The Great Fanzinis!

“The Great Fanzinis do not do this one-person juggle by themselves. Nonsense! The Great Fanzinis are a family. They juggle like a family.”

— Catherine Graham as “Ring Master”

It’s week two of the Transforming Stories workshop creation series working with youth from Good Shepherd Youth Services and Catherine has introduced the group to The Great Fanzinis, a juggling game she learned from her colleague Luc Gaudet of Théâtre Mise-au-Jeu in Montréal.

Here are the Fanzini Family’s juggling “rules”:

  1. The Great Fanzinis pass a large soft stuffed ball from one person to another until each member of the Fanzini family has had the ball passed to them.
  2. Each time a Fanzini passes the ball, they say their name, followed by the name of the person they are passing the ball to: “Catherine Fanzini to Paula Fanzini; Paula Fanzini to Melanie Fanzini…”
  3. The last Fanzini to receive the ball passes it to the first Fanzini to pass the ball.
  4. The pattern created in the first round is repeated until the game ends.
  5. As the game continues, the “Ring Master” adds additional soft objects (dish scrubbers, stuffed animals, folded garden gloves, hair rollers) which the Fanzinis integrate into their juggling pattern. As the senders pass each additional flying object, they continue to announce their name and the name of the object’s intended receiver.

A few Fanzini take-aways:

The first thing participants learn from playing The Great Fanzinis juggling game is—They are not alone! They are part of a performance family that works together.

They learn each other’s names and how to connect through an activity.

They practice recalling spatial patterns and embodying a character who is confident and deserves attention.

They warm up their bodies and voices.

Through laughter, they breath deeply which both relaxes and energizes the body/mind in preparation for the deep-diving play/work of generating performance scenes!


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