Fringe-For-All 1 and 2—My War


by Matthew A. Everett • July 24, 2008 • “What in God’s name am I doing here?!”

Very few shows were present in both editions of Fringe-For-All – this was one of them.

My War – From Bismarck to Britain and Back
Klatch Productions

Single White Fringe Geek (and Mom) is the blog of Matthew A. Everett, one of five bloggers covering the Minnesota Fringe Festival for the Daily Planet.

“WW II. True story. Bombing raids and B-24s. Rationing and shortages. Dancing and doughnuts. Through letters and diaries, a Boomer discovers two remarkable women – her mother and grandmother. Step back in time.”

More info from their show page…

“In My War: From Bismarck to Britain and Back, a young widow’s overseas letters and a Midwest matron’s diary open a door to life during World War II. From rationing at home to running Red Cross Aero Clubs for ‘the boys’ in Europe, they meet the challenges of a time that changed the world. Excerpted from the book of the same name, edited by Christine C. Woods, this performance is the true story of a North Dakota family.

Adapted and performed by local storytellers Dorothy Cleveland, Ann Kilgore Reay and Sara Boyle Trautner, My War: From Bismarck to Britain and Back began as a presentation for “A Salute to Veterans” at Northstar Storytelling League’s Tellabration! in November 2006. It was expanded for the Fringe of the 2007 Northlands Storytelling Network Conference.

Klatch Productions is five local artists, who, individually, have been part of the Twin Cities spoken word community for many years.”

I found this intriguing both times I saw it. They got their act tightened up between editions 1 and 2 of Fringe-For-All. First time out, the light was just turning red when they wrapped it up. Second time, they get out on the yellow light. It was the same material both times.

They embedded the video clip from the Fringe’s YouTube page on their show page, so you’ve got a couple of ways to find it. (Hey, that’s actually a great idea. I should look up how to do that again. Thanks for the idea, ladies!)

A woman’s view of war, from the middle of it, and from the homefront.

Robin Gillette, in her hosting segment afterward, said this sort of thing was the answer to the folks who say, “The Fringe just seems like a bunch of wacko nut jobs.”

Of course, these ladies may also be wacko nut jobs for all we know, but they do seem reassuringly normal, for those seeking theater dealing with edgy subject matter (war, the times we’re in right now), that doesn’t go over the edge and take the audience with it. Something for every taste. This hardly seems tame to me, by any means. But it may be more accessible to folks who aren’t ready for say… Skunkape Sexkult

Personally, I’m ready for both. And Mom’s probably game as well. But there’s a wide range to choose from. Check out the video clips of this show and all the other Fringe-For-All acts and make up your own mind, and your list of things to see.

(Of course, there’s more, too. I’ll get to that.)

Show location, dates and times, and ticket info available here

Entering his sixth year of blogging about the Minnesota Fringe Festival (and bringing Mom along for the ride as a guest reviewer), Matthew A. Everett is also a local playwright and three-time recipient of grant support from the Minnesota State Arts Board. Information on Matthew and his plays can be found at