A crack and a whack at Stettler PAC

Stettler’s Kimberlee Stadelmann and the Accidental Humour Co. brought their latest creation to a hometown crowd

Cliff Kelly

Stettler’s Kimberlee Stadelmann and the Accidental Humour Co. brought their latest creation to a hometown crowd last week at the Performing Arts Centre.

On Tuesday, Sept. 23, the company performed McCrackin 2: The Whackining, a 70-minute mix of live action and pre-recorded footage that was among the best-received shows at this year’s Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival.

The show stars William Banfield as Jim McCrackin, a hit man introduced in 2010’s Happy Whackin’ Jim McCrackin. In this sequel, the title character must carry out a heist with an eccentric criminal organization in order to rescue his kidnapped son.

The stage cast also features Cliff Kelly, Janine Waddell Hodder and Alex D. Mackie, while the pre-recorded footage, shot earlier this year, incorporates dozens of extras.

McCrackin 2 enjoyed a successful run at the Fringe Festival with five performances, followed by two additional showings after it was selected as one of just eight shows to be held over, out of a lineup of more than 200 productions.

Accidental Humour Co. took the show on a tour of southern Alberta in late September, performing on stage in Lethbridge, Stettler and Calgary.

Stadelmann, a 2002 graduate of William E. Hay Composite High School, served as stage manager, costume designer and co-producer.

She said it was exciting to bring the show home to the stage that inspired her passion for theatre.

“I grew up performing on this stage,” she said. “It’s just fun to be home, and to see familiar faces, and to share what we do.”

Stadelmann now lives in Edmonton, but some of her family members remain in Stettler, including her mother, Donna Boyd-Stadelmann, who said she was pleased with the turnout for last week’s show.

About 60 people attended the performance. She noted that of the three shows that Accidental Humour has brought to Stettler thus far, McCrackin 2 drew the biggest crowd.

After graduating high school, Kim Stadelmann began her studies at the University of Lethbridge, intending to become a drama teacher, but her goals changed after she began exploring technical design.

It was also in Lethbridge that she met the other members of what became the Accidental Humour Co., founded in 2003. She graduated in 2006, and a year later, she and the company moved to Edmonton.

The company made its successful Fringe Festival premiere in 2009 with For the Love of a Zombie, followed the next year by Happy Whackin’ Jim McCrackin. Since then, they have introduced new productions on an annual basis.

Stadelmann said the company began working on its current play last fall, recording the video footage starting in January. She said their usual approach is to record the video footage first and then “rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.”

The footage is projected onto backdrops on stage and is often synchronized with on-stage action, making perfect timing a necessity.

Directing the video footage was Brent Felzien, a native of nearby Forestburg. The show’s program contains this anecdote from his upbringing: “One of the few sources of entertainment was the movie rental store. He and his friends watched too many bad movies and it basically turned him evil.”

For more information, including deleted scenes and a blooper reel from McCrackin 2, visit www.accidentalhumour.com.


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