Everyone knows the classic story of Cinderella – from the glass slipper to the pumpkin carriage, most children are well acquainted with the symbols from the time-honoured tale. But a rubber chicken?
“We always have a rubber chicken,” said Marcus Lundgren, artistic director with DuffleBag Theatre. “We have kids giddy with anticipation waiting for Reggie, our rubber chicken.”
An appearance from Reggie is all but guaranteed during DuffleBag’s performance of Cinderella, scheduled at the Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) Feb. 25. The group’s humorous retelling of the children’s classic relies heavily on improv, with audience members making up a large part of the show.
“All of our props and costumes will fit anybody and we pull our audience members into the show when we need them,” Lundgren said. “We have a narrator who tells the story, and it’s the narrator’s job to inform the characters what they have to do and how the story goes.”
Though even reluctant audience members could become part of the show, Lundgren said the group starts “with the assumption that everybody is going to be amazing.”
“Our shows have so much audience interaction that we can tell pretty early on the ones that are really engaged,” he said. “After the first one is brought up, everybody knows (what’s going on). Then, the key ones are looking at you, like, ‘Pick me, pick me!’”
DuffleBag cast members rely on an overall plot line that follows the story of the classic Cinderella story. However, Lundgren said depending on the choices of the audience members onstage, the plot can often diverge in hilarious ways.
“We are sometimes doing it two or three times (a day). You could easily tire of the show, but every show is different because we have different characters,” he said. “I think that’s what our audiences love, too, when we come back.”
Since forming in 1992, DuffleBag Theatre has performed across Canada and internationally, including in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam. The group’s show at BCLT will be their first stop in Alberta on their current tour.
“I think anybody who wants to have a family experience will love coming to a DuffleBag show,” Lundgren said. “It’s one of those things that really works for everybody and I think those are harder and harder to find these days.”
Cinderella is scheduled at 2 p.m. Feb. 25 at BCLT. For more information, visit airdrie.ca