The Seminar with Madge and Taffy

CREATED and performed BY JANESSA JOHNSRUDE AND ALLIE MENZIMER

SOUND DESIGN BY CORY GOLDMAN

Special Thanks to Kaitlen Osburn for creative consultinG

TheSeminarcreatedbyJanessaJohnsrudeandAllieMenzimer

" a hilarious story with a heart " ★★★★★

-Vue Weekly

A kaleidoscopic trip of epic synth-rocking hilarity that skyrockets from the conference room to the bomb ass surreal wilds of the demonic underworld through sublime projector art and a beautifully strange seminar...of questionable veracity. Your eccentrically endearing hosts, Madge and Taffy of 'Sittendouche Industries", implore you to rid yourself of crippling emotional pain during their DREAM DUMP Seminar through their patented methods and super scientific anecdotes. Things begin to get weird (really weird) when Madge uncovers a portal via the DREAM DUMP extraction device to an infernal casino teeming with demons and evil shrimp buffets. The revelation of a dark secret (hint, it involves Russian lyrical dancers) pulls the curtain back on the past and threatens to tear Madge and Taffy’s friendship apart as a powerful demon lures them to his lair. A cosmic battle with the forces of evil ensues. 

The Seminar With Madge and Taffy uses elements of Commedia dell’Arte, Clown, Physical Theatre, Bouffon, Storytelling and shadow/projector puppetry to cascade through vividly imagined worlds in an irreverent yet enchanting theatrical event. 

In the latest move to push the boundaries of original stories and physical theatre, Glitter Gizzard looked to anecdotal pop-science as a pseudo-religious phenomenon and developed an interest in poorly thought out dogmatic ideologies meant to redesign the human experience, as well as the characters that preach them, as fodder for the play. Inspired by attending ridiculous and boring conferences and seminars, creators of the play Allie Menzimer (U.S.A.) and Janessa Johnsrude (Canada) explored the juxtaposition of the mundane and the surreal to create the world of the show.

While the comedic story of The Seminar with Madge and Taffy is ultimately a tale about a strange and delightful friendship, it also taps into deeper and darker themes of dogma, failure and the heartbreak of betrayal. The Seminar aims to illuminate the paradoxically uplifting and utterly depressing notion that though the likeliness of achieving our unabashed dreams may be grim, they are ultimately worth having in order to make real life bearable and poses the question: Is the act of believing more important than what you actually believe if you believe in your beliefs to cope with not knowing what to believe?



Photographs by Arnista Photography & Terrence McNally


We are lucky to live and work with a generous, talented community of artists. Our creation process took place mainly in Blue Lake, California, home of Dell'Arte International - an organization that has supported our work from the beginning. We'd like to thank everyone at Dell'Arte for lending us a hand and for the space to make our work. Special thanks to Lynnie Horrigan (the Glitter Gizzard Angel), Brian and Jackie Johnsrude, James Hildebrandt, Caitlin Volz, Chase Perkins, Pratik Motwani, Michael Fields, Joan Schirle, Fran Beatty, Lynne Owens, Johani Guererro, Stephanie Witzel, Claire Reynolds, Lauren Wilson, Sarah Peters, Laura Muñoz, Spike Foster, Zuzka Sabata and James Peck. Whether it be attending one of our showings and giving us feedback, helping us with props and set, or giving us encouragement, we appreciate you and all you do!