Student play offers drama

Monserrath Rodriguez

The Garden of Faults
“If old people go (to the show) they will walk out. I will guarantee that because it’s violent, it has cussing words. It’s very contemporary, very edgy,” Matthew Fauls, 20, Theater, says about his first written, directed and produced play, “The Garden.” “It’s not your typical ‘Annie, get your Gun’ status it’s like ‘Equus’ status.” And ‘Equus’ sets the bar pretty high for it is about a psychiatrist who attempts to treat a teenager who has a pathological religious and sexual fascination with horses.
It is safe to say Fauls’ statement is sound.

Fauls, who has been acting for twelve years says, “I worked on ‘The Garden’ for a year and a half, it started out as a show called ‘The Arch'” he adds, “(it) is supposed to be a comedy and now it’s a drama. It was a comedy about a family and they had an arch over their garden and the arch had its own character and would speak to them…and it was really retarded.” After further revision he concluded, “It was definitely a bad show, so I said ‘I need to make this better. So what do I like about this show?’ And I really liked the characters.” And that is how “The Garden” was born.

In his own words he describes his newborn, “It’s about a family of three and how they go through struggles and how they can overcome these struggles. How they try to conquer over it,” after a pause he adds, “even though they all miserably fail.”

When asked what he wants the audience to take from his work Fauls says, “The value of family, as in if you have something really good, if you have someone that takes you for you, don’t pass that up. Someone loves you. You need it. You need to use that.” He adds, “Don’t take people for granted. And also the value of honesty.” What has he taken from the show? “Patience. Discipline. How to handle actors, how to really work hard for something that you want. And basically being able to cope with debts.”

Born in Mission Viejo and raised in Laguna Hills, California Fauls began his theater career in Tustin, California. He attended Saint Cecilia private Catholic School, where on his last year there he débuted as Max in “A Goofy Movie.” He is currently a full time student (19 units to be exact) at Saddleback College, the house and concession manager at the Saddleback theater, and he hopes to attend The American Music and Dramatic Academy. Now a writer-director-producer of his play “The Garden,” he says of his life, “It’s really hard, lots of work, I usually go to sleep at two in the morning, everyday, because of homework and work.”

Fauls fell in love with acting at a young age, he says, “When I think about acting it is something that you’re free to do anything, no one can stop you from doing anything that you want,” Fauls, who rehearses his play in his back yard because he only has the theater for four days adds, “(It is like) being a different person, and back then when I didn’t really know who I was, being a different person was better than being myself.” He assures that now, he knows himself and acting stuck for the rush.

Fauls’ love is acting and directing, but producing and writing is a bit more difficult as it is a longer process and a more complicated one, but necessary to build a first-rate resume. Fauls says, “It’s not fun shelling out $900 in one day,” which he had to do in order to perform his play in the theater. Without the help of his parents Fauls saved up for a whole summer and now, he was allowed four days of availability in the theater where he will use three for the production and one for rehearsals.

Things are coming together for Fauls as his boyfriend got him several contacts to actors who auditioned, his friend- Melissa Klimowitvz helped him with ideas and props, and student Becca Shalaby is providing her catering business, “Boo Bites,” as the official caterer for the play.

The curtains open for Fauls on May 28-30 at 8 p.m. in The Hunger Artists Theatre Company on State College Blvd. in Fullerton. (The show is not recommended for children under the age of 13.)