Flora & Fawna’s Field Trip! Earns All The Badges

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Flora & Fawna’s Field Trip! by Darrin Hagen & Trevor Schmidt runs May 2 – 21 at Lunchbox Theatre. Pictured, left to right: Trevor Schmidt (Fawna) and Darrin Hagen (Flora). Photo Credit: Ian Jackson, EPIC Photography.

Given that I participated in Flora & Fawna’s Field Trip!, I figured I break away from the usual third-person to write about this hilarious, although very emotional comedy playing now at Lunchbox Theatre until the 21st.

Created by Darrin Hagen & Trevor Schmidt, with Schmidt directing, Flora & Fawna’s Field Trip! is everything I wish my years in Cub Scouts had been. Hagen and Schmidt play two pre-teen girls named Flora and Fawna, respectively. Upset by the mean girls in their Girl Guide’s troop, Flora and Fawna have taken it upon themselves to form their own group called the NaturElles. The NaturElles is an all-inclusive group that welcomes everyone, except mean girls – like “Louise Hobson!” The only other member is Fleurette (Chris Enright), a young Francophone girl.

The audience participates in the NaturElle’s first membership drive, as a group and otherwise. I was pulled from my seat by Fawna to play a trivia game about wilderness survival, where I answered two of three questions correctly. What I learned from the experience is that I’m not very good at choking the chicken – we used rubber chickens as our buzzers.

Before this, Flora and Fawna asked the audience to take the friendships bracelets from the bags handed to them before the show and tie them around each other’s wrist. The circle widened, and it continued widening as the girls’ activities – like learning how to pee in the woods – brought everyone together through laughter, like laughing-so-hard-it-hurts laughter.

The show is a lot of like camp, well it’s more like the version of camp that adults promise you before shipping you off for the weekend. Personally, I hated my time in Cub Scouts, primarily because I was bullied by the other boys. Sure, we were asked to adhere to a set of golden rules, principles, and values, but none of that mattered when the adults weren’t around.

But it’s not just kids who are mean, but also adults. There are revealing moments that suggest that all is not right in Fawna’s home with her mom and step-dad. If you want to talk about risk, let’s talk about how Hagen and Schmidt, after nearly an hour of sexual innuendo and quirky humour, end the story on a very heavy note. There’s a place where fantasy and reality meet, and the two take the story there, on the precipice of adulthood.

And so, the show is about several things, but it’s mainly about the fantasies kids create to escape their problems. The NaturElles is a very real group for Flora and Fawna, because they need it to be.

Lunchbox Theatre has a knack for staging plays that hit something very real deep down inside, and Flora and Fawna’s Field Trip! is no different. Hagen and Schmidt have created a show that speaks to the kids inside all of us, and let’s us escape into a world of play. A must-see.


Darrin Hagen & Trevor Schmidt’s Floral & Fawna’s Field Trip! runs May 2 – 21 at Lunchbox Theatre.

For more information about the show, including how to purchase tickets, visit: http://www.lunchboxtheatre.com/flora-and-fawna/

 

Lunchbox Theatre’s With Bells On Brings That Holly Jolly

This holiday season, in association with Guys in Disguise, Darrin Hagen’s With Bells On returns to Lunchbox Theatre where it was first produced in 2010.

Directed by Hagen, With Bells On is a fabulous comedy that celebrates the holiday spirit by taking it to new heights.

Ted (Stafford Perry) is a young divorcé stuck with a lousy apartment and lackluster social life. One night, riding in the apartment’s elevator, Ted runs into Natasha (Paul Welch) – a statuesque drag queen dressed as a Christmas tree. Natasha’s dream of competing for the title of ‘Christmas Queen’ that night is in jeopardy when the elevator abruptly stops.

Life is full of ups and downs, and we move right with it in every direction. So, what happens when it just stops? In this pause, what is that we discover about ourselves and each other?

Hagen uses Ted and Natasha’s momentary pause from the business of everyday life to reflect on loneliness – a feeling exacerbated by this particular time of the year. This loneliness though is just not about being alone, but feeling lonely in a crowd. And so, when the opportunity presents itself to Ted and Natasha to make a real, human connection with a stranger – it is at once both exciting and terrifying. Continue reading