The shows at the Summer Nugget Fringe Festival |

The shows at the Summer Nugget Fringe Festival

Submitted to Prospector
Sarah J. Kennedy has been invited to perform her show, "The Vagina Odyssey," on Off Broadway in New York in October.
Photo by Alicia Berardi

(Editor’s note: The Itsy Bitsy Teensy Weensy Down and Dirty Summer Nugget Fringe Festival takes place Friday through Sunday, July 27-29, at The Holbrooke Hotel, Grass Valley. Quest Theaterworks Producing Artistic Director Scott Ewing has compiled submissions from all the performances and what follows are the artist’s description of their work.)


Plays at 9 p.m. Saturday, July 28

I recently told some of my friends that I was going to do something crazy, simultaneously two of them chimed in, “Are you having a sex change?”

I replied, “No, I’m doing a comedy show.”

Well, the look on their faces was more telling than if I’d answered yes to the previous question.

“Have you ever been on stage before?” one asked.

“No,” I replied, “not since high school speech class.”

“Are you funny?” another asked.

“Well, I hope so, at least I am on the inside.”

Seriously though, one did ask why I was doing this show, a question I hadn’t fully considered until that moment.

At first, it was to just to share some amusing stories and hopefully make people laugh. But the more I thought about it, I realized it was deeper than that.

The reason I’m doing this is so that people can see the real me, not the façade of a typically introverted man, but the humor that lies beneath my stern exterior.

In many ways, it’s a birth of the real me that’s always been in there, even if only for one night, for just one hour. I’m doing this because I want to grow.

Submitted by Chris Duccini

‘The Trials of Clarence Darrow’

Plays at 7 p.m. Friday, July 27

I remember my excitement when, as a boy, I would read in the TV Guide that “Inherit the Wind” would be on. I can still see Spencer Tracy taunting Fredric March with “Brady, Brady, Brady!” as he paced the courtroom on our black and white set. But my reading of Darrow’s life and work revealed a far more complex figure — greater and more flawed — than the theatrical, cynical character Tracy portrayed.

I have tried to capture the development of this man — this paradox. An atheist who one jurist described as “the most Christ-like man I have ever known.” A man who saw injustice so clearly yet could lose his way so utterly.

As I have lived with the stories of this man’s life I have been awed at the resonance of the issues of his era and ours, from industrial wealth’s corruption of government to systemic racism to the debate over how society should respond to the perpetrators of the most unspeakable crimes.

I hope this play will in some small measure serve to further Darrow’s goals, in his words, “to improve human understanding, to temper justice with mercy, to overcome hate with love.”

Submitted by Paul Hauck

‘I’ve got Issues’

Plays at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28

Emmeline Tober from 2017s, “That’s Inappropriate,” returns to the summer fringe with a new comedy show, “I’ve Got Issues!”

Since age six, Tober has been a performer. When she turned 12, she upgraded from talent shows and Christmas pageants to acting in theatre.

Acting became her true love and she was a passionate thespian throughout high school and college. She gradually discovered her flare for comedy. After graduating from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in L.A. in 2014, she continued to follow her love of acting and musical theatre, but also decided to finally write her own comedy show.

After getting a taste of stand up, Tober only wanted more.

In this show, she loves poking fun at her millennial generation, white privilege, Florida, self image, humanity’s non-humanity, fopas, and family. Especially family … so much material comes from family.

Submitted by Emmeline Tober

‘This Human Project (A Work in Progress)‘

Plays at 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 27

In the beginning was darkness. Then out of left field there’s a Big Bang and suddenly: Universe, tons and tons of stuff flying all over the place where there was none at all 10 minutes ago.

It’s pretty boring until some four billion years later when the star of the show — we, the human race — appear on stage and begin to chew the scenery. The house loves it. What a performance! One in which each of us can take a small bit of pride. Well done, humanity: we are on the edge of our seats. We are fully engaged. We care about these characters!

I may be a bit-player but I still want to do the best work I can, and I need help. What’s our motivation? Where does this story go? What are the obstacles that will confront us?

Research into these vital questions, as well as theater, brings us to the Underworld where we find dead TV stars, scientists, Mayan astrologers, cartoon characters, turtles in abundance, a portal, laughter,­ a small guitar, and desperate hours.

Faust and Ahab, Zeus and Hades, Abbott and Costello. It is a beautiful, sometimes terrifying, journey: “This Human Project.” I can’t wait to see how it ends.

Submitted by Douglass Truth

‘Things I Shouldn’t Say at Mom’s Funeral’

Plays at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 28

Mom is currently receiving hospice care and has 24-hour in-home care outside of Los Angeles. Some would say that I, being the only offspring and dad having long passed, ought to be there by her side. Well, yeah, perhaps. But I have things to do and hey, it has been complicated. You know what they say, “If it’s not one thing, it’s your mother.” My mommy and me story is a tale of incest, infidelity, untold riches, broken promises and a little boy whose emotions were mocked, whose feelings were squelched and whose only real connection to mother was in praise of her cooking – which she did while drinking and haranguing me about my horrible dad. If I live long enough, I’ll get a chance to speak at her funeral, and there are some things I just shouldn’t say.

Still, for her life to have meant something, I need to talk about her, her Borderline Personality Disorder, my life alone with her, and the consequential carry over into my own life. Come. Should be fun. Maybe you’ll even see something of your own mother/wife/self.

Submitted by Scott Ewing

‘The MenoPosse presents The MiniPause’

Plays at 6 p.m. Friday, July 27

Coming soon to the summertime mini Nugget Fringe Festival, is MenoPosse mini! These winners of “Best of Fringe” are back by popular demand. This time around these Golden Girls of the Gold Country return with a smaller group of improvisers perfectly sized for this smaller fringe festival. Join this boisterous group of mature local ladies for an evening of improvisational comedy bound to leave you laughing so hard you’ll think you’re the one having hot flashes! Although the performers are all women, their Improvisational comedy is geared to entertain men and women alike, so don’t miss out on the fun! They sold out all four January performances so get your tickets soon for this one night only event! Stake your claim now for a rendezvous with these witty women to make sure your funny bone won’t get the shaft.(MenoPosse is rated PG-13 for potential vulgarity and hilarity.). Submitted by Shawnna Frazer

‘Broken Bone Bathtub’

Playing at 6 and 8 p.m. Friday, July 27, at 2, 4, and 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28, and at noon, 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday, July 29.

Siobhan O’Loughlin was in a bad way after her bike accident in Brooklyn. She had a huge arm cast and lived in an old warehouse building with only a shower stall. When her friends asked her how they could help, she confessed that borrowing their bathtubs would prove to be extremely valuable to her.

Her performance, “Broken Bone Bathtub,” recreates this experience of kindness and generosity in an in-depth immersive, site specific, interactive solo show featuring herself, a hotel bathroom, and you. This performance is for folks who want something wildly unique, who want to be part of something beyond the theatre: this is an experience and an event.

Each night varies depending on what the audience contributes, making every individual performance drastically different. If you are anxious about immersive or experimental shows, you don’t have to worry — how much you participate is up to you, and everyone is welcome to this exploration of kindness, generosity and healing.

If you are one of the braver ones — good for you! You just might be able to help the artist take a bath.

We have all suffered. We are all deserving of healing.

“Broken Bone Bathtub” will set you on the path to peace.

Submitted by Siobhan O’Loughlin

‘Simulated Hypothesis’

Plays at 6 p.m. Saturday, July 28

We at Ultrasuede Productions had planned on bringing you a very timely and poingant piece about life in “Rump’s ‘Merika.” It was a three hour long monolouge delivery by 14 people in unision in five different languages. It was “ambitious.”

Written by “Best of Fringe” 2017 winner & one half of last year’s “Best Comedy Duo” Jaye Lee Vocque, this script was going to push every envelope.

However our offices recently purchased a brand spanking new wireless printer. After hooking it up we found a file stuck in the queue. This file was a script, time-stamped 2099. Upon reading this script it became very apparent that it was written by artificial intelligence.

Out with the show, that if we are being honest was really just a lot of yelling and cursing with just a small amount of nudity, and in with what can only be described as a Fairy Tale told by a computer to it’s robot baby.

Everything, even the title (“Simulated Hypothesis”), will be familiar yet foreign. Philosophical yet nonsensical. Real yet simulated. What you will witness is the staged reading of “Simulated Hypothesis,” a show from the future, written by the future.

And the future of theatre is artificial.

Submitted by Jaye and Karene Vocque

‘The Vagina Odyssey’

Plays at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, July 28

Growing up Catholic in a small farming town in Illinois, I could not have imagined that one day I would be performing a one-woman show about my vagina on Off Broadway in New York.

Most of my life, I struggled with sex. I had a condition that caused sex to be painful for 20 years, which left me feeling disconnected from and angry at my body. I thought I was doomed to a sexless life.

Until mysterious things started happening. There was the night a 400 pound goddess showed up in a dream and took me on a journey that changed my life forever.

Then, there was the night my vagina spoke to me. To find out what she said, come to my next performance at the summer Nugget Fringe. It’s a message you don’t want to miss.

It turns out, my vagina also loves telling jokes. You will hear some at the show.

I was invited to perform my show on Off Broadway in New York in October, and all funds raised at the Nugget Fringe will go to help cover Off Broadway expenses. Come send my vagina and I to Off Broadway!

Submitted by Sarah J. Kennedy

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