ST. CLOUD -- A Minnesotan, Somali refugee's one-woman play is coming to St. Cloud State University.

Ifrah Mansour's "How to Have Fun in a Civil War" will be showing Friday at 7:30 p.m. in Ritsche Auditorium.

The play is based on Mansour's childhood memories of the 1991 Somali Civil War and it's told from a perspective of a seven-year-old girl. She says the show is a complete multimedia experience.

"We have a puppet that is a very critical character, we have 17 interviews that exist as audio, a soundscape to the play and we have videos. The videos are of people drinking tea and they are the interviewees."

Interviewees talk about the experience of living through the war and the community healing process. Mansour says the performance goes a step further by including the audience afterward.

"At the end of the play, we allow two audience members to be a part of the play. So we also have an audience participatory element."

The production first gained attention when Mansour arranged to show the play at last year's Minnesota State Fair.

"What was really interesting being at the State Fair is the that the puppet was popular among the young kids. Any kid that saw the puppet would drag their parents [to the play]. Because the State Fair is so large people get tired easily so everyone just wants to sit down and the parents are forced to sit down and watch the play. I've been telling people that it was so important for me to share the play at the State Fair because I really saw who would connect to this play."

After being at the State Fair it gave "How to Have Fun in a Civil War" the platform it needed to move onto larger stages. Earlier this year, the play was shown at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis for just over two weeks.

Tickets for the play are $10 for adults, and free for children and students with an SCSU ID.


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