Looking for a family laugh? Look no further than Portage & Munsch.
Portage & Munsch: 50 Below is the Prairie Theatre Exchange’s family-friendly play featuring classic stories written by Canadian author Robert Munsch. Adapted by Debbie Patterson, the show stars local actors.
Kelci Stephenson, 26, from Fort Rouge, and Murray Farnell, 33, from River Heights play Berti and Randy.
In the show Berti, Randy, and their friends become lost in -50 degree weather.
"Then we stumble into this place, not really knowing where we are, and we tell a bunch of stories to people who happen to be in the same place," said Farnell. "So it turns out that’s where we needed to be all along."
Stephenson said though the play is meant for kids and includes the five Munsch stories 50 Below, Pigs, Zoom, A Promise is a Promise, and I Have to Go, there are some older references for parents.
"Deb Patterson, who wrote the show, has included a (The) Guess Who theme from the ’70s," Stephenson said.
"There are a lot of The Guess Who and (Bachman-Turner Overdrive) references throughout the show to kind of keep parents engaged."
This is Stephenson’s first onstage PTE performance. Her character uses a wheelchair, which is not common for the annual Munsch performances, said Stephenson.
"They’ve been doing the Munsch show for years and years and they’ve never had a character in a wheelchair before," said Stephenson.
"It’s good to show the kids that I’m able to keep up with everybody even though I’m in the chair."
The idea came to Patterson from a young student with spina bifida after a school tour.
"I always want to find ways to reflect the audience onstage, to create work that is inclusive, so including the story Zoom was a way of doing that," Patterson said in a release.
"Then, to make sense of the story, it was an obvious choice to put one character in a wheelchair for the whole show."
The entire show is a fun and high-energy, Farnell said.
"It will be fun for everybody in the family," said Stephenson. "I know I went to the show, and I wasn’t sure what to expect, it being a children’s piece, but it was a ton of fun."
Portage & Munsch: 50 Below opened Dec. 20 and runs until Jan. 5.
Tickets can be purchased at the box office in Portage Place or online at www.pte.mb.ca