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Merblades: Memoirs of a James Cameron

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Merblades: Memoirs of a James Cameron

By Black Market Doctor

Created by Heather Meyer

An epic oceanic adventure featuring Titanic filmmaker James Cameron as he explores the ocean floor and becomes entangled in a feud between two ancient metal mermaids - Merblades. Based on real and fake facts.


World premiere Sci-fi/Mystery/Horror

Just so you know, this show has

The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12 and up

Other shows

FACT: In 1998 James Cameron wins 11 Oscars for his film Titanic.

FACT: After this, James Cameron does not release major motion picture for 12 years.

FACT: From 1998 to 2009 James Cameron makes 71 dives to the bottom of the ocean creating deep sea environmental documentaries.

Might be a FACT: On a dive in late 1998, James Cameron becomes entangled in a feud between two ancient metal mermaids called Merblades.

The king of the world meets the queen of this ocean in this epic oceanic adventure.

Based on real and fake facts.

Presented in 3D

Find out more at www.merblades.com

Some press from TCDailyPlanet! 

Here's a tiny preview from Fringe-for-all #1!

Cast + crew

Debra Berger
Role: Wanda Merblade
This is Debra's second fringe show of all time! Born and raised in Eastern Montana, Debra relocated to earn her Master’s degree in Theater Arts from the University of North Dakota. Debra then moved to New York City where she starred Off-Broadway in a three-month run of Beauty and the Beast at the Player’s Theatre and Off-Off Broadway in the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company’s production of Happy Hour. Debra has had the privilege of working with numerous Twin Cities companies including: Actors Theater of Minnesota, Minneapolis Musical Theatre, Neo Cabaret, Swandive Theatre Company, Bloomington Civic Theatre, Freshwater Theatre Company, Vintage Remix Productions, and more! Feel free to stalk her at her website: www.debra-berger.com

Madde Gibba
Role: Ariel Merblade
Madde Gibba may actually be a mermaid. You see, she was born with gills (not a joke, stop laughing) and her parents had to make the difficult Jamie Lee Curtis-esque decision whether or not to send her back to the sea or let her wet herself on land. Since staying on land she has done lots of jazz squares and sing songs at the places like CTC and Theater Latte Da, written some writes at Illusion Theater and the Brave New Workshop, and dropped some improvs with her lady group, The Minneapples. You can hear her talk charming nonsense every Saturday on MyTalk107.1 with her co-host and bearded gal pal, Mike Fotis.

Alex Cleberg
Role: James Cameron
Alex Cleberg is an actor and cultural explorer. He has explored the depths of cultural diversity in the mud huts of the Tamberma people in Togo. He is the steward of small businesses in Colorado and has dived below the surface of how stories are told in Minneapolis. He doesn't make plays for the money, but for meeting new people, enjoying great audiences, and finding something real in the purely imagined. Look for him at Huge Theater, the Bryant Lake Bowl, Brave New Workshop SU and around uptown with his new little land creature.

Ben Slye
Role: Andy the Sea Anemone
Ben has wanted to be onstage his entire life. He started acting in middle school, and has kept with it since then. “Merblades” is his first Fringe Festival production, and he hopes to continue for many years to come. His past credits include Oklahoma! (Chorus), Guys and Dolls (Chorus), West Side Story (Snowboy), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius). Ben is a student at the University of Minnesota, studying Linguistics and hoping to participate in one of the university’s improv groups.

Crystal G. Schneider
Role: Director
Crystal G. Schneider has been a Director and Dramaturg in the Twin Cities theater community since 2009. She has worked with History Theatre, Park Square Theatre, Theatre In the Round, Theatre Unbound, Freshwater Theatre Company, and others, and joined the artistic company of Theatre Unbound in 2011. Crystal is thrilled to be working with Heather Meyer and this wonderful cast and company, and hopes that you enjoy watching the show as much as she enjoyed working on it. Next up, she'll be serving as Assistant Director and Dramaturg on Theatre Unbound's fall production of The Good Fight - don't miss it!

Stacey R. Britt
Role: Stage Manager
Stacey is wickedly excited to be working with the Merblades crew for her second time at the Fringe! Besides taming Mr. Cameron and the other sea creatures she loves theatre-ing, watching sports, taking bike rides by the shore of Minneapolis' finest lakes and enjoying the occasional frozen yogurt. She hopes everyone finds themselves as giddy and awed as she does as they encounter the mystical world of the Merblades! Wink. Meow. Catfish.

Heather Meyer
Role: Prologue and Epilogue/Playwright
Heather Meyer is a writer and performer. Last year, she co-created the 2011 MN Fringe show, Your Responsibility for Sex Failure and this year she brings you a show about sort of mermaids. Find her at Fringe Central and seeing other fringe shows and hang out. She just got back from two weeks in France, use that as an icebreaker. www.heatherjmeyer.com

Stephanie Brown
Role: Costume Design
Stephanie Brown is a costume and accessory designer. She recently designed costumes for Theatre Unbound's Julius Caesar and 2011 MN Fringe show, Your Responsiblity for Sex Failure. See her portfolio at www.steevieb.com

Write a review

You will be able to write a review for this show during the festival.

User reviews

by Nathan Schilz
Rating 3 stars
I had a tough time with this one. While I liked the trip down the Titanic memory lane, I felt the 90s/ Cameron references to be too frequent, forced and unnatural. The physical comedy is what works in this show the best. I'll readily admit that this is probably just not my thing, but I was hoping to get a good laugh or two out of it. I mostly groaned at how cheap the humor was.

Madde Gibba wins Fringe
by Eric Salo
Rating 5 stars
The opening scene of this show is really pretty weak, but once Ariel Merblade makes her entrance it takes off in a huge way and never shows down. Where does this woman get her energy? The characters of Wanda, James and Andy are all played very well and deserve credit but Ariel transforms this show from should-see to must-see. I will now want to watch Madde in anything else she does, forever.

What a show!

The whole kitty and kaboodle
by Michael Krefting
Rating 5 stars
Go see this show. Do it now.

Charming and loopy
by Jon Mikkelsen
Rating 5 stars
This play by Heather Meyer is a charmer. The play invents a story for James Cameron. What was he up to for 12 years in the 90s and the new millennium? The answer is plenty of adventure.

The cast is great and commit themselves to these crazy parts. The staging was terrific, the Brave New Workshop lends itself to interesting use of space.

The play has an innocence that I found very appealing. Check it out!

Wacky, Stange, and Oh So Fringe
by Allen Vandover
Rating 4 stars
Great show for this venue. Heather Meyer does a wonderful job of creating a near hour of silliness and wacky characters. Gotta love the Fringe and the variety of talent you see. All performers did a lovely job of keeping the audience on it's toes. My sides hurt form laughing by the time I left.

Inspired romp
by Andrew Troth
Rating 4 stars
Deliciously wacky satire, performed with abandon. Nonstop fun!

you can't make this stuff up.
by Amber Bjork
Rating 4 stars
Fact. I love the complete abandon and silliness that comes out of Heather Meyer.

Fact. Madde Gibba is my brand new girlcrush.

Fact. This is a fringe show. A ridiculous, hilarious, undersea/hollywood adventure fringe show. With a talking sea anemone. And some dum dum sucking. And a cellular phone.


VERY fun
by MaryLynn Mennicke
Rating 4 stars
The gal who plays Ariel steals the show - wow is she funny! This play is a whole lotta fun - several 90s references and lines from James Cameron films later - and you will be wondering, "What the heck was that, and why was it so hilarious??" Very clever script and lots of deadpan and over the top comedy. Who knew it was so funny to make fun of James Cameron?

Raging jealousy!!
by Andrea Bsldein
Rating 5 stars
I observe that sometimes I judge shows on if I want to be in them. I ask myself if I were in said show, wht would I do differently or who would I play.

For Merblades, I find myself jealous of every character, there are no favorites, I loved it all. It's high energy and funny and devastatingly cool. My only sadness stems from not being able to be in the cast.
To any reader of this review, it's your duty to NOT miss this show. Totally worth seeing!

Zany good times
by Naomi Beck
Rating 4 stars
I left the theater scratching my head...I'm not sure what I saw in there, but I do remember laughing a lot. This is the sort of show Fringe was made for: bizarre, over-the-top, and hilarious.

Possibly My Favorite Show So Far
by Courtney McLean
Rating 5 stars
Full disclosure, I have a lifelong love of mermaids. I also love Heather Meyer personally and think her mind cranks out some of the weirdest, most hilarious scripts I've ever read. Merblades is no exception to her genuine talent.

The show is really well-written. For the most part, it is also extremely well-performed. Debra Berger shines as the earnest Merblade, mind on the greater good, and her theater chops are in full force. Alex Cleberg is delightfully "not acting" - and he makes an innocently charming James Cameron. Madde Gibba steals the darn show. She is in your face from the beginning, and doesn't let up. It's awesome to watch her work.

Despite some weak moments, Merblades is on my MUST SEE list. I may go again.

Titanic Abyss
by Sergius OShaughnessey
Rating 4 stars
Is that James Cameron? Who cares. This is a wild roller-coaster of wacky fun. Okay, it got off to a slow start, but then...didn't want it to end.

Good times on the Ocean Floor
by Corinna Troth
Rating 5 stars
Seated in the front row at 10pm, moments before the show started, my husband leaned over and said: Don't fall asleep now.

The joke is that I am well known (in some circles) as being very easily lulled to sleep by underwater IMAX movies. Sitting in the front row of this show was nothing whatsoever like being aggressively soothed by footage of cuttlefish courtship and soft music!

There was music - it was hilarious. There was courtship, but thankfully of the non-cuttlefish variety. This show is silly and outrageous - it hits it just right. Special shout out for Ariel Merblade's eyes - awesome. Ultimately, I stayed awake, my 13 year old son had fun and James Cameron nearly landed on my husband. Good times.

If you like over the top...
by Wendy Jedlicka
Rating 4 stars
If you like over the top... You'll love this show. Fun and entertaining.

frothy and foamy fun
by Carin Bratlie
Rating 4 stars
it's a crazy and zany show, something that is ideally suited to the fringe. Maddie Gibba can suck my dum dum any day.

A Must Sea! [sic]
by PK Balter
Rating 5 stars
This big-laugh comedy presents the classic story of people desiring someone else's lifestyle. Cameron longs for the ocean while the merblades think only of Hollywood. A cleverly written script, high-energy performances, and fabulous costumes make a hilarious show.

by Dean Hatton
Rating 4 stars
A fun wacky show with a funny cast.

Very enjoyable!
by Todd Rector
Rating 5 stars
I laughed all the way through, starting with the (redacted) and (redacted) scenes! Very creative use of "special effects" - You will know when you see them - Made me smile.

The acting was superb, and the two "merblades" were hilariously funny and obviously enjoyed working together. Light-hearted, a little silly, but always fun and enjoyable. This was one show I didn't want to end, and I hope there is a sequel/prequel in the making.

Super Fun
by Jessica Bruehling Cleberg
Rating 5 stars
This was super fun-kept me engaged and laughing the entire time. It was unlike other ordinary storylines and wisked me away for a while. The cast was quite playful-making up quirky imaginative props where they didn't exist and ad-libbing spontanious script-that brilliantly worked. I loved each and every character! Go see it and have fun!

Pure Silliness
by Jeb Hagan
Rating 4 stars
This an outrageous melodrama, starring a guy who looks absolutely nothing whatsoever like James Cameron as James Cameron. Over-the-top performances and brilliant costumes make up for the stage's inflexible living-room set.

by Lori Crever
Rating 5 stars
Here (finally) the explanation I have been waiting for in order to understand the journey between the movies "Titantic" and "Avatar". Go, James Cameron !!!! Lots of fun, and great silly props and "special effects". Like Star Trek but at the bottom of the ocean. Way to go Ms Myers and team !!!!!!!!

Stale Dialogue, but some funny moments
by John Stevens
Rating 3 stars
It started off a little stale, with the dialogue not the best, but once Madde Gibba enters as the diva Ariel Merblade, the show takes off. She is the highlight of the show, and I recommend it just to see her, she was an hilarious actor.


Friday, 8/37:00 p.m.
Monday, 8/610:00 p.m.
Tuesday, 8/77:00 p.m.
Friday, 8/1010:00 p.m.
Saturday, 8/117:00 p.m.