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Minnesota Fringe/Account/Artist Show Information/Lost In Bear Country: Birth, God, Death... and the Berenstain Bears

Lost In Bear Country: Birth, God, Death... and the Berenstain Bears

By Phil Gonzales / Raffish Ripoff Productions

Created by Phil Gonzales, Willow Piotrowski, Mitzi Gonzales Gravitz

Phil Gonzales invites the audience into his ADHD-addled brain as he randomly selects topics that could reconcile his sense of self with the history of a family of fictional bears. That makes zero sense.
Mental illness
The creators say this show is appropriate for ages 12-15 and up
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Video Trailer
Cast and Crew
Phil Gonzales
Creator, Writer, Producer, Performer
Phil Gonzales has been performing in the Twin Cities since the late nineties, but you probably never saw him in anything, but that's okay. He probably should have put himself out there more, you know? He is currently the producer, editor, host or co-host, and sound engineer of three podcasts: "It's Del Toro Time: A Guillermo del Toro-adjacent Podcast" that he hosts with his daughter Willow; "Pizza Toast: A YA Books and Media Podcast" that he hosts with Christy Admiraal; and "Deep In Bear Country: A Berenstain Bearcast" that he has been producing weekly since 2015. Phil last tread the boards in his one-man show "Deep In Bear Country: One Man's Journey Into The World of The Berenstain Bears" that he performed at Moon Palace Books and Intermedia Arts. "Lost In Bear Country" is a sort-of follow up to that show, but don't worry, you'll be able to understand this one at least as much as Phil does. Thanks, Elana, for everything in the world ever.
Willow Piotrowski
Creator, Writer
Willow is equal parts excited and weirded out about co-writing the show "Lost in Bear Country" with her father and sister. As a recent Creative Writing graduate from Augsburg University, her imaginative spirit fuels her unique contributions to the production. With her love for tabletop gaming and storytelling, Willow brings an offbeat perspective to the stage. Having co-hosted "It's Del Toro Time" with Phil for the last six years, she's used to her dad's bizarre work habits and inefficient rehearsal process. This show promises to be a remarkable blend of family dynamics and creative synergy. That's what Phil insisted on. Synergy. Corporate dynamics. For Willow, it's an offbeat and personal adventure that will, if the show goes well, appear on her résumé.
Mitzi Gonzales Gravitz
Creator, Story Development
"Lost In Bear Country" is Mitzi's first ever Fringe experience. Her father roped her into helping him out under the guise of "quality time" when, in reality, he actually needed someone responsible in the room to keep him on track and offer a grounded perspective. Mitzi is 12 and far more together than her father will ever be.
More Information

"Lost In Bear Country" began life over eight years ago as the podcast Deep In Bear Country - A Berenstain Bearcast. In each episode, I more or less pick apart a different book in the Berenstain Bears series. As of this writing, I'm at around 400 episodes, so you can imagine the incredible amount of brain space I've dedicated to this one pop-cultural subject.

In 2019, I staged a solo show based on the podcast. It was titled "Deep In Bear Country" and covered the origins of the book series as well as some of the more bizarre and fanciful things I'd discovered over the first four years of the show. I also peppered in some personal biographical information for flavoring.

"Lost In Bear Country" is a bit of a follow-up to my first show, but not really. I'm a very diferent person than I was in 2019 and, certainly, than I was in 2015 when this whole mess started on, honeslty, a dare. If my first show was an effort to force my madness onto an unsuspecting audience, this show is my effort to pull the audience into my madness and make them complicit.

It's not this dark!

----- What's With The Rating? ----

I know it says that the show is appropriate for kids 12-15 and up, but honestly I don't cuss any swears or talk about gross stuff like b**ts or d**g d**gs or anything. It's just that I don't know if kids younger than that will really be into what I'm going to be doing. I always say my show is "kid appropriate" but maybe not "kid interesting." I dunno, though. Do your kids like watching a 47-year-old man flail around and point a lot? Then, bring 'em! Oh, I will maybe talk about God or reproduction or politics or racism. So, consider that. But, there will be pointing! And, I use me hands a lot in a very inarticulate way. Like, they move around a bunch but don't contribute much. Just like me!

---- Audience Participation ----

As far as the audience participation stuff is concerned, LIBC is not one of those shows where I'm going to be all up in your face. I won't call on people or make you do the wave or anything like that. I'm definitely not going to ask a group question and then respond with "I can't hear you" and expect you to repeat your initial response only louder. I wouldn't do that unless I did do it but ironically. There might be some light volunteering, but nothing untoward. I don't care for audience participation, personally. But, I'm also a bit of a hypocrite so I'm going to have some in my show.
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