Today is my birthday. As my gift to you (and myself), here’s an oldy but a goodie. Technically non-fiction, unless we ever open up a tab for Theater Review. From roughly 2007-2008 (2013 in red)
The Four Horsemen “festival” – In Summation
By Jeffrey Kieviet
A long winded and meticulous account of The Four Horsemen “festival”.:
Last night, Sean, Casey and myself finally achieved a goal we’ve all been attempting for quite some time now. We took the plays written by our writing group (The Four Horsemen [check out myspace.com/outofthefour (myspace, remember the days?) if you don’t know who we are]) and produced a festival of just our work. The show consisted of 7 of our “funniest” plays directed by several talented people and pulled in actors from not only OCC, but IVC, Fullerton College, and the Maverick Theater (the equivalent of a theater pick-up basketball game). The show took place in the Maverick Theater in Fullerton and I would personally like to give them a very special thanks for giving us the venue to make this possible. The show went very well and got a really good response from the audience so chances are we may be able to do something like this again, with material that has yet to be seen (still waiting). Thank you very much, not only to all those involved in the actual production, but to the audience members who came and supported us. (we got pie everywhere, that’s what we’ll be remembered for)
And now for a play-by-play of how the show went from my personal perspective: I got to the theater around 4 (call time was 6 and the show started at 7) and slowly but surely began to freak the f**k out (censored all the way back then. Good moral compass, past-Jeff, the internet will never be a place for inappropriate material). For those of you who have never seen me in a position of responsibility, I don’t handle it well. Quite a bit of the show was thrown together at the last minute, mainly the Ten Shorts show (thank you so much to my actors, you are gods [or goddesses] among men [or women]) (past-Jeff was kind of a kiss-ass). The programs were printed the night before (if you’ve never hung around with the midnight crowed at Kinko’s, you haven’t lived) and the show’s soundtrack was pieced together that morning. So as the cast began to arrive at the theater, they got to work folding and putting programs together. We never got a dress or tech rehearsal, so Sam Wellen, The Bestest Most Wonderful Person In The Whole World (represent, Sam!), began to program our technical stuff. Thank you so much Sam, there literally aren’t enough words to say “thank you” properly. Each show had limited time to get accustomed to the stage and setting and everyone was great and adapted very quickly. As show time approached, we get a call that one of the actors in the first show (Oh, What a Lovely Tea Party! (title stolen from a Kevin Smith quote)) has had his car towed and will not be able to make it to the show. Thankfully, Casey, who was directing the show and also played the part once before, was able to step in and get it done. So we open the house, gather backstage, and start to get everything ready. Everything that happend on-stage was seen by the audience, but if you weren’t there, we video taped it so if you want, you should still be able to see it some time in the not-too-distant-future.
However, I still feel the need to discuss how things went from my point of view since this is my blog and I can write whatever I want and no one is making you read this so you can stop any time you want. (indignant little bastard)
Anyway… the show starts with Tea Party (Directed by Casey Moriarty. The cast was Danielle Berardi as Alice, Jeff Kieviet as Mad Hatter, Casey Moriarty as Dormouse & Jesse Moriarty as White Rabbit) and we’ve had to do some last minute prop&actor&set replacements but it starts just as well as can be expected. However, due to all the hubbub and chaos and alterations, a line or two gets dropped and I begin to ad-lib a little, and by “a little” I mean I ended up crawling on top of an unsteady table. Now in case you missed the foreshadowing, the unsteady table “broke,” almost killed our actress (she later told me she got a bruise the size of a softball) and nearly threw me into the audience, luckily we played it off, and managed to finish the scene quite well with not nearly as much missing from the original performance over a year ago. An inflated condom ended up in the audience, the curtains closed, and the show continued.
The next show up was Hangmen which was directed by Ryan Austin. The cast was Kyle Seitz as Joey, Nick Waaland as Pete & Kristen Kaiser as Tammy. This was great because I met Ryan at work, found out he was a theater student at IVC and put him to work. The two guys he brought in I’d seen in Feorello at IVC and it was cool to bring in people outside of OCC. Kristin has actually been a friend of my sister’s for many years and it was amazing to see her take an interest in theatre. This show had gay jokes that made people laugh… and down syndrome jokes that made people groan (everything’s fair in love, war & comedy), but it was a great verbal comedy that balanced out the chaos of Tea Party. (meaning it slowed things down a bit. Back in the day we wrote a lot of “talking heads”)
Not to be one to want equilibrium, the next show took chaos to a new level. The Four Horsemen’s Ten Short Plays in Ten Minutes Presented by The Four Horsemen Written by The Four Horsemen (pretentious much) is not just an arrogant title, it’s truly one of the few shows that really had equal input from all of The 4 (there were only 3 of us, 4 was just a title). The show was crazy/insane, but VERY well received and I really appreciate the hard work and dedication of my cast (oh yeah, I “directed” it) considering our limited rehearsal time. THANK YOU: Ryan Austin, David Chorely, Sean Engard, Orlando Griffin, Dillon Hulse, Kristen Kaiser, William Madden, Casey Moriarty, Jesse Moriarty & Nick Waaland. Too much happened in the show to really describe it, but it went off without a hitch, and it made me happy… simple, but true.
And The Lord Said Unto Thee… (1st show I ever wrote) was the next show. Directed by Samantha Wellen (seriously Sam, no words, we were truly “blessed” to have you. “Blessed,” get it? Religious reference? And The Lord… You get it.) and starring Dillon Hulse as Scott, Orlando Griffin as Jason, and Elyse Russell as Rayne. I was especially excited to see this show since it’s one of the first plays I ever took part in writing… (I wrote it on my own. Credit where credit’s due) and it was great. Hysterical, I loved it, you guys were awesome. Orlando almost killed himself running off-stage. Sorry buddy. Thank you guys so much for doing such a great show. You’ve made the Son of God proud. No, just kidding, I’m not the Son of God… or am I? (if you’d seen the show, that joke would make sense)
Then comes MR. MOJO, technically The “first” Four Horsemen piece (written by Casey. Credit where credit’s due). Drew Boudreau directed in it and played the Landlady. Veronica Przybylowski was originally supposed to portray that role, but ended up in the hospital due to illness 2 days before the show. We were truly saddened she couldn’t be part of this but wish her nothing but good health, and hopefully an opportunity to work with her in the future (never happened, she got out while she still could). I played Michael, David Chorely played Jim Morrison, and Sean Coutu played Nietzche. Casey Moriarty also had a reprise role of Abe Lincoln at the end. Ironically (or fittingly) our “first” play was the only one to feature all “4” of The 4 (only 3). This show was arguably the crowed favorite, due to Drew in a dress, Chorely being the great and wonderful Chorely, and Sean in the weirdest fuckin’ get-up I have ever seen (after I’d gone through all that work to censor myself earlier). I broke on stage, he looked that goddamn ridiculous.
Intermission: Things have gone really well, I’m not panicking anymore, I don’t have to act in anymore shows, but it’s me so I’m still freaking out. I go mingle with the audience and they all seem to be having a good time so I’m slightly relieved. We round them all up and get ready for Act 2.
Bunny the Dragon Slayer (A Survey of Fifth Century Femensim [typo in the program]). Great show, great cast (Jesse Moriarty as Sir Galahad, William Madden as Sir Percival, Dillon Hulse as Steve, Cynthia Aldrich as Bunny, Danielle Clark as Merlin? & Danielle Berardi as Megan). Thank you so much for letting me work with you all, it was so much fun directing this show, I will truly miss all the fun we had in rehearsal and if I ever direct this show again, I will get you all back to go for round 2. This was a very proud moment in my life (not to sound too over dramatic) and you all did so great (best part, we got Casey’s brother in a sequined dress). I just realized this summary has turned more into a thank you letter but oh well. Then came the last show…
…on earth!!! Eight Minutes, directed by Sean Engard, Starring John Klopping as Horus Uriel, Ben Morrow (ended up working with this guy in Treasure Island) as John Skoll & Breanna Montoya as Mrs. Chandra. The show about the last eight minutes of life in our solar system was the last ten minutes or so of our show. It ended with a real bang… or I guess it ended with a pie to the face… and the audience just ate it up. Damn I’m good with puns today. Thank you guys so much, I didn’t meet the cast until that day and they were wonderfully funny and talented people. It was a great high note to end the show on. (Sean wore his Daisy Duke cut-offs for days after this show was over)
Props were everywhere, costumes were everywhere, trash was everywhere, pie was everywhere, so after giving a sincere thanks to the audience, a thanks that I mean from the bottom of my heart, our two hour show ended and we began to clean up. I was frazzled and really had no idea what was going on, my body was on autopilot. But now is the day after. My panic is gone and has been replaced by pain. Physical pain, my knees and right shoulder are killing me, I’m assuming from falling and getting pushed around on stage. But now that it’s over I truly hope we get to do something like this again. Maybe next year. (or 5 years later. Guys? Sequel?)
The Four Horsemen “festival 2: Redux; Reloaded; Strikes Back; Dead Man’s Chest… No, not in a necrophiliac-2nd-base way) (Dead Man’s Chest… get it? Woah, I haven’t changed at all in 5 years)
P.S. Forgive my spelling errors, let me know if you find any. Ha. THANK YOU if you saw the show. THANK YOU if you read this whole blog. And of course, THANK YOU if you are Sam Wellen. (and thank you for following Primitive Screwheads. Tell your friends)