Vancouver-based ventriloquist Kellie Haines and her puppet Magrau the Bird will take the stage at Bert Church LIVE Theatre (BCLT) Sept. 28 to perform the show A Birdy Told Me So for young and old alike.
“It’s a really special story to me,” Haines said. “It’s a story about never giving up.”
The one-hour show is semi-autobiographical, Haines said, but with whimsical and imaginative twists. Following eight-year-old misfit Kellie and her acquaintance with Magrau, the story mirrors Haines’ introduction to ventriloquism, when she performed at her school’s talent show.
“It’s based on my own story of growing up feeling different or feeling like, as a kid, I didn’t fit in,” she said.
Haines and Magrau are the sole presence on the stage, Haines said, and act out the production in front of projections of hand-drawn backdrops created by her husband and brother-in-law.
“You’ll be seeing a theatre show with two characters, but some really cool, sort of retro drawings…to set each scene,” she said.
Following the show, Haines will bring Magrau and another puppet, Kamilla the Frog, back onstage for a meet and greet with the children in attendance, which she described as some of the most magical moments of the afternoon.
The upcoming performance is Haines’ first at BCLT, and she said she’s excited to bring the show to Airdrie. Haines is currently preparing to tour A Birdy Told Me So at schools beginning in November, and said the production is a welcome opportunity to polish her act before that happens.
“That’s why it’s so exciting to go to Airdrie, to the theatre there, and show what we have,” she said. “It’s not brand new, but it’s in its beginning.”
The production is geared towards children from kindergarten to Grade 7, but Haines said younger children and adults will also likely enjoy the show.
“I don’t want to deter parents from bringing in their really little ones,” she added.
Regardless of age, Haines said the show is intended, first and foremost, to elicit laughter in the audience and communicate an inspiring message that “it’s OK to be different. It’s actually extraordinary.”
Tickets are available online by searching “A Birdy Told Me So” at ticketpro.ca General admission is $23.50 per ticket, and students and senior receive a discounted price of $21.50 per ticket.