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Two and a half Mennonites walked into a bar… *
Maybe that’s how it happened, or maybe they gathered in a coffee shop, or over a steaming bowl of Borscht. The important bit is that on February 2nd, 2001, the three founding members discovered with great delight that they shared not only a love of beets and cabbage, but also a vision for an improv troupe that would rely solely on clean comedy to bring pure, joyous laughter to audiences. They discussed what such a troupe might look like and what its purpose would be, and when it came time to decide a name, one proposed “crosseyed,” another “rascals,” and the third suggested melding these ideas. Together they became the Crosseyed Rascals. Originally, the group formed as Christians doing comedy, and not a Christian comedy


troupe. The term “crosseyed” reflected the desire to remain with “eyes fixed on the Cross,” and not the affliction (hence the lack space or hyphen, that’s VERY important).

Since then The Crosseyed Rascals have been blazing a trail across the local landscape from Winkler up to Roblin and everywhere in between. The Rascals have had many public & private performances all the way from Edmonton, AB to Toronto, ON. They even taught a workshop in Anaheim, CA! They are listed as a workers’ co-operative, starting in 2005.

From the beginning, troupe members have met for at least three hours every week to hone their skills and develop new ones.  The Rascals are more than just a comedy troupe: they are a community. They interact with each other according to the principles they live by as they laugh, play, and work together. Membership has always been fluid, as members come and go as life takes them on their various journeys.  The Rascals have seen over 30 improvisers join the troupe.  Although they have come and gone, we say “Once a Rascal…Always a Rascal.”  From time to time our alumni have come back to join the onstage shenanigans.  For the current performing roster see The Players page.

Public performances are a big part of the Rascals schedule. Performances are scheduled throughout the year, with regular appearances during the Winnipeg Fringe Festival, Christmas and Valentine’s Day.

Because of the unpredictable nature of improvisational comedy, no two shows are alike. Performers arrive with a “game plan” or “set-list,” and enacted scenes are then based by suggestions solicited from the audience, resulting in high-energy performances suitable for all ages. A show can vary in length depending on the requirements of an organizer.

The Crosseyed Rascals work hard to ensure that each and every show is a safe environment for everyone to have some good, clean, wholesome fun. Not only do the Crosseyed Rascals also stretch the boundaries of humour with their ability to create scenes and characters on the spot. The troupe members come from diverse theatrical backgrounds and training which they use to enhance their hilarious, interactive performances.

On occasion, the Rascals are asked to perform a "Dark Rascals" show which may be edgier, more suited to ages 16 and over. During these shows we are joined by other improvisers, who may not have the same mandate. Thus, bringing a Dark Rascal show to life onstage. We have found these partnerships important for stengthening our bonds/friendships within the improv community in Winnipeg. 

*This makes sense once you know the details. Don’ worry…move along.