Mike Jones’ life lessons landed him a spot in a new play, Porridge. Premiering at the Boulder International Fringe Festival, the play, penned by Brian Bauman, concerns three marines who “go AWOL after being exposed to friendly-fire nerve gas in an all-base orgy.” How…interesting.
While Jones didn’t get exposed to nerve gas, he did land some marines back in his hooking days, which came to an end after he outed Evangelical leader Ted Haggard.
It’s Jones’ book, I Had To Say Something: The Art of Ted Haggard’s Fall, which recalls his fling with the ousted holy hypocrite, that really grabbed Bauman’s – um – eye.
The book has had an influential impact on the development of ‘Porridge,’ specifically in terms of what is considered ‘heroic’ in an upside-down world.
I find Mike Jones to be heroic. And that is why I cast him in this play. I’m not concerned with ideas of ‘traditional’ acting expertise. I have complete faith in Mike’s performing abilities.
Interesting choice of words considering Jones’ last gig.
Not only did Bauman enjoy Jones’ book for its heroism, he says, but got off on the 50-year old’s experience sleeping with closeted soldiers, which Jones plans to incorporate into his performance:
When I had men come to me that were in the military, a lot of the encounters were emotional. they were scared. These were people that could never truly be themselves in the military. It’s all secrets. In my book, I wrote about a soldier who was crying in my arms because he’s got to go back to (Iraq). It’s pretty powerful.
My monologues are very poetic, and they talk about men that just can’t be themselves. It deals with people dealing with lies. And it allows me to express the emotions that I saw in these men.
We imagine that involves a lot of grunting and groaning: two essential elements for any effective theatrical experience.
Mike Jones makes his big debut this Thursday. We recommend you go on August 20th – tickets are two-for-one. More info here.