Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company

Theatrefolk Featured Play – Nerd Herd by Christian Kiley

Welcome to our Featured Play Spotlight.  It’s time to channel your “inner nerd” and join Christian Kiley’s Nerd Herd as they go on the adventure of their lives. A funny and endearing look at love, dreams, slushes, and the unexpected twists and turns that life takes when you’re saving the universe.

Herman, Louis, and Francene are fanatical fans of Gallactica! – the hottest show on television. They watch every episode, quote lines from the show, and predict future episodes. When they learn that Gallactica will be at the upcoming Comic Book Palooza, Herman suggests they attend. It will be the best quest three friends could ever undertake!

But these three friends aren’t exactly being honest with one another. Herman loves Gallactica… but Francene is more in love with Herman, and Louis is head-over-heels for Francene. Will the truth come out? Sometimes the quest you want becomes the quest you need.

Why did we publish this play?
Nerd Herd is a delight. I love that the characters are funny and flawed. Flaws are important – we need to see characters struggle in order to connect with them. I worry that we’re taking all the struggle out of things. Everyone thinks Gallactica is perfect- she’s saved the earth many, many times. But she’s far from it. And all she really wants is some popcorn and a slush. Don’t we all? Read this play. Do this play.

Let’s hear from the author!

1. Why did you write this play?
Yes! I am a nerd, I was a nerd, I shall forever be a nerd! As a kid I had all the Star Trek shirts. Gold for Captain Kirk, blue for Spock, red for Scotty, and those nameless characters who were soon to be melted down to cell juice by an alien creature.

My wife and I disagree on this but I love the fantasy genre. I grew up on a steady diet of Star Trek and Star Wars. It was a time when you could not stream anything (unless you count water) and your favorite show was something you waited for in a state of exuberant agony.

I also like underdogs. I cheer for the undersized quarterback, the upstart entrepreneur, and the undervalued student. This play is for them. And me. And us.

2. Describe the theme in one or two sentences.
I would say the theme is to look at and appreciate what you have, what is right in front of you, the present moment. Herman has these great friends but he is caught up in this fantasy world (so much so that he does not see the amazing things right in front of him).

3. What’s the most important visual for you in this play?
Any moment when a mask comes off (literally and figuratively).

Masks, costumes, and covers. The idea of what we appear to be versus what we actually are. This is articulated in my favorite quote (mentioned above). Elaborate costumes are fun but they do not always do justice to what is underneath.

4. If you could give one piece of advice for those producing the play, what would it be?
Find or rediscover your inner nerd, bring her/him out to play. The cast of our production at Etiwanda High School had such an unabashed joy that it was infectious. I think we have all been starstruck by a show, musician, or iconic character. Tap into that!

5. Why is this play great for student performers?
This show has fun, quirky, multi-dimensional characters who go through changes. Anyone who has felt like an ardent fan of anything can relate to this play. My inner fanboy cries out for (insert name of star). But truthfully, it is a journey of self-discovery. Who am I under the mask?

Products referenced in this post: Nerd Herd

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