Just one Winnipeg troupe toured the eastern fringe circuit this year and the experience was an eye-opener.

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/7/2015 (2379 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Just one Winnipeg troupe toured the eastern fringe circuit this year and the experience was an eye-opener.

Peachy Keen Productions, which is presenting The Manic Pixie Dream Girl here, debuted its two-person dramedy in London, Ont., and Montreal. It was an education for playwrights Sydney Hayduk and Justin Otto, who also perform the story of boy meets made-up girl.

"Montreal was kind of crazy," says Otto. "We were told it was the party fringe but we didn’t know how much until we got there. The cabaret every night goes from 1 a.m. to 3 a.m., and then there is the dance party. You essentially watch the sun come up every morning." Then there’s the reality that any unknown out-of-town act is going to have an difficult time drawing an audience. Dream Girl played to an average of 12 to 15 people and drew fewer than 100 in total for its seven-performance run.

"It was super-tough," says Otto, the University of Winnipeg graduate who enjoyed a busy first season on Winnipeg stages. "It made us step back as producers and realize this was more of a place to work out any kinks in our show and less about making money, which was a weird setback for us."

The pair applied to six fringe festivals and got into three (They head to Calgary after Winnipeg, where they’ve arranged a bringyour- own-venue at PTE’s Colin Jackson Studio). Otto says he is looking forward to performing in Winnipeg. He is confident there is an audience in his hometown for Dream Girl.

"We’re taking The Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope and deconstructing it in order to pose the questions of how we fictionalize women and cast them in a secondary role," Otto says. "We do this through Nathan, my character, writing a play which the Dream Girl arrives in. It’s a surreal romantic comedy we’re calling 500 Days of Summer meets Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind."