CSUEB alumna co-writes SF production

Sierra Perales,

“The Geek Show” prepares for its return

The past few years have been busy for 26-year-old CSUEB alumna, Lauren Lola. Since the debut of her two novels, “A Moment’s Worth” in 2014 and “An Absolute Mind” in 2016, the author decided to open up her writing skills to the theatre. She recently co-wrote the first rendition of “The Geek Show” in April 2017.

“The Geek Show” is a dynamic, multi-genre Bay Area-based theater show designed to showcase, satirize and subvert the phenomenon of geek culture. The production’s first run last spring featured six performances. “The Geek Show 2,” which follows the same themes but contains new storylines, will feature nine performances from April 12-28 at the Bindlestiff Studio, a Filipino American performing arts venue in SoMa, San Francisco.

“The Geek Show” is ultimately aimed at anyone who identifies as a geek, and though the word “geek” often holds a stereotypical image, people can really geek out over anything. Star Wars, Marvel, Anime, sports or recreational marijuana were just a few examples that Lola gave The Pioneer.

“A lot of the superhero and ‘Star Wars’ movies have all been directed by white men, that’s something that needs to change,” Lola said. “We’re starting to see that change finally like with ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Thor Ragnarok’ and then ‘Black Panther’ and I think the timing with this production is right along line with it.”

“The Geek Show 2” will be different from the first production, according to Lola. It will be centered around one major event called “Bindlecon,” a fictional book convention where the stories of those inside will have both obvious and not so obvious connections to one another.

“The Geek Show” troupe was adamant about getting everyone involved in all aspects for the second show, including the writing process.

“I do want whatever barriers that may stop female writers to be torn down,” said Thomas Paras, another producer of “The Geek Show.” “It’s been refreshing to hear more female voices in the industry as of late, and to see more female-centric stories seeing time at the tops of charts.”

Paras and his friend and co-producer Marc Abrigo, fell in love with stories about heroes and good versus evil at a young age because it revealed to them who they wanted to become. The two, along with Lola developed “The Geek Show” for anyone else who shared that same type of passion.

The process wasn’t the easiest as the group of writers encountered some obstacles while putting the first “Geek Show” together. Scheduling, time miscalculations and losing a key cast member just weeks before the performance set the entire production back.

They became worried when they realized there was so much work that was unfinished, but they carried on and tackled the most important tasks first. The support of the community at Bindlestiff made it easy to overcome their struggles and put on a successful show.

If I had to describe the process now, it feels like jumping out of a plane a second time, knowing that your parachute has worked in the past and will most likely work again,” Paras told The Pioneer. “Having faith in the process this time through has made it easier for me to sleep at night, and the show feels like less of a burden and more of a gift.”

Lola has a third novel in the works and continues to carry extra notebooks with her to jot down any ideas that come her way. Learning to balance her work as a novelist and a playwright is something she is still figuring out, but she plans to keep an eye out for future productions at Bindlestiff to continue writing.