Contributed by the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre
Award winning Canadian playwright Debbie Patterson’s play adapted five of children’s author Robert Munsch’s stories to create the interactive and energetic production, Munsch Upon a Time.
Three well-known stories are explored, including the beloved and often gifted The Paper Bag Princess, as well as The Fire Station, and David’s Dad, and two newer stories, Give Me Back My Dad! and It’s My Room!
Project X Theatre Productions is a great fit for tackling this kid friendly play. In 2011, they debuted their first family friendly performance and the huge response insured they continue to bring family focused theatre to life.
The Project X website explains that, “due to such popular demand from our audiences, young audience and family programming has become the cornerstone of X-Fest,” a festival the company puts on in Kamloops.
Reviewers noted Project X’s ability to find new and hilarious ways of expressing Munsch’s words in the play. A review in Kamloops This Week lauds their work: “The three cast members worked cohesively, multi tasking on stage.”
Andrew Cooper, who plays the character of Professor Pim, was called “a fan-favourite amongst Kamloops theatregoers for his animation on stage — and he didn’t disappoint.”
With a cast of three actors and a couple of puppets, the roughly 55-minute play centres around the characters of Patsy, Fullerton, Professor Pim and his time machine as they explore their love of stories through the selected works of Munsch.
Robert Munsch’s books have been bestsellers in Canada since the late ’70s. Many parents grew up with his fun, quirky stories, and one tearjerker: I’ll Love You Forever.
Self deprecating, Munsch struggled academically in school, and though he enjoyed writing poems, he was sure he would have failed each grade had it not been for the teachers’ desire to never again have him in their class.
After graduation he studied for several years to be a Jesuit priest before changing careers and working with children in childcare centres.
Munsch returned to university, gaining a Masters in Anthropology, however, he stayed in the early childhood industry. In the ’70s, he and his wife immigrated to Canada and worked at the University of Guelph’s preschool. It was at this time when a librarian friend overheard him tell stories to children and suggested he write them down.
Since then he has sold millions of copies of his books, which have been translated into more than 30 languages. Most of his stories are based on his interactions with children and he has been known to drop by schools unannounced to surprise classrooms.
Be sure to bring the family out to Munsch Upon A Time for the matinee performance on Saturday, May 6 at 3 p.m. at the RPAC.