My name is Oliver Boon. I am a British actor based in Los Angeles and for the last few years I have been working on producing a play based on a true story about a chicken that survived 18 months without a head. Well, I am pleased to present to you The Tale of Headless Mike- a 30-minute One Act play that will be premiering at the Hollywood Fringe Festival in June 2020 (dates TBD).
CAST: 3 Men, 2 Woman, 1 Chicken, 0 Heads
ABOUT THE PLAY:
In 1945, a farmer beheads a chicken so that his wife can cook it for dinner with his mother-in-law. Only the chicken lives on, albeit, without a head. Seeing the opportunity, and with the help of a talent manager, Mike the headless chicken becomes a celebrity and tours America.
I grew up watching those 80s kids’ movies like Return to Oz and Labyrinth that were way too scary to be kids movies. That’s a lot how I picture The Tale of Headless Mike. A lot of Tim Burton's works have inspired me. Movies like Beetlejuice and A Nightmare Before Christmas on paper would be terrifying for children. But under Tim Burton's vision, he makes the stuff of nightmares, whimsical. My two biggest influences for The Tale of Headless Mike are Big Fish and Pee Wee’s Playhouse.
I have been fascinated with puppetry ever since I was part of a production of Doctor Doolittle a few years ago. I’ve also always been intrigued with reanimation. A lot of my writing includes making things talk that shouldn’t have any right to talk.
The major theme of the play is exploitation. Like Frankenstein’s monster didn’t ask to be born, Headless Mike didn’t ask to be kept alive, but he was forced to anyway. At its core, this is a morality play about the treatment of others.
MEET THE CAST:
Kale (like the vegetable) is from the capital city of Missouri, Jefferson City. He has been acting since he was 11 years old in various plays within his homeschool group and community theatres, but he originally found his love for acting in a summer theatre intensive program called Showdown. He has performed many original plays over the past seven years with Showdown, some of which were world premieres. Kale is overwhelmingly excited to be a part team Mike and he hopes to grow further as an actor.
THOMAS MARSHALL PUCKETT
Tommy is very excited and humbled to be a part of the cast. Tommy was always an imaginative boy, though the thought of pursuing acting wouldn’t surface until his first year at college. At Sinclair Community College he performed in more than 13 different plays and musicals (from She Kills Monsters to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), and he would finally consider making acting his career.
Jenna disappointed her parents after moving to Hollywood and not pursuing a career in nursing, physics, or marrying rich. She decided this after working in a kids program one summer and loved the idea of helping others through her creative ideas. Since then, Jenna has found her calling and gained the support of most of her family members. Some of her favorite roles include Norma Henshaw in The Diviners and Gay Wellington in You Can’t Take It with You. She would like to thank the teachers and peers that she has been lucky enough to work with so far.
Joey was born in Colorado and raised on hiking, adventuring, and other outdoor activities. However, he was also raised on movies, always watching them with his family and friends. As a result, Joey learned to appreciate film and theatre from a very young age. He was born a storyteller, spinning elaborate tales as soon as he could talk. So, naturally, acting was the next big step on his journey to bring those stories to life. Thanks to his training at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Joey has learned, and is continually learning, to better his craft and bring audiences into the life he and his fellow castmates create on stage.
Thank you for reading and I hope you can join us at the show!
- Calista Warren
Los Angeles, CA