Saturday, March 29, 7 p.m.
$14 adult, $9.99 child
the Disneyfied version of Sleeping Beauty? You need look no further than
Millennium Place for a new spin on your favourite childhood fairytale.
Theatre, a production company based out of Ontario, is coming to Whistler to
stage a children’s pantomime performance of the classic tale, using laughter
and the audience to shake things up a bit.
has been around since 1992, and now performs over 500 shows each year, with
witty, original adaptations of Shakespearean classics and fairy tales, like
Beauty and the Beast,
Dracula, Peter Pan,
Robin Hood and
the first time DuffleBag has come to town – they brought their production of
Peter Pan to the area a few years ago, which was met with resounding approval
from the audience.
Arts Council (WAC) is bringing DuffleBag Theatre back to Whistler as part of
their ongoing performance series, which aims to include at least one show for
such a hit with all the kids,” says Ali Richmond, marketing coordinator for the
WAC, “All the kids love pantomime.”
says the performance helps lead into the children’s art festival, which is
coming up during the summer months, and adds that they may consider trying to
bring DuffleBag back to the area during that time.
“We have a
main stage for the children’s art festival, so this is just sort of
incorporating it and also bringing awareness to the 25
Lundgren, the artistic director and an actor for DuffleBag Theatre, attributes
the popularity of their storytelling theatre in part to the inclusion of
children and adults from the audience into their performance.
“One of the
things we do is we take fairy tales that everyone is familiar with and we pull
people out of the audience to play main parts,” Lundgren explains.
“…A lot of
times, it’s a kid’s first experience with the performing arts, because
television and film and stuff like that is two-dimensional – they can’t
interact with it. Whereas with us, we hear everything they say, and on some
occasions they shout out things and we try and incorporate them into the show.”
Though the show is
geared towards ages four and up, their performances appeal to all age groups.
people who bring their three-year-old and say, ‘Oh my God, he was completely
inclusion of the audience also really helps to hold the focus of the entire
audience, not just the children in the crowd.
it also helps to keep the adults’ attention span too, because I know there are
an awful lot of parents who sluggishly take their kids to these kind of
experiences thinking, ‘well, the kids need this,’ but they really don’t want to
be there themselves,” adds Lundgren. “But in our case, we really appeal to
upcoming performance will feature four DuffleBag actors, and as many audience
actors as they need.
much spontaneity and improv involved, because they’re not rehearsed ahead of
time,” says Lundgren, adding that no two shows are ever the same.
what they do that’s spontaneous, that’s where a lot of the extra fun and humour
Some of the
reactions they get from audience members range from ‘my cheeks hurt from
laughing so much’ to ‘we just had the most amazing family experience that
anyone could have asked for an afternoon,’ which Lundgren says makes his job
who’ve seen us before come back to see our other shows because they know
they’re guaranteed to have an absolutely riotous time.”
Lundgren says he doesn’t have a favourite story to perform, Sleeping Beauty
would be near the top of his list.
fun to watch what happens when the prince and they princess’s spell is broken
... just to see what the little guy does is usually quite entertaining,”
Lundgren says with a laugh, “It runs the gambit from, ‘no way,’ to some of them
will actually kiss, which is really adorable.”