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A new musical about a misguided MN congresswoman promoting her new history book about how Helen Keller and Anne Frank freed the slaves!
A new musical about a misguided MN congresswoman promoting her new history book about how Helen Keller and Anne Frank freed the slaves!
57 backers pledged $7,002 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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From the creators of last year's MN Fringe hit FRUIT FLY: THE MUSICALcomes a brand new musical:

SHELLY BACHBERG PRESENTS: HOW HELEN KELLER AND ANNE FRANK FREED THE SLAVES: THE MUSICAL!

director Nikki Swoboda, composer Michael Gruber, playwright/lyricist Max Wojtanowicz, and music director Jason Hansen
director Nikki Swoboda, composer Michael Gruber, playwright/lyricist Max Wojtanowicz, and music director Jason Hansen

SHELLY BACHBERG PRESENTS: HOW HELEN KELLER AND ANNE FRANK FREED THE SLAVES: THE MUSICAL is an irreverent political satire by Max Wojtanowicz, with music by Broadway veteran Michael Gruber. Directed by long-time collaborator Nikki Swoboda, with musical direction by Jason Hansen, SHELLY BACHBERG will have its world premiere at the New Century Theatre in downtown Minneapolis as part of the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival, the largest non-juried arts festival in the United States!

starring Kim Kivens as Shelly Bachberg
with David Darrow*, Mary Fox, Brianna Graham, Ryan Grimes, Caroline Innerbichler*, Kasono Mwanza*, Whitney Rhodes & Rudolph Searles III*

[ * - members of Actor's Equity Association ]

Our cast in rehearsal!
Our cast in rehearsal!

playing in the 2013 Minnesota Fringe Festival
at the New Century Theatre
615 Hennepin Ave (in the City Center)
Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, August 4th - 1:00pm
Monday, August 5th - 5:30pm
Wednesday, August 7th - 7:00pm
Friday, August 9th - 10:00pm
Sunday, August 11th - 1:00pm

Tickets and more information at:
http://www.fringefestival.org/2013/show/?id=2432

What?? That title!! ... What, what, what in the world... is this show about?

After the Fringe Festival last year, as the FRUIT FLY creative team was having its post-mortem, Max told a story from his days as an English teacher's assistant in high school, when he came across this actual test answer:

Q: What questions did you have about Anne Frank that her diary didn't answer?
A: How old was she when she freed the slaves?

The more he read the answer, the more ridiculous it got. He knew the student, and knew she couldn't possibly have been trying to be funny. The answer was genuine. How in the world could the educational system fail her so badly? His friend was reading a test answer about Helen Keller, and the ridiculous story of these two young women ending abolition became a long-running inside joke.

The story always seemed like it had theatrical potential, and after FRUIT FLY was voted Best Musical of the festival last year, Max was eager to continue collaborating with Michael Gruber, Nikki Swoboda and Jason Hansen.

As it happened, that day in Washington, a certain Minnesota congresswoman had misconstrued (or misremembered) history somehow, and an idea was born.

The likeness is entirely coincidental.
The likeness is entirely coincidental.

When politicians use their own revisionist history to promote their personal and political ideologies, the line between fact and fantasy is blurred, and although we can scoff at their words, they have dangerous implications. SHELLY BACHBERG PRESENTS: HOW HELEN KELLER AND ANNE FRANK FREED THE SLAVES: THE MUSICAL combines an impossibly far-fetched narrative with actual Bachmann quotes, and asks the audience: can you tell which is which?

Where’s all this money going?

Well I’ll tell ya! Producing a show of this size isn’t cheap, and we’re committed to compensating our artists for their phenomenal work and recognizing the contributions of time, talent and unmatchable energy that this group has brought.

Your donations will go toward helping us pay for:
- Rehearsal space
- Marketing materials, including postcards, online advertising, and our promotional photographer and videographer
- Printing scripts, music, and programs
- Scenery and props
- Stipends for our actors, band and creative team

We're hoping to raise these funds by the opening day of the Fringe Festival (August 1st, 2013) so the money can be used in the best way possible!

Too far away to see the show? We wish we could afford to fly you here for the Fringe, but this Kickstarter campaign is a great way to support us from afar!

Risks and challenges

This is a very ambitious project for us. Our show in last year's festival was very small in comparison, and scheduling a cast of nine and a creative team of six, especially in the busy summer months, is certainly a challenge. But we're confident that this project will come together and be a great success, especially with the help of the arts community and the Kickstarter community! With these funds, we will hope to have a well-attended run at the Fringe Festival!

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    You super genius! For $50 you get the karma, the high five, the thank you in the program, PLUS a SHELLY BACHBERG PRESENTS: HOW HELEN KELLER AND ANNE FRANK FREED THE SLAVES: THE MUSICAL postcard, signed by the creators of said show, with a personalized haiku!

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    Oh my. You must really like us! For $100, you get karma, a high five, the program shout-out, a personalized postcard to hang in your home, prop up on your nightstand or stash under your pillow, PLUS!! You will receive TWO tickets to SHELLY BACHBERG at the MN Fringe (redeemable for any performance but subject to availability -- we will be in close contact with you about this to assure you get great seats!)

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    Oh my. You must really like us! For $250, you get: karma, all the high fives you want (even windmill high fives, like in Top Gun!), your name in our playbill, the postcard with a Japanese nature poem to frame and hold close as you fall asleep, PLUS!! You will receive FOUR tickets to SHELLY BACHBERG at the MN Fringe (redeemable for any performance but subject to availability -- we will be in close contact with you about this to assure you get great seats!)

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    You are our favorite person of all time. For $500, you get: everything listed above AND you will receive a special, private YouTube video of an original song written just for you by Michael Gruber and Max Wojtanowicz -- and performed by our cast -- to watch at your leisure and play for your friends to make them jealous!

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Funding period

- (30 days)