MFA Graduating Project

ROLE: Book\Lyrics\Music\Performance

DATE: October 29, 30

LOCATION: Fei and Milton Wong Theatre, SFU

PRODUCED BY: Barbara Adler, Kyla Gardiner & Ten Thousand Wolves at the School for Contemporary Arts, SFU


// was it freedom in the forest, or just people keeping warm? //

In the summer of 2014, Czech-Canadian I traveled to the Czech Republic, hoping to immerse myself in a one-hundred-year-old, uniquely Czech subculture called 'tramping'. In a bizarre twist, my search led to her co-starring in Amerika, a recently released feature documentary film, which centers on Czech filmmaker\musician Jan Foukal’s own quest to find tramps. The result of this international exchange was Klasika: a new musical by Barbara Adler & Ten Thousand Wolves, which premiered Oct. 29 & 30th at the Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, SFU.


Inspired in equal parts by Czech tramping, Canadian Rodeo Queens and the experience of becoming a documentary subject, Klasika re-stages and re-invents my true story as a sharply funny piece of musical theatre. At its center is the unusual partnership between the characters 'Bára' and 'Honza', who stand-in as fictions of fictions by re-enacting the film versions of myself and Foukal. In Klasika, it isn’t always clear who is documenting whom. By mapping the intimate economies between people and stories, Klasika asks: What can we accomplish by using real life as material? What happens when we’re the material that’s being used?

Since 1918, thousands of Czechs have participated in the tramping movement, which mixes outdoor recreation with a healthy dose of fantasy. Pulling together real and romanticized elements of the American frontier, many Czech tramps dress as cowboys, backwoodsmen or U.S. soldiers, and gather to socialize in the country. During the communist era, tramp settlements like 'Little Bighorn' and 'Toronto' became temporary havens for those struggling under the regime. By celebrating a fictionalized version of America, tramps created an imaginary country within Czechoslovakia, where friends could meet, travel and dream freely. Klasika, the musical, follows their lead to explore the possibility that the most useful stories might not be true.



Megan Stewart, Bara
Paul Paroczai, Honza
Ashley Aron, Barb the Bootfitter
Robert Leveroos, The Boy Reporter
Barbara Adler, Narrator
Julie Hammond, Whippersnapper
Dominique Wakeland, Sherri Bomb
Leah Abramson, Polysatin Queen
Lucien Durey, The Czech Yuppy

Barbara Adler, vocals, accordion
Gavin Youngash, guitars, vocals,
Shannon Scott, vocals, keys
Juhli Conlinn, vocals, percussion
James Meger, electric bass
Skye Brooks, drums, vocals