An poster image for Marla Torgerson’s original musical, Sinner, which is based on her religious upbringing in Red Deer. (Contributed image).

An poster image for Marla Torgerson’s original musical, Sinner, which is based on her religious upbringing in Red Deer. (Contributed image).

Red Deer native is fundraising to finish her musical comedy, ‘Sinner’

Marla Torgerson said she didn’t ‘fit’ in a Fundamentalist Evangelical community

Marla Torgerson is fundraising to finish writing her original musical comedy about being a lapsed Christian fundamentalist from Red Deer.

Torgerson was raised in an Evangelical community, “with its purity culture and chastity rings.” While she tried to live according to a strict doctrine, she feels she didn’t naturally fit in.

She believes she “was too much, too emotional, too big, too loud, too intense.”

As a way of reconciling with her past, Torgerson’s now writing a stage production called Sinner. It’s described as the comedic musical story of her journey from the fundamentalist Evangelical church, through Bible College and “the wild west of the escapist expat life in South Korea.”

Finding herself in no-holds-barred unfamiliar territory, Torgerson lets loose, with “terrible sexual encounters” and “life lessons in fast forward.”

She believes the process ultimately leads her to build “a new internal foundation of worthiness, spirituality and identity, from scratch,” outside of the Evangelical community.

“We see Marla brave the wilderness, singularly slashing through the thick brush that exists between the safe, straight and narrow patriarchal territory of belonging, and the promised land… of embodied freedom.”

The performer, who now lives in Calgary, returned to Red Deer last summer to perform some on-demand street concerts during the pandemic.

To complete Sinner, she has started an Indiegogo campaign. The goal is to raise $25,000 to finish the final edit with the help of Alberta Playwright’s Network. She intends to workshop the musical and apply for local and international festivals in 2022.

The campaign runs until Jan. 31.

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