copyright © 2002 Todd Ristau

Ookla, Kam, and Folly

(lights up on the stage, revealing KAM, a man in a fez with a cardboard grin stapled to a popsicle stick stands next to the open cut-out window of the wall. In the window are FOLLY - a sorry looking sock puppet with great big buck teeth, crazy eyes, and maybe dredlocks- and OOKLA, a sock monkey with red clown nose attached)

KAM: Hello, boys and girls, how are you today? Good, good, I'm KAM, and these are my two dearest friends, FOLLY-

FOLLY: (in a dumb, sleepy voice) Uh, huh, I'm FOLLY.

KAM: Hello, FOLLY. And this is OOKLA.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: That's right, OOKLA, we're going to talk about the show we've been watching.

FOLLY: I don't understand it so very well, KAM.

KAM: Well, FOLLY, that's part of what we're here for, to help the boys and girls to understand what it is they have been watching.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: Well, I don't think it's fair to call it disgusting filth put on by artistic snobs, OOKLA.

FOLLY: Some of it is.

KAM: But not all of it. The vast majority is good little skits put on by good little writers and performers who just want to entertain us a little bit and maybe make us think about some important things in the process.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: OK, OOKLA, I agree, but for every piece about a turd the size of a Coke can, you get at least one lovely piece about....oh, I don't know...

FOLLY: What's the matter, KAM? Can't think of anything?

KAM: Of course I can! Why, what about that fellow who worked in the hospital burning up the amputated limbs, or how about the Tomato Zen Reincarnation piece?

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: Hands dancing to classical music would have probably worked better under different lights.

FOLLY: Cop out.

KAM: Listen, the thing about this venue is that there has to be room for things that don't work as well as things that do. If you only have things that work, what does your audience get?

FOLLY: Their five dollars' worth?

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: NO! and OOKLA, I'm particularly surprised at you. Those two young boys snorting the vitamin C was a poignant anti-drug message coupled with a pithy commentary on the nature of youth and how they are targeted by advertising.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: If everything at No Shame were as good as the William S. Burroughs Puppet Piece, or UVA Girls, or the Blind Date Challange by that UVA Classics professor....then you'd have an audience that might be too intimidated to get up and try something themselves.

FOLLY: And if what they are too intimidated to get up and do is crap, aren't we doing a service by preventing them from doing it?

KAM: (laughing) No, FOLLY, that's the beauty of No is having the potential for crap that provides the possibility for something truly amazing to happen.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: Not exactly like a bed of manure produces sweet smelling roses, but the metaphor is a good one, OOKLA. If there hadn't been some truly awful pieces would UVA Classics Professor Gregory Hays, translator Marcus Arelius' MEDITATIONS have had the courage to get up and do the Artificial Leg of Color? If the audience hadn't been accepting of that actress who got up and did Clinton Johnston's first No Shame piece, when she told everyone first that she wasn't a racist even though the piece was written as though the character were you think that Clinton would have kept writing for No Shame?

FOLLY: If Todd kept twisting his arm...

KAM: That isn't the point.

FOLLY: Then what is the point, KAM?

KAM: (pause) I don't know what the point is.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: OOKLA, that is very sweet. Yes, it is like a family. No Shame is always here, every Friday. It was here the Friday after the terrorist attacks on September 11th, it was here the Friday before and after Christmas, it was here last Friday and will be here next Friday too. It will be here every week so long as there are writers with scripts, people in the audience, and PBR in the fridge.

FOLLY: But how can it still be here if the people who do it go away?

KAM: You mean like Brandon? He came back. You mean like Allison? She came back.

OOKLA: (high pitched unintelligable noises)

KAM: OOKLA, I don't know if the Moyers are ever going to come back....I really don't. And you're right, it isn't going to be the same without them.

FOLLY: (sobbing) Oh, boo hooo hooo, I'm going to miss them, KAM. That high brow intellectual with his base humor that appealed even to the common man coupled with the best looking officious bitch to ever grace the Live Arts can we replace them?

KAM: Well, FOLLY, we can't possibly replace them....but we can remember them, and we can build on what they left us, and we can--


(lights out)


This was a tribute piece done the last night that the Moyers were in Charlottesville for No Shame.

[Todd Ristau's website] [Ristau Entertainment Ltd.]

[Back to Library] Home