Kid’s Fringe Show to Test Boundaries with Controversial Content
Steinbach-based company to repeatedly use “C-word” on stage
Winnipeg, MB: When it comes to children’s entertainment, few things are more “out of bounds” than talking about faith. But when Alan Fehr sat down to write a kid’s script about the history of local Mennonites, he found there was no escaping the topic. As a community tied together by a common belief, there was no way to explain their practices, persecution and migration without also explaining their theology. So, true to the spirit of Fringe, he decided to dive in and push boundaries, searching for a way to explain a religion without being perceived as promoting it.
As daunting as that task was, The Mennonite Fairytale found itself in other minefields during pre-production:
How do you teach 400 years of history without boring your audience?
How do you make Mennonite jokes the general public will understand?
How do you talk about death and persecution in a show that will be attended by preschoolers?
Rather than dodge and edit uncomfortable material, Fehr decided to incorporate it all. “We live in a day where we are very conscientious of not offending others, which is a great step forward. But the path we’ve taken has been the route of self-censoring. We don’t talk about sensitive topics and so our tools to deal with them respectfully have gotten dull and rusty. We owe it to future generations to do better than that.”
Time will tell if audiences are ready for the “C-word” (church) to be used in a kid’s show.
After closing their Winnipeg run (July 18 - 27), The Mennonite Fairytale will return home for a 4-day engagement at Steinbach’s Pioneer Days festival at the Mennonite Heritage Village (August 2 - 4).
Press Package Contains:
Local Artists to Perform in Theatre Showcase on Canada Day
Family-friendly festival to return for second year
Steinbach, MB: Real Live Entertainment will once again be hosting the annual “Steinbach Shortplay Showcase” as a part of this year’s Canada Day festivities at the Mennonite Heritage Village. Performances will be running from 11am to 5pm and will feature four different acts from around the southeast area.
11:00am - Dr. Sprocket’s Incredible Storytelling Machine
Dr. Sprocket returns to Steinbach with his patented edu-tainment flair, mixing literary knowledge with improvised storytelling.
12:40pm - The Prince and the Witch
Newcomer Anthony Audain brings his own one-man fairy tale to Steinbach, featuring medieval folklore and characters in search of their missing king.
2:25pm - Sidetrack Bandits
Steinbach’s favourite sketch comedy troupe returns to the SSS with their brand of high-energy, character driven comedy.
4:10pm - Help
Written, directed and performed by SRSS drama students, their play focuses on the elements of mental health that often goes unspoken.
Admission for each show is set at $2 or patrons can get an unlimited wristband for $5.
Creative Director, Alan Fehr, says Canada Day is an ideal time for the festival. “Last year was our first time mounting the showcase, and it was so well received. Most performances had about 100 people show up, which was great. We’re really excited to see a repeat of that this year.”
Press Package Contains:
Event Information Sheet