"Private Parts: The Secrets We Keep" is a storytelling performance of how life events impacted performer Joanna Rannelli and she brings it to the stage for Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival.

Joanna Rannelli is a Vancouver-born performer who first brought her talent to Winnipeg at last year's Fringe Festival with her co-performer Hillary Fillier with their show "The Morning After with Pam and Paula."

This is her first trip to Winnipeg to perform a solo show titled "Private Parts: The Secrets We Keep," which she says includes revealing multiple secrets from her past and showing forgiveness for the harm those secrets have done.

Rannelli's solo performance blossomed after meeting Kerry Ipema last year. She asked Ipema if she would dramaturg a new show for her, to which the latter agreed. Rannelli pitched ideas of what the show would be about and a common theme Ipema found was that there were a lot of secrets.

"I thought the show was going to be actually me on this quest for something that I won't give away because it will give away my show and then Kerry's like, 'Huh, lots of secrets.' The show even starts with a secret marriage I had and then it just went from there," says Rannelli. "So, I started to reveal these secrets and sort of the private parts of my life through the secrets, they kind of informed these stories."

Rannelli first performed "Private Parts: The Secrets We Keep" at the Orlando Fringe Festival in May where she received the accurate review from the Orlando Sentinel, "It's both a comedy and a drama, but be prepared for tears."

"I think we all have secrets. All of us have them and how they impact our lives or people tell us secrets, we share them...I think that is the most relatable thing in my show. Whether or not you've gone through any of the other things I've gone through, I think that you can relate to that."

The Vancouver performer admits that she never thought she'd be showcasing her life story, but rather thought she'd share her father's story which she deems much more interesting.

Back when Rannelli was in university for theatre she did a 10-minute show about her father, and bits and pieces of that past show have made it into her solo performance for this year's Fringe tour.

"Did I think that I'd be telling these stories in this way? No, I didn't, but I'm really excited about it. When people ask why this story? Why now? I do think that I went through these things in my life so that I can share them. There's got to be a reason, right? The hard things that we've gone through, I feel like it brings us to people and can relate us to people and I think that's really cool."

Rannelli recalls people coming up to her after her performances in Orlando and sharing their stories of secret-keeping, how that impacted them and how they led to forgiveness. Which she says is exactly why she's doing this piece.

"I want people to talk about this stuff, you know, and to not let secrets control their life."

Rannelli encourages Manitobans to keep going to the Fringe Festival and perhaps see a show that wouldn't be a first choice.

For "Private Parts: The Secrets We Keep" show times and tickets, click here.

Here are some shows that Rannelli recommends people go see:

  • Everything is Super Wow - Spec Theatre
  • RAT MAN HAPPY PLACE - Bruce Ryan Costella
  • Six Chick Flicks - PKF Productions
  • BOOKMARKS - Local Rascal Productions
  • Field Zoology 101 - Shawn O'Hara
  • Every Good Story Ends With One - Martin Dockery