Theatre of


February 16th

Choose Your Own Adventure Ted

Guest host – Dave Ruthenburg

List of performers:

  1. Hope, Katie, Ashley, Ben, and Toni- Bodice Ripper Story Hour
  2. Ashley and Toni- The Scribing of Ted
  3. Mike Norris- A Children’s Story
  4. Tux Guy- What if? IV
  5. Choose Your Own Adventure: Dragons n’ Stuff
  6. Ron Sparling- Sneak Preview
  7. Frank and Dave- Story and a Song
  8. Choose Your Own Adventure: Mike Norris encounter
  9. Jared “Wolfman” Mason- Eye Opener on a Childhood Hero
  10. Keith Habersberger- A Love Song
  11. Gregg Gelder- A poem he just wrote in the back
  12. Kevin- A poem


Underlines denote first time performers.

Approximate running time:

A little over an hour 

Number of Pieces:




Around 50 or so I’d say 

Host Notes:

I decided to go with a choose your own adventure theme, and have the Ted audience somehow control their fates (which actually just resulted in less candy for Mike Norris), with Shee making an appearance as Ted’s fairy guardian and CJ as a Cyclops struggling with his girlfriend. Unfortunately the Ted audience blundered and chose to dance with Cyclops-CJ, resulting in their swift death. But I mean they’ve got multiple lives, right?

First up was Hope and the assembled JVA reading from Sins of a Duke, a fantastic bodice ripper. It ran a little long, but sometimes you just have to take a long time to do things properly, and a bodice ripper sex scene is one of those things. The audience wore grins of adoration and disbelief throughout.

Next was Mike Norris with an amusing paper he wrote for a class, in mockery of juvenile literature that tries to explain adult themes. It got really humorous and really depressing really quick. It was about abortion, and just as Mike read something about Fetuses not being technically human, a real live baby in the back of the theatre cried out in protest. It was astounding, and I think even freaked some people out. Mike then insisted that the baby be brought on stage and he read to it.

Ashley Fishman and Toni “Nickles” Melessio were next, with a whacky idea. Fishman was going to strip Toni down to his skivvies and paint the events of Ted on his skin, as a sort of living record of the events that took place. It continued throughout the night, a really unique piece that I think added an interesting element to all the other pieces. If ever I was bored for the slightest moment, I could see Fishman was doing and be delighted.

Tux Guy briefly discussed his intent to psychoanalyze Keith in his next edition of Theatre of Ted Therapy and talked about his youtube stuff. He then let loose a passionate condemnation of and our culture in general, which he feels places too much emphasis on physical beauty. As per usual with his “what if” pieces, he walked out of Ted afterwards. Tux Guy is a conundrum- is he sincere, or are these beliefs, like his appearance, a slick veneer? Food for thought, kids.

We then continued the Theatre of Ted adventure, with help from Hope and Katie who portrayed fearsome dragons. Luckily, the audience saw through these dragons and chose the correct option, leaving them in the dirt.

Ron Sparling then talked at humorous length about the upcoming Super Smash Brothers Brawl. He also related a horrifying truth about Mewtwo.

Frank and Dave, ted virgins both, came up with a surprising level of applause and shouting. Possibly because Dave got buck naked at Beta House Ted, an impressive feat. He explained they were going to sing a song about fingerbanging, but apparently they thought that was inappropriate. Ultimately they decided to perform a song about Dave’s RA being a dick. I believe his RA was in attendance, which is even funnier. Frank played a mean guitar and Dave’s vocals/trombone combo was quite amusing. There are so many catchy songs played at Ted that I really wish more of them were recorded. The lyrics were poetry, and they got a big standing ovation.

Keith busted out a bizarre puppet named Supermarket and lip-synched with him to Moulin Rouge. You would imagine being a puppeteer would be easy, but he did a lot of really complex movement with Supermarket and maintained his character completely while doing it. The show-stopper for me was when Keith removed Supermarket’s shades, revealing a perfectly ridiculous face. It is impossible to watch Keith perform and not stand in envy of his talents. Big standing ovation!

Jared “Wolfman” Mason educated us all in some musical greatness with a Shel Silverstein song, “Freaker’s Ball”, I believe. He just sat there with a contented look on his face, occasionally accompanying the music with small Jared-esque gestures.

We then continued the adventure, with the audience encountering a deadly and deadpan Mike Norris. The audience chose to immasculate him, which was accomplished by sending Jared up to stand next to him and talk about the many manly things he did that day. Mike was defeated, but they hugged afterwards, proving themselves both Men. Men resolve their differences peaceably, people!

Keith, Mike, and Jeff came up with an odd but interesting “mime/poetry/performance piece”. It took me a while to realize that they were improv’ing it all, which was crazy impressive but expected from the mafia boys. Jeff did his movement thing, while Keith and Mike alternately waxed poetic and cracked wise. A good piece of generative theatre. It spoke of the alternately sorrowful and nostalgic life of a land turtle.

Gregg approached the stage with steely intent. He had a piece of slam poetry entitled “What if Natalie Halloway was a Black Man”. It spoke of Gregg’s disgust in the media for making a huge deal about the death of a pretty white girl, while thousands of others die through greater injustices every day but are ignored. Brutal, but powerful. Another standing ovation!

Kevin, that master skald, entertained us all with a sickening juxtaposition of the world of meat, wood, and babies. There were many bursts of discomfort and laughter in the audience, and he was cheered thoroughly. I always enjoy Kevin’s poems, and I wish he posted them on the forums or something. If you read this Kevin, please do that.

We then finished up the adventure, with Pete handing out chocolate as King of Ted. I asked the audience if they wanted it to be divided amongst them, or if one person would be forced to eat it all. After some rock-paper-scissors, all the chocolate went to Mike Norris. In retrospect I really should’ve made him stand on stage and eat all the chocolate, but I thought that would take too long. Now I really wish I had done it. Fishman then came up and showed off her work on Toni, which was great. There are some really cool pictures of it on the Ted website.

Theatre of Ted Enthusiastic Applause

Performance pieces: 

1. Hope, Katie, Ashley, Ben, and Toni- Bodice Ripper Story Hour

2. Ashley and Toni- The Scribing of Ted

  1. Mike Norris- A Children’s Story
  2. Tux Guy- What if? IV
  3. Choose Your Own Adventure: Dragons n’ Stuff
  4. Ron Sparling- Sneak Preview
  5. Frank and Dave- Story and a Song
  6. Choose Your Own Adventure: Mike Norris encounter
  7. Jared “Wolfman” Mason- Eye Opener on a Childhood Hero
  8. Keith Habersberger- A Love Song
  9. Gregg Gelder- A poem he just wrote in the back
  10. Kevin- A poem




Piece of the week:

Frank and Dave- Story and a Song

Dare to Suck Award:

Paul, wherever he was.

Jaw Dropper:

 The baby crying out in protest of abortion.

Super secret Hidden Theme*:

Children and babies viewed through the terrifying aware eyes of adults.

*Hidden themes are the unintentional repetition of something throughout the TED of that week.