The Unnatural Disaster Theatre Co. presents Jessica Walker’s The America Show!, an immersive seminar led by U.S. cultural ambassador Jessica Kissinger looking to save innocent Canadians from the dangers of everyday Canadian life and to teach them the righteous path to freedom.
I hope that The America Show! will provide a catharsis for Canadians fatigued with the state of American politics and culture…
We learn more in this Q&A with playwright and performer Jessie Walker.
Content Warnings: Strong language, mentions of death, mature themes, violence, and sex-doll-based nudity. Some sound effects may not be suitable for those with tinnitus, frequent loud noises, and overlapping audio.
This interview has been edited.
Tell us about The America Show! What can audiences expect?
At The America Show!, audience members can expect to be immersed in a full cultural seminar led by overzealous and often misguided U.S. cultural ambassador Jessica Kissinger. She has been sent to Canada on behalf of the U.S. Department of Manifest Destiny to save innocent Canadians from the dangers of everyday Canadian life and to teach them the righteous path to freedom.
Audience members are invited to participate in the presentation, answer questions, get involved in the modules, and engage with Jessica as she attempts to keep her seminar afloat. The America Show! is a great show for people who want to laugh, want to get involved, or want to laugh while they watch their friends get involved
What inspired The America Show!?
My inspiration for this show stemmed greatly from my experiences as an American in Canada attempting to grapple with my cultural background.
As an American who recently immigrated to Canada, I have been forced to answer many questions about the U.S. and my American identity, both for Canadians and myself. Why won’t you use the metric system? Why did you all ban Kinder Eggs? Why did so many Americans vote for Donald Trump? In The America Show! I attempt to answer these questions through a satirical lens and incorporate my own artistic philosophies of joy and play into a conversation about serious and pressing topics.
Why this particular show now?
I hope that The America Show! will provide a catharsis for Canadians fatigued with the state of American politics and culture, giving the audience the opportunity to laugh at the absurdity of American idealism through the lens of kooky and misguided cultural ambassador Jessica Kissinger. Much of my motivation in creating this show stemmed from my conflicting feelings regarding my cultural identity and my need for catharsis in processing the turmoil and strife the U.S. is currently experiencing and has experienced throughout history. This show offers the audience the opportunity to consider what nationalism means now and the dangers ignorance and unchecked power can hold in all of our lives.
What do you hope audiences leave The America Show! talking about?
I hope the audience leaves The America Show! with a deeper understanding of the ignorance that guides American nationalism and that they leave discussing the ways nationalism can affect us all in our daily lives.
Why should someone come to see The America Show!?
You should come to see The America Show! if you hate the United States. You should come to see The America Show! if you love the United States. You should come to see The America Show! if you’re still figuring out how you feel. If you like a good time, a good laugh, and a good dose of sex-doll-based humour, this show is for you!
The Halifax Fringe Festival returns from August 31 through September 10, with more than 60 productions taking place at venues across the city.