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DuffleBag Theatre brings interactive antics to Fredonia family series
Friday, October 31, 2014

DuffleBag Theatre brings interactive antics to Fredonia family series

The players of DuffleBag Theatre return with a comedic take on “Rumpelstiltskin.”

Rockefeller Arts Center’s Kaleidoscope Family Series opens its 2014-15 season with a production about spinning straw into gold - and turning a classic fairytale into a barrel of laughs.

On Friday, Nov. 14, DuffleBag Theatre returns with its production of “Rumpelstiltskin.” Curtain time is 7 p.m. in Marvel Theatre.

Since being founded in 1992, the “Nearly World Famous” DuffleBag Theatre has become one of the most celebrated companies in North America, thanks to its interactive storytelling productions like “Rumpelstiltskin.” It is the company’s sixth visit to Rockefeller Arts Center and follows last year’s popular performance of “Cinderella.”

The players of DuffleBag Theatre begin the show with a traditional telling of a tale like “Rumpelstiltskin.” However, just when the audience becomes enthralled by the story, a twist is created. Selected audience members are asked to come up on stage and join in the action for a fun-filled, interactive theater experience.

The unpredictable performance is described as “a hilarious experience for all ages and a truly unique theatrical event in which the dream of being part of the story actually does come true.”

The show is approximately 60 minutes long and is recommended for children ages 6 and older.

With 15 different shows in its current repertoire, DuffleBag Theatre performs more than 600 times a year across Canada, the U.S. and internationally. Marcus Lundgren is the artistic director and Rod Keith is the general manager.

“Creating a new show is a very exciting part of what we do at DuffleBag. We put a lot of thought and time into getting it just right,” Keith said. “To get the ball rolling, we spend about two weeks in a rehearsal space from morning to evening playing around with different parts of the story and characters until we shape it into a performance.”

During this time, the company figures out which roles “audience actors” will play and which roles DuffleBag performers will play.

“Once we have shaped it into a 50-ish minute show we think audiences will love, we start performing it,” Keith said. “But even then, we aren’t done. We keep playing around and improvising with each performance we do. If one joke isn’t working we might take it out and replace it with another. Or if something really funny happens out of the blue and it works, then we might throw it in permanently. Our DuffleBag shows are constantly evolving — and our fabulous audiences are a major part of that.”

In addition to “Cinderella,” the DuffleBag players have previously performed “Robin Hood,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Peter Pan” and “A Christmas Carol” at Fredonia.

Tickets for “Rumpelstiltskin” are available through the Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center, by phone at 673-3501 or online at

This Kaleidoscope Family Series event is sponsored by Antoinette (Annette) Lukasik, D.D.S., as part of the 2014-15 Lake Shore Savings Season. The Kaleidoscope Family Series sponsor is The Observer.

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