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The magic of making bubbles

June 23, 2012
By Cindy Votruba , Marshall Independent

For some unknown reason, I, along with others, can be attracted to bubbles. Whether it's the cheap kind you get from the store with the little plastic wand or the type you make yourself with dish soap and baking powder, there's just something about bubbles - the way they float toward the sky, hit the sun and then have a little bit of a rainbow color on them.

Which brings me to FastFest, the theater festival put on by the Minnesota Association of Community Theaters this past Saturday. It's an event that takes place every other year where community theaters from around the state bring a one-act play to perform in 20 minutes or less. Actors can only use the table and four chairs provided by MACT and one other set piece. I was treated to eight different shows, including Marshall Area Stage Company's entry "Easier Done Than Said." Basically it's taking tongue twisters and theater vocal warm-ups and working them into a conversation. It was an original, written by the MASC president, and there were a few other originals at the festival as well. One of the shows, a take on one of Hans Christian Anderson's lesser-known tales will be performed in its entirety at the Twin Cities Fringe Festival. All in all, every community theater did a good job, some make you laugh, others made you sad.

And a lot of people (mainly because they were theater folks and could relate) laughed appreciatively and uproariously at "Easier Done Than Said." Ross even got a little bit of applause and a "woo" or two for spitting out one of the tougher tongue twisters.

So back to the bubbles. Before the second half of the festival, one of the actors from Mindless Mirth Productions of St. Paul - the group that put on the Hans Christian Anderson play - was making giant bubbles. Dubbing himself the "Baron of Bubbles" and dressed in a Renaissance-like costume, Larry Ripp (the actor) had an entire setup of homemade bubbles, along with wands and a couple of "bubble things." A bubble thing is an actual product that makes giant bubbles (if you use it properly and don't break the bubbles right away). I couldn't help myself; I just had to make bubbles.

Larry made reference to the combination of theater and bubbles which I unfortunately can't recall, but it was just a simple joy to wave a wand and have the wind push a few bubbles out that danced toward the trees and across the street. It was a bit of a sight in front of the Lakeville Arts Center, the venue for FastFest.

I just have to get myself one of those bubble things.



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