies where fat people fall. Now come and witness a daring vaudeville comedy act starring a Fat person. Enter, if you dare,” warns playwriting student Greg T. Nanni who stars in his one man show FAT. Nanni’s deeply personal story premiered at the 2nd annual Free Fringe Philly Festival via live streaming on YouTube on September 24th and 25th. 


In the spirit of the Free Fringe Philly Festival, all performances were “pay what you can.” The Free Fringe Philly Festival boasts its uniqueness and dedication to providing free art by making three promises: 

  1. We will not charge any money for any artist to be in this festival
  2. We will not curate or deem one show more important than another
  3. All of our shows are pass hat at end of show for a donation, so free

This year the festival also encouraged artists from all over the world to submit pieces to the festival at any time during the festival. 


FAT was developed and produced by an entirely Columbia student and alumni team. Nanni’s original piece was performed by himself as a one man play. Director Will Steinberger ’20, Stage Management student Kelley Lynne Moncrief, Dramaturgy student Austin Tooley, and Videographer, student Rakesh Palisetty rounded out the team. 


The Festival required all productions to cooperate with strict health and safety measures, and the FAT creative team produced the show in a socially distanced environment. Moncrief shared with us that the show began rehearsing over Zoom and then transitioned to distanced rehearsals in Bucks County. Moncrief shares “We tested for COVID-19 and once we were cleared, we joined Greg to rehearse and film the pre recorded segments.” Most of the production was live streamed using Open Broadcast Systems, which allowed Moncrief to execute live sound effects during the broadcast. “Unlike my standard stage manager duties” Moncrief explained, “I was scouting out film locations, building props, and installing wifi, but it was thrilling to be working on an artistic project again, in person with my colleagues.”


Greg T. Nanni is a playwright, comic book writer, marketer, and former Philadelphian now living in the NYC area. He is a member of Witherspoon Circle, Passage Play Lab, a former PDC Playwright in Residence at Plays & Players, the Literary Manager of the Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, and the former Marketing Manager of Plays & Players Theatre


FAT is one hour long and it’s final performance is accessible on YouTube at no cost to viewers.