Prince of Biroca
The Prince of Biroca was a play written by Mike Mattson and was originally performed as a regular Saturday evening Campfire skit sometime in the late '90s. For a few years, Birch Rock used the old Riflery Range as an outdoor theater, and the Prince of Biroca was a highlight of those outdoor skits.
During the summer of 2000, Mike Mattson started talking to Ryan Massey about resurrecting that outdoor theater and bringing the Prince of Biroca back to camp once more. It was not until the summer of 2001 that they decided to do it, and this time it would be a Sunday afternoon event, which meant it had to be a little longer. Mike quickly fired out a skit and had all the staff on board. Ryan and Mike prepped the old Riflery Range by weedwacking and clearing away some fallen brush. Props and costumes were purchased or made, including a paper-mâché Dragon's head that Ryan, Mike, and Cole Penley put together.
The skit had background music for slow motion battle scenes, low-budget special effects pyrotechnics acomplished with powder and sparklers for when the witches entered, and a water balloon in a bowl of ketchup used by a witch as a heart pulled out of a knight's chest. The campers were told to act as the sickened townspeople between scenes and were handed M&Ms as a temporary medicine until the Prince could journey to the Spring of Longevity and bring its liquid back to the people. By the end of the skit upon the Prince's slaying of the dragon a chest was found with the Spring of Longevity inside, which was cans of Sprite.
Although Mike was a barbarian in the original skit, he chose to act as a narrator this time as a way to better control the pace.
The story begins with the Prince and the court's wise Man-in-Arms practicing sword play. Music plays in the background as the two battle all through out the audience. As the music fades, a few knights enter and sound the horns and one knight hollers, "The King" and kneels. They all kneel as the King enters escorted by knights. The King is coughing and is not well. He explains to his son that is up to him to save the King and his sick people (the audience is told to cough). The King has his servants offer a temporary medicine to the audience and asks the Prince to travel to the Arch Bishop of Biroca and seek his advice.
As they adventure all around the audience and along the wall in the back of the old rifle range, the groupg is attacked by the mighty Salmador. One knight is knocked down and plummets to his death.The Prince travels with his trusty Man-in-Arms and a few knights to the great church of Biroca. There the Arch Bishop tells them that they must travel to the caves of the Three Witches and learn from them the location of the Spring of Longevity. They immediately muster and move out.
They then travel off into the woods behind Lion's Den and march down around from the other side. Next they are attacked and netted by a troop of Wood-Elves. Luckily they are rescued by a mighty Wizard who appears up on the roof of the bike shed, firing bottle rockets in the air from his wrists. After the wizard joins them they journey some more and are attacked by Mountain Giants hurling boulders (soccer balls) down on them. A pair of barbarians come to their aid and join them.
The now massive group travels all around the range and eventually arrives outside the "cave." The witches are chanting around a fire pit three feet from the front of the audience. They weave spells and sprinkle sparkler dust into the fire. Just then one of the knights charges in screaming, and a witch pops up and yanks the water balloon heart away from the knights chest as he drops dead. The witch holds the heart high and then licks the balloon. The Wizard shouts, "Enough!" and blasts the witch. The rest attack the other witches and capture them quickly. The witches tell them where the Spring of Biroca is in exchange for their release and slink off into the woods.
After one more dangerous journey they finally arrive at the Dragon's lair. The Nexus Dragon, three staff members under a black blanket, one manning the paper-mâché head to open and close the mouth, comes surging out of the old Riflery Range building and kills a barbarian quickly and manages to eat the wizard as well. Finally, the Prince, older Barbarian, and Man-in-Arms overcome and destroy the dragon. Shortly after that the chest with the Spring is found and the audience members all get a Sprite.
Cast in 2001
|Arch Bishop||Thomas Joyce|
|Witch||Gerhardus Van Rensburg|
|Many Roles||Colin Penley and Owen Wolfertz|