Gustavus students and faculty at the Fringe Festival

Posted on August 7th, 2009 by

Fringe FestivalThere have already been multiple stories and blog posts about Gustavus’s most recent production at the Minnesota Fringe Festival, but I just want to add my two cents on it!

First, if you’ve somehow missed it, the play is A Mother for Choco (and Other Mother Stories), adapted by Theatre professor Amy Seham from the popular children’s book by Keiko Kasza. The story is popular in adoption communities for its message that families are created by action and commitment, not defined as a set of people who look alike. I love that the story also carries the message that not all “mommies” are women (Mrs. Penguin sends Choco to talk to Mr. Penguin, who raises all their kids), and not all women are mommies (Mrs. Walrus tells Choco she couldn’t be his mommy because she’s too busy being “the hottest body on the beach!”). Anyway, Seham adapted this story for the stage (with permission from the publisher) in collaboration with several Gustavus students (Kim Braun, Robert Croghan, Lydia Francis, Andrea Gullixon, and Jordan Klitzke) and Anne Sawyer-Aitch– you may remember her from her January term course on shadow puppetry and her collaboration on The Other Shore last winter.

I saw the play last Sunday afternoon, and loved it. The puppetry was great– not only did the puppets look great, the students were quite masterful at bringing them to life on the stage. This is no small task in the small, intimate theatre space the play was in. I found myself being sung to by a giraffe just inches from my nose! The performers also did a fabulous job at keeping the audience engaged and involved in the production– which is really important when you have many small children in the house!

If you hurry, you can catch Choco tonight at 5:30 pm, or the last show is tomorrow (Saturday, 8/8) at 2:30 pm. The venue is the University of Minnesota Rarig Center Xperimental theater, located at 330 21st Ave. S., Minneapolis. There are several other venues in the same building, too, making it really easy to catch some other Fringe shows while you’re there even if you’re not familiar with the area.


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