SACRED FOOLS | MAINSTAGE 2000 - Dubya 2000

A World
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From Friday the Election Night, 2000!
""...the play’s ideas, as tackled by a relentlessly enthusiastic cast, entertain to the fullest!"
"...a sobering reminder that adulterated information can be our worst enemy."

*** LA Weekly's PICK OF THE WEEK! ***
"...a witches' brew of sight gags, ...skits, and semi-serious drama"
"The troupe's dance ensemble delights with their usual sensual synergy, and there is plenty of eye-candy from terrific costuming..."
*** Backstage West ***
"This isn't just a political satire. It's more of a wild ride...DUBYA 2000 would be tough to top!""
*** Accessibly Live ***

DUBYA 2000: A Political Horror Tragedy in Three Acts Written & Directed By Rik Keller
Produced by Paul Plunkett

On the Sacred Fools Mainstage
October 13 - November 7, 2000
Thu., Fri. & Sat. at 8pm
Sun., November 5 at 7pm
Mon., November 6 at 8pm
Tickets: $12 

Special Election Night Closing
Performance Fundraiser!
Tuesday, November 7th at  8pm! $25

Reservations: (310) 281-8337

Read the Reviews! Read The Reviews! Read the Reviews!


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An Video Report from the DUBYA Front!

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Congrats to DUBYA 2000's Bradley Thordarson for
winning the LA Weekly Award for PROP DESIGN!

And Congrats to the entire Cast & Crew of Dubya 2000
for earning 4 LA Weekly Awards Nominations!

- Rik Keller
PRODUCTION DESIGN - Sacred Fools Theater Company
VIDEOGRAPHY - Michael Rainey
PROP DESIGN - Bradley Thordarson


Susan – Rachel Dara Wolfe
Nurse – Donna Tina Charles
Balzac the Hutt – Dean Jacobson
Little Willie – Aldrich Allen
Earl – Jacob Sidney
Jason – Richard Gustafson
Dubya – Corey Klemow
Poppy – Paul Byrne
Barr – Linda Miller
Idiot Evil/Preacher – Tom Chalmers
Martha – Quinn Sullivan
Newscaster – Sharon MacMenamin
Sheriff Wells – Stan Freitag
Rothschild / Voice of HeWho / Blu & Lee Atwater’s Tumor – Joe Jordan
Deppity #1 / Ensemble – Tyler Tanner
Deppity #2 / Ensemble – Mark Bate
Ensemble – Cindy Caddel, Crystal Keith, Matthewe Saxe, Alisa Steen and John Wuchte
And John Sylvain as THE FUGITIVE

DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000

Assistant Director – John Wuchte
Associate Producers – Bruno Oliver, Blake Williams
Stage Manager – Chris Childs
Light Design – Bryan Schulte
Sound Design – Drew Dalzell
Production and Costume Design – Bradley Thordarson
Choreographer – Jessie Marion
Video Production – Mike Rainey
Assistant Stage Manager – Terry Duffy
Publicity – Phil Sokoloff
DUBYA 2000 Graphic by Mark Tapio Kines

DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000 – DUBYA 2000


L.A. WEEKLY *Pick of the Week

A staunch Democrat might already see devil horns and fangs attached to George W. Yet with ardor and conviction, playwright-director Rik Keller takes this fear to caustic extremes, positing that The Shrub (Corey Klemow) is a willing pawn in an elaborate conspiracy engineered by the Bush family to get Lucifer into the White House. Standing in the way is a know-it-all whistle-blower-turned-fugitive (John Sylvain), who threatens to topple the insidious Bush dynasty. He may very well succeed if not for two satanic cult leaders (Jacob Sidney and Quinn Sullivan), who spin the Susan Smith (Rachel Dara Wolfe) story into a latter day Medea legend played out on national TV, all in an intricate effort to stymie the fugitive’s efforts. The play isn’t about ragging on ol’ Dubya, but rather about re-examining the extent to which politics, entertainment and self-interest have perverted the national stage. The production’s vast scope slows the pacing and sometimes leaves actors waiting for stage effects and set changes. But the play’s ideas, as tackled by a relentlessly enthusiastic cast, entertain to the fullest, while offering a sobering reminder that adulterated information can be our worst enemy.

—Luis Reyes
© 2000 L.A. WEEKLY


Playwright/director Rik Keller's endlessly fertile imagination spawned this three-hour election-year anti-Bush theatrical polemic cross-pollinated by Halloween, murderous mother Susan Smith, and scion George Dubya ("W") pursuing a family tradition of public service-to unholy Satanism. Peppered with political arcana appreciable by only those already in the know, this creation is a witches' brew of sight gags, SNL skits, and semi-serious drama (including a clumsy rendering of Susan Smith as Medea). The mix often leaves the players in a netherland 'twixt improv, X-rated children's theatre, and earnest acting, but many give lively, if unsustained, performances.

Tom Chalmers is hilarious as the Idiot Evil-Jeb Bush-transmogrified, when his CIA-implanted computer chip is removed, from a rigidly proper governor to his true being-a homicidal infantile corpse-humping demon who later sports a monstrous talking erection-it's Lee Atwater summoned by necromancy from his CIA-preserved brain tumor. Rachel Dara Wolfe nicely tilts at Smith's desperate promiscuity and need for fame, while Jacob Sidney is an intriguing steely cold Satan-CIA operative who cynically seduces Smith to push her over the edge. As the suspected "African-American" child-killer, Aldrich Allen deftly portrays a shuffling self-effacing "negro" who makes an impossible confession in order to move the dumb white cops off the dime. The troupe's dance ensembles delight with their usual sensual synergy, and there is plenty of eye-candy from terrific costuming, especially the unworldly characters, designed by Bradley Thordarson and constructed by Silvia Jahnson and Michelle Goode.

A minor glitch in acoustic design (Drew Dalzell) has the cutout set absorb sound, making the actors (especially one playing the Nurse) hard to hear when flat paneling doesn't back it. Would that the endlessly repetitious and unfocussed action were so easily remedied. (Leave aside that two characters beside Evil Idiot have feet-long erections and there are two foot-long cock jokes.) Only the final few minutes, aided by creative video, coalesce as powerful political theatre. John Sylvain has an electric moment as the Fugitive, who escapes knowing the "full story" that the CIA-controlled media makes sure nobody will hear. Beaten brutally by a circle of cops transformed into water ballerinas as they turn stage front, smiling, serving and protecting, Sylvain has a chance to shout a final, urgent warning to the audience.

Despite the talent and energy of this production, its entirely unself-conscious lack of coherent narrative, mood, or atmosphere helps mark an unhappy sea change. Dubya 2000 is aimed at a sensibility weaned on sound-bites and channel surfing-so habituated to aural wafers or sheer visuals instead of text that each additional provocative image of the same idea, no matter how redundant, seems a new revelation (though here it's hard to say of what). Keller is right that the media is transforming politics, but it is also transforming theatre, and not necessarily for the better.

—Michael Green
© 2000 Backstage West


Dubya 2000: George W. Bush as anti-christ or mind
About 20 minutes into Dubya 2000, we are introduced to the Bush Family. George Bush Sr. is pretty much what you expect – a slightly inept drinker who is manipulated by his controlling wife, Barr. Then we meet the boys, George W. George W. Bush, or “Dubya”, and his younger brother Jeb. Dubya is also pretty run of the mill – a not-so-bright underachiever bumbling his way to the Presidency. Jeb, however, turns out to be a scampering monkey-boy who wears a diaper, pees on the floor and torments everyone around him. Welcome to the twisted world of Dubya 2000: A Political Horror Tragedy in Three Acts currently playing at the The Sacred Fools Theater Company in Hollywood.

Written and directed by Rik Keller, Dubya 2000 is a highly entertaining combination of political satire and social commentary, with just a little bit of performance art thrown in for good measure. Keller takes the tragedy of Susan Smith, the South Carolina mother who drowned her two children, and juxtaposes it to the current Presidential election. In this world, The Bush Family worships Satan and is using the current election to usher the Dark Lord into The White House. At the same time, the play follows Susan Smith’s gradual dissolution, as she is used and cast aside by the men in her life. Eventually the two plots intersect in an attempt by the Bushes to circumvent and distort the electoral process.

Whether you are thrilled or sickened by the liberal bent of this play, Dubya 2000 introduces so many interesting concepts, that it is hard not to enjoy or be invigorated by the ideas presented. The theatricality and originality of the production, particularly the choreography by Jessie Marion and the hilarious Bush family costumes designed by Bradley Thordarson, make the production very effective.

Although imperfect, the strengths of the play outweigh the weaknesses. As is often the case with plays that are written and directed by the same person, it runs long, particularly in the second act. The writer is faced with the difficult challenge of making the Bush family the personification of evil, when they are more like the personification of blandness. Now the Reagan’s, THAT would have been an entertaining family to mock . . . The action picks up again in the third act with the resolution of Susan Smith’s story. After the cartoonish Bush family, it is a relief to get back to Susan, played by Rachel Dara Wolfe as both a touching and tragic character. Because the audience remembers being riveted by her story when it happened, we become complicit in the plot. Once again, we are distracted from the true issues by the spectre of sensationalism.

J.L. Murray

L.A. WEEKLY (again, in 2004)

Santa Monica’s City Garage is the most politically charged theater in a city that traditionally believes that e-mail, not theater, is for messages. Sacred Fools and the Actors Gang in Hollywood tie for second. Though Sacred Fools is currently running Theresa Rebeck’s lame Clinton-era comedy, View of the Dome, a far braver choice was its pre-2000-election play, Ric Keller’s Dubya 2000 — a grotesque commedia parody of the Bush family that ended with a narrator begging the audience to vote and to keep George W. out of the White House. Dubya 2000 was largely dismissed by critics for being overt and rude, which of course was its driving purpose. It was also horrifyingly prophetic in its suggestion of catastrophes to come, arising from the Texas clan’s cloistered, Orwellian lunacy. The play ran for about a month and died. It was brilliant.

—Steven Leigh Morris
(excerpted from the article "Political Toys in the Attic")
© 2004 L.A. WEEKLY