Liz Toonkel’s MAGIC FOR ANIMALS Comes to the 20th Annual Cincy Fringe

CFF23_Magic for Animals

Liz Toonkel and goldfish, photographed by Myles Pettengill

Liz Toonkel’s MAGIC FOR ANIMALS, a one-woman magic show breaking illusions around agency and consent, comes to the 20th annual Cincy Fringe

“In Liz Toonkel’s daring performance, she showed us vulnerability, empathy, and above all humor.”
– L.A. Dance Chronicle

Los Angeles | May 17, 2023 – In this one woman magic show about agency, consent, and animal rights, Liz Toonkel, the production designer behind the Oscar nominated film “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On,” a professional magician, and a passionate activist for animal rights, raises urgent questions about personal autonomy for humans and animals. Next month, Toonkel, in partnership with  Los Angeles Performance Practice, brings this thought-provoking and downright hilarious magic show to the 20th annual Cincy Fringe Festival from June 3rd through June 14th, 2023.

“I am excited to bring Magic for Animals to the Cincy Fringe because historically, womxn and animals have only existed in magic as props to be cut in half or miraculously disappeared,” says Toonkel. “But in this show, they are fully embodied subjects given space to speak and swim. As a queer female magician, I welcome audiences who feel alienated at traditional magic shows that often employ racist and sexist language and behaviors,”.

In this show, Toonkel never uses live animals as props. Magic engages the viewers to consider the pressing issues of animal welfare, climate change, and sexism through a continuous narrative woven throughout each illusion, ultimately paving a way forward with empathy and self-awareness. Part political protest and part humorous spectacle, Liz Toonkel created Magic for Animals as a form of dissent to inspire audiences to investigate their relationships to animals and one another, employing sparkling, incisive humor to offer an antidote to the gendered and speciesist tradition of magic.

Liz Toonkel is an all around creative force who believes in the storytelling power of design in theater and visual art. Her work, which ranges from performance, installations, and video art, strives to wield a power that serves the LGBTQIA community, BIPOC, and womxn. Recent Exhibitions include Aarhus Festuge with Live Art Denmark, Honor Fraser Gallery, LAX Festival, ltd Gallery and the 2016 Queer Biennial in Los Angeles. Liz was nominated for an Art Director’s Guild award for her production design of the Oscar nominated animated feature film “Marcel the Shell with Shoes On.” She is a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, California.

She adds: “It brings me so much joy to perform a show that not only entertains but also educates and inspires my audience. It will be so rewarding to get to share my work with a new community and I am so grateful for the opportunity,”.

Magic for Animals premiered in 2021 at the Live Arts Exchange Festival presented by Los Angeles Performance Practice, and had its international debut at Aarhus Festuge, Live Art Denmark in 2022. It can be seen this summer at Edinburgh Fringe in Scotland, U.K. The show is produced in partnership with Los Angeles Performance Practice – a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California – devoted to the production and presentation of contemporary performance by artists whose work advances and challenges multidisciplinary artistic practices.

Show dates and times for Magic For Animals at Cincy Fringe are Saturday, June 3 at 7pm, Sunday, June 4 at 4:15pm, Friday, June 9 at 7pm, Saturday, June 10 at 4:15pm, and Sunday, June 11 at 7pm (U.S. Eastern time). The show venue is located at 1316 Main St, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Venue houses open 15 minutes prior to showtime for all performances.

Tickets and passes are now available online at , by calling 513-300-5669, or visiting Fringe Headquarters – 1120 Jackson Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202. Single tickets to all Festival shows and special events are $18, or opt for the $20 “Love Your Artists” ticket that puts more cash in the hands of artists. Passes can be purchased online or at any Fringe box office.

Cincy Fringe is produced by Know Theatre of Cincinnati, Ohio. More information about the festival can be found at



Leave a comment

Filed under Press Releases

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.