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The Bad Art plays

January 17th, 2009 by Bill Corbett · 40 Comments

If you happen to live in or near Minnesota (brrrrrr!) — I wrote a little one-act play for a project produced by Commedia Beauregard, of KLINGON CHRISTMAS CAROL fame, that’s opening tomorrow night.

    “Commedia Beauregard has teamed up with the Museum of Bad Art to take six works of art from their permanent collection and translate them into short plays. Fulfilling the mission of Commedia Beauregard to translate not only from language to language, but from one art form to another, the six playwrights each write a 15-minute play that tells the story of, or behind, one of the paintings from the MOBA collection. Six local directors then take those plays and bring them to the Bryant-Lake Bowl Cabaret Theatre stage on four consecutive Sundays!”

(It’s a different kind of riffing, I suppose.)

Here’s the masterwork I was assigned, titled “Lulli, Fowl, and Gravestone:”

Lulli fowl gravestone2

If you want to find out what kind of play could be written based on that painting, for the love of God, please tell me! …OR just come to the show. Info HERE.

I can’t make it to opening, but I’ll be there for at least one of the other three shows. Come say hello if you see me. I’ll be the guy hiding behind his program, mortified, wondering why I didn’t actually provide a story. Wheee!

Tags: RiffTrax

40 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Walter on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:19 am

    Well seeing as that is only a couple thousand miles from where I live, I doubt I can make it.

  • 2 Racer™ on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:45 am

    That painting pretty much shows how I see the world after just 5 minutes shopping. The phobia and crippling panic attacks.. can’t breathe. GAH,

  • 3 Bill Corbett on Jan 17, 2009 at 9:48 am

    Quoth I: “If you happen to live in or near Minnesota”

  • 4 Laura on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:41 am

    I don’t know if you were asking for an idea of a play, but here’s a little something if I were going to make a short story out of it:

    There’s a girl sitting cross-legged, a peacock, a chicken and a massive tombstone. It’s set about thirty miles south-east of the US/Mexico border. The girl, Mila, doesn’t know why that tombstone is there, but with the presence of fowl, it must mean something. So she waits there for around 15 minutes, sitting in a chair she brought along with her, seeing if anyone will show to mourn whatever is buried there.

    If not, sorry for the long post :$. I’ve never been to an actual stage play before, even a minor one like this, so I may show up if it doesn’t cost money to attend :) .

  • 5 Houndstooth Mind on Jan 17, 2009 at 11:15 am

    The only thing that came to my mind isn’t particularly funny. I just thought of a woman feeding birds. People most commonly associated with feeding birds are the very old and the very young. The same age groups most commonly associated with death. Fowl also puts one in the mind of “spring chicken”. So pretty much mortality themes. I wish I had a chance to see what Bill’s made of it! Could we perhaps have a hint when the run is done?

  • 6 Remmie Barrow on Jan 17, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Looks more like Lulli, Fowl, and Half-Eaten Giant Candy Bar.

  • 7 Nick Fechter on Jan 17, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    Ya’ need ideas Bill? Then here’s one:

    Christina Prixely, a professional and award-winning avian breeder, has waited several years for her greatest creation to grow into maturity, a newly created hybrid of a male peacock and a female chicken. While she sits in her chair deciding whether to call it a “Peacken” or a “Chicock”, her dastardly arch-nemisis Winslow Thatcher sneaks into the clearing. Winslow has been envious of Christina’s talent for some time now, and also angry for stealing first-prize from him at last year’s international bird-show (he bred a mocking bird with an ostrich and ended-up creating Jeff Goldblum). Putting his plan for revenge into action, Winslow pushes over the giant slab shaped kidney stone that his grandmother Aquatica ThunderFlatus passed just the other day, making it land on the Christina’s best creation.


  • 8 Christopher O. Kidder on Jan 17, 2009 at 4:05 pm

    I just sat through the tech rehearsal for all 6 of the plays being presented. Remember that the plays are based on “Bad Art” when I say this: I am sooooooo glad that Bill’s play wraps up each evening. It’s a great note to finish on. How could it not be funny and just plain fun?

    Thanks for being a part of the project, Bill. The show rocks!

    Oh, and I guess I now know that I don’t need to hold tickets for you on Opening Night, eh?

  • 9 NanoRiffite on Jan 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Unbelievable rich but unhappy and isolated in Xanadu, the wife of Charles Foster Kane works on a huge puzzle. Each piece of the puzzle is nearly the size of a human being, and when finished, the puzzle will take up one full acre.

    Here we see Susan Alexander Kane taking a short rest while moving one of the puzzle pieces, alone in her thoughts as she shares some pieces of bread with two of her pet peacocks.

    At the same time, Charles Kane is busy riding a sled on one of the large hills that make up the Xanadu estate. However, Susan hates winter sports so she never talks to him about his obsession with sledding.

    … Either that, or this is that I Love Lucy episode where she stole the slab of sidewalk cement which had John Wayne’s foot prints, only to breaking it. She kept tricking him into redoing his footprints in new cement, only to break each slab. This is the final slab of cement, which John Wayne considers safe because it’s too heavy for Lucy to pick up.

  • 10 euphoriafish on Jan 17, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    I don’t live in or near Minnesota, but I would VERY much like to know how you yourself interpreted that picture, Bill.

  • 11 euphoriafish on Jan 17, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    You know, interpreting another of these MOBA pictures would make for an excellent Rifftrax contest…

  • 12 BEMaven on Jan 18, 2009 at 6:09 am

    (I’ll give it a try, but somebody might get hurt.)

    The scene unfolds in a remote grotto littered with animal bones. In the center, a black monolith, rusted from disuse and missing pieces of its top section, stands erect.

    It summons three creatures from disparate walks of life: a male pheasant, a male peacock and 25-year old mother of two named Estelle.

    The mother is especially irate, since she was called away in the midst of a yard sale. She demands an explanation and her lawn chair.

    “First, I must bestow the power of speech upon these fowl,” declares the monolith with a Biblical-style reverb.

    The peacock is amazed to discover he can now speak English, with a trace of a Liverpool accent.

    With the pheasant, however, the monolith falls a little short of the mark. The bird starts speaking in dolphin.

    After several failed attempts… during which the pheasant speaks vole, Scott Terrier and Klingon… the monolith gives up and grants the bird the means to communicate by American Sign Language.

    All this exertion, coupled with summoning a lawn chair for Estelle, causes the monolith to keel over and hit the ground with a loud thud.

    The monolith apologizes for its unseemly behavior, explaining that it has suffered considerable abuse in its mission to advance Earth’s evolution. Millions of years ago, it manifested itself amidst a tribe of Australopithecus, Man’s primitive ancestors. The ape-men mistook it for a giant bar of dark chocolate and proceeded to chew its top off.

    “Stupid monkey boys,” added the prone artifact with an especially bitter reverb, “But that’s nothing compared to what Gutenberg would do to me in the 15th. century.”

    Though the monolith managed to slip away from the ape-men, the damage affected both its paranormal powers and its memory. It has reappeared in Man’s present with some vague recollection that the time is right for the Earth to make another major evolutionary leap.

    “Well,” remarks the peacock, “if it involves mating between radically different species, you better be bloody near omnipotent.”

    “No, it’s not like that,” replies the monolith, with its reverb growing weaker, “I think it has something to do with… aaaghhhhh.”

    The monolith falls silent.

    “I think it’s dead,” gestures the pheasant.

    The peacock wonders if the three of them will ever discern the monolith’s true purpose. On a hunch, Estelle hurls a large. heavy bone high into the sky. It falls back to Earth and hits the pheasant, killing him.

    As they walk offstage, the peacock asks Estelle if he could bum a ride in her van.

  • 13 Lord Bob on Jan 18, 2009 at 9:03 am

    Near is but a function of the mind, Mr. Bill. We are all near Minnesota in our spirits, but unfortunately when our spirits call up Ticketmaster they just think someone’s whistling at the other end and hang up.

  • 14 JShmazzle on Jan 18, 2009 at 11:01 am

    Bryant Lake Bowl FTW!

    Bill, I’m much too hungover to attend tonight (stupid St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, how could I not get wasted listening to Beethoven’s Emperor concerto?), but I will make it out to one of the remaining shows on one condition: you have to slap me sharply across the face after I make a bad (is there any other kind?) pun.


  • 15 Nick Fechter on Jan 18, 2009 at 12:00 pm

    M. Night Shyamalan: “What a twist!”

  • 16 puerileuwaite on Jan 18, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    “Murder Most Fowl”

    She loathed him for his unwavering commitment to avant garde industrial art. And for his indifference to her own much more lucrative dream of raising both exotic fowl and alpacas* (* not pictured).

    Finally came the day when no longer could/would she endure the tortured schism of their marriage. For just as a chair with only two legs cannot stand, neither can a relationship consisting of two disparate interests lacking a common third.

    He had to go.

    And now all that remains are his treasured first piece (a chair which had been commissioned by none other than the great Andy Warhol just prior to his own untimely demise), an unfinished epitaph, and the incessant screeching guilt that poked and picked endlessly at what was left of her soul.

  • 17 Krunchy on Jan 18, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    Please tell me that you did “Sunday on the toilet with George!” or the angry cat one!!!

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