Past Festivals – 2019




“…delighted several generations of the not-easily entertained….these are things that make you appreciate live theatre all over again.”
Thu Sep 26 9:15pm
Fri Sep 27 4:15pm
50 mins $20/$18 Seniors and Students * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

Created by: Jesse Buck

A lone clown wakes to discover an audience in his bedroom. He tells an epic tale of good versus evil, and loses himself to the fantasy of his own creation. Featuring fearsome snakes, giants, and dark magic it is a timeless story told with play and imagination in the spirit of the Brothers Grimm.


Mump & Smoot in “Something” with Thug

Toronto, Calgary & Edmonton

“Comedy at its most anarchic”

The Vancouver Sun

“National treasures”

Thu Sep 26 9:00pm
Fri Sep 27 7:00pm
Sun Sep 29 7:00pm
75 mins Ages 18+ $32/$30 Seniors and Students * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

Created by: Michael Kennard & John Turner
Directed by: Karen Hines
Mump played by: Michael Kennard
Smoot played by: John Turner
Thug played by: Candace Berlinguette
Sound by: David Hines

Mump and Smoot inhabit a parallel Universe on planet Ummo, worship a god named Ummo and converse in their own gibberish language — Ummonian — which is nevertheless clear to the audience, all the while delighting in the chaos of a nightmarish world. In Something, we find the intrepid duo Mump and Smoot prancing through the etiquette of a fine Cafe, the sorrow and despair of a Wake, and the pandemonium of the Doctor’s office.

Festival Artist Panel Discussion

Sun Sep 29 12:00pm
90 mins Free

Is the King in the Room?

Who does the art of clowning speak to, and for, in 2019? How do we find authentic connections with an audience, or land the points we want to land, as audiences change and dynamics shift? How is the cultural understanding of clown, red nose or otherwise, changing, and how does that alter the art form’s potency? Explore all of this and more with a panel pulled from Play The Fool’s preeminent clowns and beyond.

Moderated by Paul Blinov, I Don’t Get It podcast.


  • John Turner (Smoot)
  • Michaela Lind (My Birthday)
  • Jesse Buck (BUBKUS)
  • Christine Lesiak (Play the Fool Festival director)

Location: The Backstage Theatre.

The Rookie Cabaret

Sun Sep 29 9:00pm
60 min 18+ $12 * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

This festival favourite is back in its third year! Play the Fool’s Rookie Mentorship Program showcase features emerging clowns, physical comedy artists, and performers experimenting in a new style. In this performer-creation program, artists work with festival director Christine Lesiak to take their idea from concept to stage.

2019 Rookie Mentorship Program participants:

  • Erin Hutchison & Emily Smith
  • Skinny McLeod & Kent Kobylka
  • Anastasia Maywood
  • Sarah Dowling
  • Allie Billings
  • Daniel Anderson
  • Evan Dowling
  • Heather Cornick & Laura Rezko
  • Jolene Undershultz

The Festival Spectacular

Sat Sep 28 9:15pm
90 mins 18+ $20/$18 Seniors and Students * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

Hosted by Local Comedy Enthusiast Jerk du Soleil (Rebecca Merkely) and sideshow Boob Elliott Mouthcock (Jake Tkaczyk) with live music from the Mary Lee Bird Band.
You never know what madness will prevail when over a dozen of Edmonton’s favorite fools take the stage to entertain and amaze. You’ll laugh yourself silly at our late-night shenanigans.


  • Miss Behavin’ Jazz Mavens
  • BIG BUSINESS from Lee Boyes
  • Holly Von Sin
  • Doctor Professor Lavernius Cumquat (Dustin Allen)
  • Adam Keefe
  • Boris and Olga
  • Jacqueline Russell – “Cha U Kao
  • Chris Gamble
  • The Paul Blinov Comedy Explosion
  • Zeptok & Zaps (Alyssa Billingsley & Ayla Gandall)

Emerging Artist Triple-Bill

Sat Sep 28 2:30pm
Sun Sep 29 4:15pm
60 mins 13+ $15/$13 Student and seniors * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

White Comforter: Get Some, with Carol White

Edmonton, AB

20 mins

Written & performed by: Alexandra Dawkins
Directed by: Jake Tkaczyk
Performance Consultant: Elena Eli Belyea

Are you Getting Any? Carol White won’t wait until she’s dead to sleep, and neither should you. Carol White takes the stage having come out a debilitating history of sleep loss, only to have developed a world-renowned solution for all who suffer. Carol leads the audience through a Guided Sleep Meditation, as it shouldn’t matter who are in order to deserve rest. GET SOME with Carol White.

Minor Pains: Prenatal Piercing and Other Pregnancy Prep

Edmonton, AB

20 mins

Written & performed by: Erin Pettifor & Ashleigh Hicks
Directed by: Charlie Peters

A darkly satirical story. Watch this Mother-to-Be prepare her feminist fetus to face the world with diamonds on her ears.

Oblong and Oboe

Saskatoon, SK

18 mins

Written & performed by: Jalisa Gonie & Charlie Peters
Directed by: Alyssa Billingsley
Performance and Directing Coaching by: John Turner

ArchDuke Oblong and Crown Prince Oboe rule the land, maintaining its upper-class traditions. But, unbeknownst to them, their kingdom is in a time of upheaval. Things cannot continue as they have and the two clowns must learn how to give up their power and wealth.

Triple Bill

Fri Sep 27 7:30pm
Sun Sep 29 2:30pm
60 min 13+ $20/$18 Seniors and Students * Additional $3 Fringe Theatre service fee on all tickets.

Money Fish

Toronto, ON

12 mins

Created by: Hercinia Arts Collective
Performed by: Natalie Parkinson, Alexa Elser & Emily Hughes

Money Fish are a zany acrobatic trio of fish-like synchronized swimmers – on land! Seriously silly, the Money Fish have prepared their world class acrobatic synchro routine for this special presentation.

My Birthday

Brooklyn, NY

25 mins

Created & performed by: Michaela Lind
Directed by: Kendall Cornell

Everybody loves a clown – especially on her birthday. What does a birthday really mean? Every year, every single human being has one, and we each, depending on our ages, cultures, and personalities, relate to it differently. And why is the clown so readily associated with a birthday, invited to help others celebrate? What would happen if this equation were reversed?

One Man’s Trash…

Edmonton, AB

20 mins

Written & performed by: Neil Kuefler, Ben Stevens & Mark Vetsch

Janitors, tasked with cleaning the streets, come across a garbage can filled with discarded props and set pieces from a local theatre. Sifting through the trashed items, they are transformed, each object magically dropping them into a different Shakespearean play. The can will drag these friends through comedy, tragedy, and murder most foul– proving that with a little imagination, one man’s trash is another man’s Measure for Measure.

Opening Night Gala

Mary Lee Bird Band
Thu Sep 26 7:00pm
60 min 13+ Free Tickets can be reserved in advance. Donations welcome.

Join us for our by-donation opening night sneak-peak cabaret featuring hilarity from the 2019 festival line-up. Admittance is first come first served at the door. Full festival pass holders have guaranteed front-of-the line admittance. more…