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Minnesota Fringe Festival

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Strapless red dresses and lobster claw tassels are just part of the fun when Nancy reveals her private pastie* collection and the story of how three good Catholic girls became wild in Milwaukee. (*not a meat pie)

From the creator of Fringe hits Dancing Rats & Vampire Moms and Monster Movies with My Undead Dad comes a new show that lives up to the accolade, I laughed so hard my cramps went away.

5 STAR REVIEW from Matthew Everett in TC Daily Planet

Sneak Peek on YouTube

Be sure to visit the Fringe Central Bookstore for a selection of Nancy's stories available on CD along with advance registration for upcoming workshops.

Praise for Nancy's previous Fringe shows:

Cream of the crop. An excellent storyteller...a delightful experience. - Minneapolis Star Tribune

Vibrant and engaging...Nancy has the knack for making you laugh at everyday absurdities... - St. Paul Pioneer Press

Hilarious and touching. Do yourself a favor and see her show.
- Kevin Kling

Witty as the best stand-up comedy. Artful, wise pitch-perfect storytelling. - Patricia Weaver Francisco

Thoroughly entertaining. - City Pages

...self-deprecating wit and quirky insight...profoundly moving.
- Minneapolis Star Tribune

The cast

Nancy Donoval
Role: writer/performer
Nancy Donoval is a storyteller, story coach and communication consultant whose work has been heard on Minnesota and Chicago Public Radio. In the Twin Cities, she is perhaps best known for her previous Fringe hits Dancing Rats & Vampire Moms and Monster Movies with My Undead Dad which played to sell out crowds and earned her a Cream of the Cropfrom the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Other performance venues include the National Storytelling Festival, New York Storytelling Center, Washington (DC) Storytellers Theater, Woodstock Theater Festival and the International Storytelling Center. Nancy received a 2008 Artist Recognition Grant from VSA Arts of Minnesota and is on the Minnesota State Arts Board's Arts-in-Education Roster of Artists.

With a MFA in Directing/Theater from Northwestern University, Nancy is a respected workshop leader and coach working with performers, writers and public speakers around the country. She teaches at Metropolitan State University and leads coaching intensives for storytelling groups from North Carolina to Nebraska. Her consulting work ranges from training executives in presentation and leadership skills to helping lawyers craft opening statements to guiding non-profits as they hone their message. Clients include Target Corporation, United Airlines, Character LLC (General Mills and Unilever), Antioch Company (Creative Memories), MenTeach, LISC (Local Initiative Support Corporation), DDB, Draft FCB Group and Leo Burnett.

This fall Nancy is offering the workshop From You to Universal: Transforming Personal Experience into Powerful Story Each workshop is limited to five participants with several dates from which to choose.

Workshop Info and Registration

Nancy also specializes in finding humor in the hard stuff as demonstrated by her one-woman show Date Rape for Beginners: A Seriously Funny Tale of Trauma and Recovery , which is available for booking (as are all her shows) at theaters, colleges, universities, high schools, churches, women's groups, men's groups, social service agencies and other institutions and organizations.

More Info On Date Rape for Beginners and Other Shows Available for Booking

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Nancy Donoval

Every Pastie* Tells A Story

Fri., Jul. 31 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 1 @ 8:30 p.m.
Tue., Aug. 4 @ 10:00 p.m.
Fri., Aug. 7 @ 4:00 p.m.
Sat., Aug. 8 @ 7:00 p.m.

Venue The Playwrights' Center
For ages 13+
Written by and performed by Nancy Donoval
Web site
genres Solo, Comedy
features Original script/choreography

Overall rating

User reviews

by Larry Meuwissen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
an hour very well spent. The sirens outside were incorporated with flawless timing

Every Pastie tells a story
by Joan Calof Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Nancy is a master storyteller, going wherever her story leads her. ANd she is very very funny and endearing as well

What storytelling is all about
by Dar Lewis Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Another episode in the life of Nancy. One of my favorite storytellers, we are very lucky to have her as an artist in the Twin Cities. I look forward to hearing her stories again.

In my top 2
by Melanie Thome Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I enjoyed this show more then I thought I would. She was so natural it was like she was telling a story to a friend. The imagery was fantastic. I laughed though out the whole thing. I highly recommend catching this show. Not at all what I expected.

best storytelling yet
by michael freiert Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wow. Gentle digressions that add volumes to a delightful tale. Crafted language that clearly and evocatively delivers a handsome humorous story, you need to catch this one.

by Craig Sinard Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Being hilarious isn't easy. Yet Nancy Donoval's genius is the shear ease with which she tells a story so completely believable, so completely possible, so outrageously funny, that we all lean forward and go "Oh no! NOW what?!" She combines masterful comic timing with a disarming off-the-cuff delivery, and the minimal small gesture; a twirl of her hand, a nod of her head - small things that add up to a genuine and delightful performance. I even dragged my twenty-somethings to this (they sat by themselves) and I could hear them laughing from across the room.

Perhaps a bit too subtle for those looking for "jokes."

theater stories
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I felt like I was with an old friend telling theater stories and they went on and on and on...
There is enough material here for 15 minutes. There is one good joke and it doesn't have an hours worth of amusement.

Quite the story-teller, she is
by Julie Stone Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I came to see this on the enthusiastic recommendation of a woman I sat next to at a show this past weekend. She said, Nancy is an amazing story-teller no matter what she's doing. This show did not disappoint. I'll add Nancy to my roster of all future Fringe shows or anywhere else I come across her performances. A must-see. Very engaging! I throughly enjoyed this show.

Leave work early on Friday
by Dave Larson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Nancy got some crummy time slots, but it's worth juggling your schedule to see her. Fantastic story telling, particularly for anyone who did a show in college. Don't miss this one, she's great!

You Will Not Learn to Make Them Twirl
by Paula Nancarrow Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
There. Let me get the only disappointing thing about this story out of the way. If you were looking for pole dancing, you will also need to go elsewhere.

I said I was attending the Thinking Woman’s Fringe, but that doesn’t mean I’m not seeing funny shows. It’s just that all of the funny shows I am seeing are also intelligent. Nancy Donoval’s storytelling flawlessly integrates humor and intelligence and I never get tired of hearing her tell. Since I’m her Girl Friday this year, doing last minute errands, recording (when my recorder works), postcarding, fetching cups of hot tea, helping get the props off the stage at the end, I’m hearing her tell a lot. Nancy’s stories are remarkable not only for their humor and intelligence, but for their accessibility. You do not need to be a “theater person” to be drawn into this tale – you don’t need to have been a good Catholic girl, or even a girl. Familiarity with Milwaukee – not required. You only need to have once been young, and to have thought that the rest of your life was hanging on someone else’s opinion of your talent, your competence, your commitment. Nancy makes it look easy, this storytelling business – natural, like a conversation. But don’t be fooled – at each and every moment, she is a dancer on point – a consummate, meticulous artist with words. The resolution of this story leaves you richer, more capable of humor, generosity and intelligence yourself.

And in the spirit of that generosity, I pass on this resource. Girl Fridays also do research.

Better than I expected!
by Erica Mauter Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I saw the Fringe-for-All preview for this show and so I expected to like it. I did not expect to like it as much as I did! Seriously, I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it.

Nancy's story of the development of her acting career meanders a little, but I was captivated the whole time and she pulled the pieces back together in such a great way. I did literally think at one point, "I feel like I should be bored right now but I'm totally not."

And she handed out dark chocolate-covered ginger pieces at the beginning of Friday night's show. :9

Great storytelling
by August Berkshire Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Does Nancy Donoval need yet another 5-kitty review? Well, in case she does, here it is. The "pasties," as you might suspect, serve merely as a vehicle to explore Nancy's career in acting - and what an interesting, hilarious one it has been! Go see this play; you'll leave with a smile on your face. Highly recommended.

Very, very good.
by Kip Shane Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I agree with the "tad too long", but what a treat, particularly for someone familiar with theater in a midwestern college. Well worth the money; One of those great theater experiences that I will treasure and remember.

i was skeptical about the title...
by brenda atkins Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
i thought this show was very well presented! it was hilarious, honest, and well worth your 12 dollars and an hour of your life!

Great Show, But A Tad Too Long
by Ben San Del Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Nancy Donoval is a favorite of mine. I love the way she can build a mood and get the listeners so involved by the end. The first half of the show I was nervous, as it took a while for the focus and direction to set in, but once it did, the story took off. Her show ran two minutes over (which is why it loses a kitty - I hate when shows go over time), and that two minutes could easily be cut from the first half. But, overall, well done, as usual.

Entertaining and Funny
by Vincent Galante Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
It took a little bit for the story to find its focus but the second half made it worth the wait. Nancy does a great job of keeping the audience entertained for an entire hour. This show was a great way to start the evening.

Nancy Wrecks the Grading Curve
by Reid Gagle Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
After seeing this show, I had to dock the other fine shows that I have seen by a star. As usual, Nancy sucks you in so you feel like you've been having an intimate one-on-one conversation with an old friend. This time, the story focuses mainly on her college acting experiences, though the "titular" pasties do make their promised appearance.

It's Nancy!
by Richard Shields Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
You never get a bad show with Nancy Donoval! For those who have seen her past fringe work you will love this show. It displays her ability to tell a story from her life and her ability to make that story connect to experiences in your own life. Nancy has an skill when it comes to capturing your attention and holding it as she paces through her stories. She creates images by her clever usage of words. Nancy also knows how to delivery a line. In this work she displays her range of skills very well.

If you are new to fringe and/or to the concept of storytelling as an art form, Nancy Donoval is the master from whom you should receive your initiation into this wonderful world!

Hands down my favorite Fringe performer
by Pat Lindgren Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I start my Fringe schedule every year with whatever show Nancy Donoval is in. She is a fabulous storyteller and a very good writer. I think this year's show is the best so far - funny but with a lot of pathos

The Real Story
by Steve Schondelmeyer Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This monologue provided the real story of the artist in her quest to become an actress. The story was cleverly told with refernce to pasties but revealed more about the artist than the pasties would have allowed. Humor was entertwined with humility and honesty about life. Nice show Nancy!

Laugh-Out-Loud Hilarious
by Carol McCormick Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Nancy is a “spinster” extraordinaire! The tales she spins are both mesmerizing and hilarious with well-developed characters, superb body language and dramatic inflection. With all the laughter her show generates, you’re bound to leave healthier than when you went in.

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