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Camp Schlatter


Location + schedule

Intermedia Arts
2822 Lyndale Ave. S

DateTimeMy FringeAccess
Thursday 8/57:00 p.m.  
Monday 8/910:00 p.m.  
Tuesday 8/108:30 p.m.  
Friday 8/135:30 p.m.  
Saturday 8/1410:00 p.m.  
About the show

For ages 7+
Comedy, Satire, Political, Historical

Created by Camp Schlatter

Overall rating

Communopoly is recommended by Melvin Tennant!

Monopoly comes alive! And it’s complete with players, properties, the element of Chance and Uncle Milburn Pennybags: “Mr. Monopoly” himself. But the game goes awry when one of the players, strapped for cash, appeals to Pennybags for help and is told to get out of town. With help from a Little Red Book she finds on the Short Line Railroad, she embarks on a subversive quest to change the rules of Monopoly for the greater good. As the proletarian movement grows in strength, Uncle Pennybags begins to lose control of his game. More and more players are sent directly to jail, without passing go, without collecting $200. When the ghost of Josef Stalin meets the spirit of Joe McCarthy, who will win? And more importantly, who wins the game?

Communopoly is ideal for people who always wondered about the ideological underpinnings of Monopoly, US history enthusiasts, political junkies, people who like really oversized props, happy homemakers, phobics of all descriptions, mobsters, movie stars, the jodhpur-wearing horsey set, the nautically inclined and anyone else (if there is anyone else) who wants to have a good laugh. Sore losers strongly discouraged.

This satirical take on the time-honored game of Monopoly is guaranteed to make you laugh. Prepare to meet colorful characters living in a game that is larger than LIFE. No explicit sexual, adult or mature content of any sort. Plus, for the Fringe Festival only, Camp Schlatter presents Communopoly live in 3D!

Communopoly was originally created by the Camp Schlatter Theater Troupe in the summer of 2007. We are a group of friends who love creating theater collaboratively. Our process began with a brainstorming session and ended only two weeks later with the presentation of our final product. Since then we have reworked the show twice, once as a fundraiser for Minneapolis South High School’s Theater Department (of which many of us are proud alums) and now again for the Minnesota Fringe Festival. We are all very excited to be first time Fringe participants, and hope to share the result of our hard work with you!

Like our trailer? Vote for it in the Fringey Awards contest!

Abbie Modaff
A Camp Schlatter member since its inception in 2001, Abbie recently returned from studying at Smolny College in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is about to begin her junior year at Harvard University. At Harvard, Abbie majors in Social Studies, writes creative nonfiction, hangs around the Institute of Politics, and helps coordinate the Hapkido club; this spring, she will be studying political philosophy at Cambridge University in Cambridge, England. In addition to painstakingly constructing lengthy essays and trying to turn Monopoly upside down, Abbie enjoys eating fresh fruit, reading large books, dreaming of riding the Trans-Siberian Railway, horseback riding, being barefoot, and pleasant surprises.

Erin Wintervold
Erin Wintervold is a sophomore at the University of Minnesota. She has not yet declared a major but is interested in a health or medical field. She has been with Camp Schlatter since 2002. This summer she has been spending her time working at the University of Minnesota Law Library, traveling to places like Duluth and the Winnipeg Folk Festival, spending lots of time with friends and trying to figure out what to do with her life. When not ironing, caring for babies, and cooking… wait, she actually does like to do all those things. Either way, she also enjoys making and listening to music, laughing, and going on adventures.

Laura Vaughn
Laura Vaughn graduated from Alfred University in May 2010 with a BA in Fine Arts and a minor in Biological Illustration. She spends her free time illustrating comics, doodling on everything, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She first became involved with Camp Schlatter in six years ago by drawing promotional posters, but only dared to venture out on stage for the last two years.

Reed Polakowski
Reed Polakowski is in his second year at Macalester College where he plans to Major in Political Science and Minor in Environmental Studies and Studio Art. This summer he has been working in the bindery at the Minneapolis Central Library and volunteering at the Hennepin History Museum. While not in a library, museum, or theater he enjoys biking, cooking, and reading.

Caroline Vaughn
Role: TONY
Callie (occasionally known as Caroline) is entering her third year at Oberlin College, where she is majoring in Computer Science, minoring in Mathematics, and stuffing her head as full of neuroscience and foreign languages as possible. Communopoly could be considered her first, second, third, or (maybe) fourth production with Camp Schlatter, depending on how you count. When not extorting, intimidating, threatening, and generally being an anachronistic gangster, she likes to play ultimate frisbee and make obscure linguistics-related jokes.

Meta Swanson
Role: CAR
Meta Swanson will be a junior at St. Olaf College where she is majoring in English and Pre-Physical Therapy. Next spring she will be crossing the pond to study at the University of Aberdeen in Aberdeen, Scotland. While not poring over homework or part of her fairly extensive library, she puts her extreme flexibility to good use as a ballet and modern dancer. She also enjoys spending time with her two younger sisters, daydreaming, and finding hidden meaning in everyday life.

Brenna Kruse
Brenna Kruse has been an enthusiastic Camp Schlatter participant since its beginning, when she got carried away by her long time, theatrically inclined friends from across the street - you guessed it, the Schlatters. Although her theater career is limited to Camp Schlatter Productions and watching as much theater as possible around the Twin Cities, she is also a student at the University of Minnesota and a proud member of several Ultimate Frisbee teams. A list of Brenna's favorite things includes frisbee, friends, family, eating and laughing.

Jamie Countryman
Jamie is a third-year student at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, where he studies Archaeology and Classics. He graduated from Minneapolis South High School in 2008. During his time there, he spent a lot of time in the music department, but never ventured over to join the theater crowd except to play in pit orchestras for various musicals. Likewise, he has never done any acting apart from the three productions he has participated in with Camp Schlatter (In A Handbasket, Communopoly, and That’s Edutainment). How he managed to find himself performing in the Minnesota Fringe Festival is anyone’s guess. When he’s not in the library researching Mediterranean terrace agriculture, or quashing Marxist revolutions as his mustachioed alter-ego, Jamie enjoys spending time outdoors, cooking, watching movies, and playing music.

Emma Capman
Emma Capman will be attending Augsburg College in Minneapolis this fall, with plans to major in physics and theater. Previously she took classes at the University of St. Thomas and St. Catherine University. Emma has performed in The Threepenny Opera and Urinetown at South High, in which she played, respectively, Mrs. Peachum and Ms. Pennywise (a.k.a. the crazy women). Another memorable role is a molasses-dealing gangster in Martha Heyl’s one-act, The Post-It Note Gangsters. Emma has also appeared in numerous Holy Trinity Theater Circle performances. Interests include juggling, stop motion animation (check out our trailer!), and wearing outrageous hats.

Mia Garcia

Ryan Harper
Ryan Harper is a Sophomore at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, WA. Political Science is a current possibility for a major, and he will be minoring in German in hopes of studying abroad in Germany. Ryan has been a part of nearly every Camp Schlatter production, his first being Drawing Absiland in 2003. He has also performed with Circus Juventas. When not acting or studying, Ryan enjoys playing disc golf, learning to cook, and discovering new music.

Clare Eisenberg
Clare Eisenberg is a sophomore anthropology major at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. She will be studying abroad at Sichuan University in China this fall. In her free time, she enjoys photography, playing guitar, making pancakes for her friends, and researching communist propaganda.

Ruth Gerber
Ruth Gerber graduated from Boston University in 2008 with a degree in linguistics. She hasn't used it (yet). She made her acting debut in Boston University Stage Troupe's tech show Clueless: she played a drug-addled extra with one line. She is never--by necessity and in any manner of things--ruthless.

Emma Schlatter
Role: Co-Director/Producer
Emma Schlatter graduated from Smith College in May 2010 with a degree in Mathematics. In her spare time, she enjoys reading up on cetaceans and bothering people with her newly acquired useless knowledge. Next year Emma will be a literacy tutor, passing on her love of whales -- I mean reading -- to young children at Andersen Elementary.

Eli Schlatter
Role: Co-Director/Producer
Eli Schlatter is a sophomore at the University of Michigan in the Theater Design and Production program with a concentration in scenery (and possibly lighting). This summer he also worked as a scenic and crew intern at the Jungle Theater on the Mystery of Irma Vep. In his spare time, he enjoys seeing friends, playing games, and watching movies starring Julie Andrews.

User reviews

Not the worst thing I've ever seen
by Publius McGee Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
The set was brilliant, as were the advert postcards. The rest, eh.

With characters like that, there needs to be a big element of over the top-ness. With the exception of Uncle Pennybags, that wasn't there. That detracted significantly from the show.

Young, Creative Minds At Work
by Richard Shields Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This was a young cast that delivered well. The concept of the show makes you think about what we convey through games and play. The ending avoided giving us a "correct and certain" set of answers. I loved their use of game props and the costume choices generally worked well to convey ideas and characters.

The only major concern for me was that some of the cast needed to speak up! I hope that as individuals and as a group we see more of them.

by Abby Norling-Ruggles Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
An extremely clever and funny show, with amazing costumes, set, and Stalin puppet.

Good enough
by Swizzy Wizzlecheeks Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Summary: A cute and creative show.

Nice idea, very well staged. Plenty of good laughs. The characters were not very well defined, some were brash and cartoonish while others just faded into the background. Cartoonish is hard to pull off well.

Still, a good show from a young cast. I'd like to see them again in a few years with a little more experience under their belts.

by Stan Bookout Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This was the most original and clever play I've seen at a fringe fest. Many lines were hilarious, "the Short Line leaves at noon. Maybe you'll have better luck at Clue." I love the way you made the game come to life. To the cast: settle down and let the laughter die down before you deliver you next line. There was a lot of laughter, and I missed a few lines.
To the writers: You've come up with gold.
If you've taken this script as far as you can, get a copyright. A professional play write may be able to take this to a whole new level.
Too bad you guys were around to do this during the cold war. Of course you'd have been blacklisted because of it.

An Interesting Parable
by Bill McTeer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
An interesting idea, with very effective costumes and props. Worked quite well at a broad level but there were many small points where it dragged a bit. The cast needs more energy and/or direction needs to be tighter.

Utterly bananas, which is why it works
by Collin Knopp-Schwyn Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
First off, this show was bizarre. Second off, that's good, because its utterly unique premise provided for a bizarre show, and it was perfectly executed by the cast. I went in not sure what exactly to expect from this show; a propagandistic sermon? A light-hearted but disjointed production? Luckily, neither was what I got. Communopoly shined for its many facets; the set and sound were amazing. The jokes found a great balance between deep 'n' serious and superficial 'n' fluffy. (The best one, possibly, has a punchline that rhymes with 'hotel' but starts with 'b'.) The twist at the end is great, because it offers a great amount of closure to the story. Rich Uncle Milton Pennybags was portrayed by Jamie Countryman in a manner that was both hilarious, devilish, and victimized, but above all, consistently. Emma Capman was terribly funny as Chance, a sort of clown in the circus that is Communopoly. The Ghost of Josef Stalin was also cleverly done by Ruth Gerber, although, full disclosure, I'm a sucker for anyone who can do a Russian accent as well as she can. The only downside to the show that I saw, was that some of the actors were a titch hard to hear at points, although blame my sitting far in the back, as well as the sound of pouring rain and rumbling thunder over Intermedia's low roof. Seriously, if you love board games, Russians, or uproarious spoofs of Marxist ideals, then come see this show. I know I did.

by Sid Solomon Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
The idea behind COMMUNOPOLY is clever, and it's obviously put together by some smart folks, but the execution just is not there.

Amateurish performances and a disorganized staging were too hard to ignore.

Sharp indictment of capitalism
by Scott Pakudaitis Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Cleverly staged production of a monopoly game that skewers some of the assumptions of capitalism and creatively demonstrates the system's shortcomings. The twist at the end was a delightful surprise.

by Ocheta Calif Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A cute, light show with plenty of funny bits. It's family friendly without being sugary sweet. Lots of enthusiastic performances. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Stalin and Chance. They go by quick, but you don't want to miss them.

The plot might look random at first, until the pieces start to come together. You have to keep your eyes open and pay attention to catch all the subtleties.

Not brilliant, but great fun.
by Gabriel Heller Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I was a little disappointed at this show, perhaps because they had the best darn flier in the entire fringe and one of the most original ideas as well. Unfortunately it was wholly created by a bunch of high-school students and it shows everywhere except in the props and costuming. I got the feeling it started as the play did, with a rather unusual night of playing monopoly, and hasn't advanced since. That said, the show was a lot of fun, the jokes were largely funny, Mr Pennybags, in particular, was a hoot, especially his anti-communist tactics, and in the end it was well worth seeing. I'm still sad. One often sees fringe shows that are missing something. One doesn't as often wish one had been the one to provide it.

Great fun!
by Romana Davison Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Everyone in the cast was obviously having fun, which makes for a great play! It's very witty and well acted (especially seeing as most of the cast don't seem to be regular actors). Stalin and the epic music during the tense bits are great!

Cute and Enjoyable
by Mark Long Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This type of show is the reason I enjoy the Fringe Festival. There is no big revelation about Capitalism vs. Communism; it's just a nice, large cast playing out an enjoyable twist on the world of Monopoly. They are eager and entertaining, and the set is rather clever.

A Fun "What If...?"
by Henry Spruth Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
It's easy to read the title of this show without thinking about what it really means: What WOULD happen if you started to question the capitalist ideology behind the game of Monopoly? The energetic cast takes us through every part of that hypothetical, with plenty of hilarious stops along the way.

Great energy
by Amelia Kritzer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I love that this show was performed by young people. They had great energy. This is a delightful family show.

Extremely funny but flawed
by Ed Burke Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Communopoly has more laugh-out-loud moments than many shows. They skewer the game of Monopoly pretty well. The ghost of Stalin is inspired. But it's really more sketch comedy than a cohesive story (though they do pull it all together at the end). The blocking is odd. The acting is inconsistent. And the scene changes are too long and too numerous.

Although not part of the Kids Fringe, both my daughters enjoyed it. My 9 year old (and Monopoly freak) thinks it might be the best show she's seen so far.

Sign me up for Camp Schlatter!
by Mary Cajacob Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
The members of Camp Schlatter have talent, heart, and a wacky sense of humor. If you've ever lost--or won--a game of Monopoly or if you have been affected by the current economic downturn, you will enjoy Communopoly, a clever play for all ages with a surprise twist at the end.

For Friends and Family
by Kathy Douglass Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I congratulate this production for getting such a large cast performance ready. The quality of the staging and props are impressive for a fringe show. This show is exactly what it claims to be in the program, a group of friends and family who got together to play Monopoly, had an idea for a show and two weeks later had a final production. The friends and family in the cast were having a great time and the friends and family in the audience had a great time. So, as long as you are friends and family, you will enjoy this show.

Incessantly clever satire
by Justin Alexander Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Communopoly succeeds at being much more than the polemic it could have easily become in less talented hands: Instead, it presents itself in a series of complex and multifaceted (and funny!) layers, peeling them back one at a time for our enjoyment.

First, the show makes the game of Monopoly comes alive. And it's funny. It's like the movie Clue, except it's Monopoly and it was written by Monty Python.

Second, it puts up a mirror and forces us to really look at the ideological underpinnings of the game through the lens of communism. And somehow it's still funny.

And finally they turn the mirror back on themselves for one last bit of self-deconstruction.

And it's still funny.

The show's not perfect: It can be a little rough around the edges. But it's entertaining, clever, and rewarding.

much more fun than the actual game
by Naomi Kritzer Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Funny with flashes of brilliance, this show is worth seeing even if you go just for the Stalin puppet.