Masking is required at all in-person events.
Pochsy IV (work in progress)Calgary/Toronto
“Ingenious, acidic comedy ... a hallucinatory ultra-feminine living corpse.”
“Imagine Greek Tragedy by Betty Boop.”
A workshop production. Dark comedy. Not for children.
Written and Performed by Karen Hines
Directed by Michael Kennard
Set and Lighting Design by Sandi Somers
Music and Sound Design by Chantal Vitalis
Additional Sounds by Richard Feren | Costume Design by Justin Miller a.k.a. Pearle Harbour | Clown Coach – John Turner | Production Dramaturg – Blake Brooker | Production Management – Kate Pallesen | Graphic Art – Ryan Bartlett | Photography – Gary Mulcahey | Film Stills – Peter Moller
In 1992, Pochsy made her Fringe debut. ‘Pochsy’s Lips’ featured a wilting industrial factory worker who spun sugarplum fantasies from the bruised fruits of the North American Dream. Poisoned and poisonous, utterly narcissistic and fatally lonely, Pochsy knelt at the altar of all that is held holy in the name of consumerism gone mad. Pochsy’s lush satires have since travelled the globe: her prize-winning plays and short films have been presented at theatres and film festivals internationally.
Fifteen ago, Pochsy quietly slipped behind the veil. Now she’s back, and would like a few words with you…
CONTENT WARNINGS: Language and adult subject matter.
Made with support from the Play the Fool Festival and One Yellow Rabbit Theatre’s High Performance Rodeo, where Pochsy IV officially premieres in 2023. Keep Frozen acknowledges the support of the Canada Council and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts.
What the critics say since 1992:
“Hines is an astonishing artist, both as a writer and as a performer.” – Liz Nicholls.
“Ingenious, acidic comedy … a hallucinatory ultra-feminine living corpse.” (The Globe & Mail)
Something in the WaterSaskatoon
“If you like your theatre madcap, thoughtful and combined with what's-coming-next intrigue, don't miss out.”
Friday Sept 23nd @ 9:15 pm: Ages 18A performance
Sunday Sept 25th @ 3:30 pm: Ages 10+ general audience performance
Written & performed by S.E. Grummett
Directed by Deanna Fleysher & Mind of a Snail Puppet Co.
Stage Managed by Sam Kruger
A comedic deep dive into identity, gender and what it means to be normal. When Grumms transforms into a sea monster with squid genitals (think Creature from the Black Lagoon meets The Muppets), they must hide their identity and try to pass as a “normal, human woman”.
You’ll be spellbound by stunning video projections, slapstick and satire; all stirred up together with Grummett’s glowing and playful performance. A perfect balance of absurdist physical comedy and vulnerable self-exploration, the show weaves a touching story of acceptance that anyone can relate to. Inspired by performer/creator, S.E. Grummett’s experience coming out as transgender, Something in the Water is a celebration of the “not normal”.
Content Warnings: AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION, FLASHING LIGHTS AND ABRUPT NOISE, NUDITY AND SEXUAL CONTENT.
WINNER: Best Theatre, Adelaide Fringe 2021.
SOLD OUT SEASON: Adelaide Fringe 2021.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: Spotlight Canada, Edinburgh Fringe, 2021
‘If you like your theatre madcap, thoughtful and combined with what’s-coming-next intrigue, don’t miss out’ (The Advertiser).
The Play the Fool Festival Patio Outdoor Entertainment
NEW THIS YEAR The Play the Fool Festival Patio
The Festival Patio is located right outside the Backstage Theatre. It’s the COVID-concious place to relax between the indoor shows.
Grab a drink and a snack from the bar, catch up with friends, and enjoy our outdoor roving entertainment from The Copper Cowboy Living Statue (Daniel Anderson), Jay Flair, Aytahn Ross, and Jordan Sabo.
Festival Welcome & Opening
Join us on the Play the Fool Festival outdoor patio at the Backstage Theatre at Fringe Theatre’s Arts Barns for a toast to our return to the theatre!
Triple Bill #1
Mario’s Got Talent
18 mins | All-ages
Performed by Hugues Sarra-Bournet
Created by Hugues Sarra-Bournet & Yves Dagenais
Directed by Yves Dagenais
Magic consultant Dr. Joseph Culpepper
Mario “Superstar” Mario wants to go on the TV show America’s Got Talent, but doesn’t quite understand what a good performance is. The spectators rate the acts Mario has prepared for his audition. Hat manipulation, limbo, singing, and magic! mariosuperstarmario.com
Scamp and Shorty’s Horror Stories
18 mins | All-ages
Created & performed by Erin Hutchison and Emily Smith
Directed by Jan Henderson
Through their horrifying experiences with haunted houses, seances, and exorcisms, singing duo Scamp and Shorty explore fear and the most terrifying emotion of all- boredom.
Croomb Goes Fishing
18 mins | All-ages
Created and performed by Chad Bryant
Directed by Chris Gamble
The cantankerous Croomb has decided it is time for some rest and relaxation. What better way than to go fishing!
Triple Bill #2
18 mins | All-ages
Created & performed by Dayna Lea Hoffmann and Katie Yoner
Collaborator Joseph McManus
Fingers is the last rat in Edmonton. Or so he thinks, until one day he finds a curious and innocent baby rat named Shrimp. Eager to preserve his Edmonton rat legacy and finally have a friend, Fingers creates the Rat Academy to teach Shrimp how to survive as a cold, hard, street rat.
The Character Cabaret
18 mins | 14+
Created & performed by Christel Bartelse
Directed by Andy Massingham
From the Creator of Fringe hits “ONEymoon” “Chaotica” and “All Kidding Aside”, actor/performer/clown- Christel Bartelse brings you a theatrical showcase of characters, some human, some not. A hilarious & quirky solo show adventure!
“Rare originality and theatrical zest” – Edmonton Journal | “Bartelse is a bit Julie Andrews gone wild” – Montreal Gazette
The Olympics Piece
14 mins | All-ages
Created & choreographed by Anastasia Maywood
Performed by Janita Frantsi, Maren Vickers, and Zoette Dixon-Dyrvik
Every current summer and winter Olympic sport in 14 minutes.
The Rookie CabaretEdmonton / Amiskwaciwâskahikan
A raucous and hilarious way to wrap-up your weekend.
This festival favourite has returned after a two year hiatus! Play the Fool’s Rookie Mentorship Program showcase features emerging clowns, physical comedy artists, and experienced performers experimenting in a new style. It’s a performer-creation program, artists work with festival director Christine Lesiak to take their idea from concept to stage.
Help us keep this program going ADOPT-A-ROOKIE today!
- Vinnie & Alphonse in Blood Ties by Yassine El Fassi El Fihri & Patrick Lynn
- Pearl in Cleaning Up by T Gill
- Hysteria Winthrop aka Sophie Healey
- Grubbie’s Market Spree by Kijo Gatama
- Tchotchke the Gig in Sweet Milk by Terry Knickle
- OnPoint by Lauren Brady
- Big Business by Leeboyes
Content warnings: Smoking, realistic firearms, cartoonish violence, suicide ideation, disordered eating, body dysmorphia.
The Festival Spectacular Cabaret
Comedy madness where anything can (and does) happen!
You never know what chaos will prevail when over a dozen of our favourite fools take the stage to entertain and amaze. Laugh yourself silly at our late-night shenanigans.
Hosted by Lee Boyes, featuring:
- Jesus & Pastor Greg (Rebecca Merkley & Adam Keefe)
- Mark Vetsch & Neil Kuefler
- Melucine (Jacqueline Russell)
- June Fukumura
- Charlie Peters
- Erin Pettifor
- Christel Bartelse
- Hugues Sarra-Bournet
- Creepy Boys (S.E. Grummet & Sam Kruger)
Artist Panel Discussion
Gender Blending: Examining, Exploring, and Subverting Gender through Clown
An online panel discussion with S.E. Grummett, Candice Roberts, Zachary Parsons-Lozinski (Lilith Fair), Charlie Peters, and Adam Lazarus, moderated by Jake Tkaczyk, about gender in physical theatre, character, and clown. These artists will discuss how they use gender in their work to subvert deeply ingrained beliefs, roles, and power structures, and how clown can be a tool to investigate multiple aspects of identity, and disrupt the status quo.
Don’t want to watch it alone at home? Join us for our public viewing party on the Play the Fool Festival patio, at the Backstage Theatre, no ticket required.
Live Captioning by Tanzi Reule
Moderated by Jake Tkaczyk