Local community theatre group producing 25th show

NKCP to produce Canadian debut of Monster Makers at Fringe

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It’s been nearly three years since the North Kildonan Community Players have taken the stage. But summer’s here and the time is right for the local community theatre company’s 25th production.

On Thurs., July 14, the North Kildonan Community Players will take to the John Hirsch Maintstage at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival to produce the Canadian debut of Stephen Dolginoff’s musical Monster Makers.

“We’re very, very excited to be back on stage in front of a live audience,” said Laurie Fischer, actor, director, and co-founder of North Kildonan Community Players. “Not only are we back and doing our 25th production, but that we’re doing a Canadian premiere.”

The cast of the North Kildonan Community Players’ production of Monster Makers, (from left): Jordan Phillips,Pamela Roz, Richard Smith, Alana Penner, and Laurie Fischer.

Written in 2015, Fischer came across Monster Makers, which he describes as “a monstrously funny musical”, in 2016. Initially, NKCP had been slated to perform the show at the 2020 Fringe, which was cancelled owing to COVID-19.

“We all know what happened there,” Fischer said. “We really want this to be an outstanding return to the stage for us.”

Monster Makers is divided into three stories in three short acts, detailing the history of popular monsters.

“The first, in Germany in 1920s and it’s about the copyright infringement of Dracula, how F. W. Murnau, I guess, stole Dracula and made it his own in a film called Nosferatu,” Fischer explained. “The second is the creation and conflict around Frankenstein’s monster, as we know it. That takes place in 1930s in Hollywood. The third act is Hammer Films in London, England in the 1970s. They were renowned as a monster-making film company before they disappeared.”

Fischer is joined on stage by NKCP veterans Jordan Phillips, Pamela Roz, Richard Smith, and Alana Penner, along with longtime musical directorJulian Vanderput.

“Everyone is fascinated by monster movies and comics and that stuff,” Fischer said. “What we’re doing, in a very funny, musical way, is we’re taking people back through history, to when the monsters that we all know about today were created. Each of us plays real people from 100 years ago.”

(From left) North Kildonan Community Players’ Julian Vanderput (musical director), Jordan Phillips, Laurie Fischer, Richard Smith, Pamela Roz, and Alana Penner are set to perform Monster Makers, a musical by Stephen Dolginoff, at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival this year.

Not only is Fischer excited to be back on stage, but also to see his compatriots in the theatre community performing again, as well.

“All the traditions of summer here in Winnipeg are finally coming back, cautiously so,” he said. “I think you’re going to see that excitement all around the Fringe.”

The North Kildonan Community Players’ production of Monster Makers runs Thurs., July 14 at 11 a.m.; Fri., July 15 at 4:30 p.m.; Sat., July 16 at 8:15 p.m.; Sun., July 17 at 2:45 p.m.; Wed., July 20 at 2:30 p.m.; Thurs., July 21 at 4:15 p.m.; Fri., July 22 at 6:15 p.m.; and Sun., July 24 at 1 p.m. For more information, visit winnipegfringe.com

Sheldon Birnie

Sheldon Birnie
Community Journalist

Sheldon Birnie is a reporter/photographer for the Free Press Community Review. The author of Missing Like Teeth: An Oral History of Winnipeg Underground Rock (1990-2001), his writing has appeared in journals and online platforms across Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. A husband and father of two young children, Sheldon enjoys playing guitar and rec hockey when he can find the time. Email him at sheldon.birnie@canstarnews.com Call him at 204-697-7112

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