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30 Years of ARTC: Dragon Con 2004 part 1

This being our 30th anniversary, we thought we’d dip back into the past and recap some of our previous performances, triumphs and tragedies, in a series of posts. And don’t forget our Chronology! It’s not as detailed, but it really shows the growth of ARTC over the years. You can see all of the photos in their full size on our Flickr album!

So last week we dipped into 2005, but now we’re back to 2004. This week is Dragon Con, so we thought we’d save these pictures from Dragon Con 2004 for now.

It was a banner year for ARTC for two reasons. The first was that we performed The Shadow Over Innsmouth by H. P. Lovecraft, which is always a crowd favorite, and we got to do it with Harlan Ellison, who is also a crowd favorite and puts on an amazing performance. The second…well, the second reason we’ll talk about next week in that update.

Phil Carter with Harlan Ellison
Phil Carter with Harlan Ellison

We’ve performed with Harlan a few times in the past. He was masterful as the Ringmaster in The Man Who Traveled in Elephants and also portrayed the crazed and troubled Delapore in The Rats in the Walls. His performance style is always energetic and really gets the most out of these characters.

Full stage shot of the cast for
The Cast of The Shadow Over Innsmouth

In The Shadow Over Innsmouth, Harlan portrayed the town drunk, Zadok Allen, who warns our protagonist of the mysterious and deadly citizens of Innsmouth and their horrifying history.

Harlan Ellison
Harlan Ellison as Zadok Allen

And he did so with his usual style and energy!

Michael Brady
Michael Brady

We were also pleased to have Michael Brady share the stage with us again that year!

Foley sound effects
Foley sound effects

And let’s not forget the all-important sound effects! Some of the most mundane things go into creating an atmosphere of horror. Here we see the preparation of the thunderball, used to create impromptu storms and earthquakes.

We’ve got to run off now to get ready for this year’s convention. Hope to see you there, and we’ll be back next week with part 2 of Dragon Con 2004!

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30 Years of ARTC: An Atlanta Christmas 2005

This being our 30th anniversary, we thought we’d dip back into the past and recap some of our previous performances, triumphs and tragedies, in a series of posts. And don’t forget our Chronology! It’s not as detailed, but it really shows the growth of ARTC over the years. You can see all of the photos in their full size on our Flickr album!

We’re back with another round of pictures from An Atlanta Christmas!

The holidays are a serious time. A time for reflection. A time for self-assessment.

Colin Butler looks serious at the microphone.
Colin Butler. Serious.

It’s a time for somber contemplation of…aw, who are we kidding? The holidays are a ton of fun! In this installment, we feature some of the goofier moments in An Atlanta Christmas.

Daniel W. Kiernan in a Santa hat with ears.
Daniel W. Kiernan. Reflective.

The play being a series of short subjects has the advantage of being able to swing through a wide range of emotions. There are very serious pieces, such as O Tannenbaum and Civil War Triptych, but the overall feel tends to convey the lightheartedness of the season. It’s a time of hope.

Tamara Morton.
Tamara Morton. Hopeful.

A time of giving.

Clair W. Kiernan rolls her eyes as Daniel W. Kiernan wears a blinking red nose.
Clair W. Kiernan wanting someone to give her a break.

A time  of anticipation.

Sketch MacQuinor.
Sketch MacQuinor anticipates…something.

Sorry for the blurriness on that last picture. We just couldn’t resist that expression.

It’s also a time for family and gatherings.

The ARTC Chorus gathers around the microphones.
A gathering. Or a police lineup. Your choice.

And through it all we somehow manage to have a good time. Every year for the last 15 years! Be sure to come see us this December! We’d love to have you be a part of our family. Details coming soon.

Clair W. Kiernan at a microphone that's too tall for her.
Just out of reach…
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The Doom of the Mummy part 4 of 4

Size: 10.3M Duration: 17:37

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And now we arrive at the conclusion of our 2008 Dragon Con performance of The Doom of the Mummy. At this time we felt it would be appropriate to highlight William Alan Ritch, the writer, producer, and director of this performance.

William Alan Ritch at the tech table.
William Alan Ritch at the tech table.

Bill (as he is commonly known) has been with ARTC for as long as anyone can remember. He is a tireless force in the organization, contributing time and money when necessary to ensure that shows go off without a hitch. He is a skilled director and has helmed the vast majority of ARTC productions, especially in recent years, and is also a competent technician, working in less-than-ideal conditions to give us the best sound we can get out of venues that aren’t designed for what we do (and let’s face it, very few venues are designed for what we do).

Bill Ritch takes the stage to read the credits for his play.
Bill Ritch takes the stage to read the credits for his play.

He writes, he directs, he soundscapes, he runs the mixing board…you name it, Bill has probably done it at one time or another. But he is more than that. He is one of the foundations upon which ARTC rests. He is a driving force and helps keep us on our path. And The Doom of the Mummy is destined to make its way into ARTC Studio so that it can take its place alongside our other classic monster stories…just as soon as he’s finished with one last rewrite.

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30 Years of ARTC: Halloween 2004

This being our 30th anniversary, we thought we’d dip back into the past and recap some of our previous performances, triumphs and tragedies, in a series of posts. And don’t forget our Chronology! It’s not as detailed, but it really shows the growth of ARTC over the years.

This week we bring you our appearances at Onstage Atlanta and Stone Mountain Park for Halloween 2004. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

A plastic pumpkin graces the ARTC stage at Stone Mountain Park
ARTC’s Halloween stage decorations

We love Halloween. Love it. It’s seriously our favorite time of year. The cool fall weather, the colorful leaves on the skeletal trees…and the eerie atmosphere it brings with it. October seems to be a natural month for audio drama, and with our emphasis on horror and science fiction we are right at home.

Brad Weage, David Carter, Cyd Hoskinson, and Tracy Wilson make up the tech crew for this show.
Brad Weage, David Carter, Cyd Hoskinson, and Tracy Wilson make up the tech crew for this show.

As is often the case in the arts, the performers tend to garner most of the accolades. They’re the ones up front, visible, and vocal. But in our case the tech and Foley crew are the real stars. It’s been said that if the show is going well, you don’t even notice the tech crew is there, and that’s pretty much the case. We’ve been very lucky to have a lot of great people on tech over the years and we’re always looking for more!

Megan Tindale holds up the 'Yay!' sign for Rory Rammer, Space Marshal.
Megan Tindale is thrilled that we remembered this sign for this show.

The fact is that most people don’t always know about all the opportunities available in ARTC. Sure we love voice actors and we always need more techs, Foley artists, and musicians. We can even teach you how to do some of those things if you’re interested in learning and have a little patience. But did you know we also have all the same needs and roles of any non-profit? Marketing, fundraising, public relations, graphic design…you name it, we’ve got an opportunity for you.

Jack Mayfield and Clair W. Kiernan perform as Daniel Taylor provides Foley sound effects.
Jack Mayfield and Clair W. Kiernan perform as Daniel Taylor provides Foley sound effects.

But back to the show. This year we took the unusual step of having Halloween shows in two venues. Onstage Atlanta graciously hosted us, as well as Memorial Hall in Stone Mountain Park. It involved a lot of shuffling of equipment back and forth, but our audiences had a great time.

Jack Mayfield, Megan Tindale, Geoffrey Brown, and David Benedict address the microphones
Jack Mayfield, Megan Tindale, Geoffrey Brown, and David Benedict address the microphones

We also changed up the show we were doing, depending on where we were at the time. A bit more adult fare at Onstage Atlanta, a bit more family-friendly at Stone Mountain Park. That’s the flexibility of ARTC. You can check out the playbill for these shows here!

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30 Years of ARTC: Pirate Day 2004

This being our 30th anniversary, we thought we’d dip back into the past and recap some of our previous performances, triumphs and tragedies, in a series of posts. And don’t forget our Chronology! It’s not as detailed, but it really shows the growth of ARTC over the years.

This week we bring you our appearance at Barnes and Noble Perimeter for Talk Like a Pirate Day in 2004. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

Brad Strickland
Brad Strickland

ARTC has been extremely privileged over the years to be able to work with Brad Strickland. Author of several published novels and some of our best audio dramas, Brad has brought us to new levels of excellence through his guidance and participation not only as an author, but as a skilled actor and presenter.

At this event, Barnes and Noble Perimeter asked us to come do a show for them for Pirate Day, based on the success of our Harry Potter events, and we couldn’t think of better subject matter than Brad’s Pirate Hunter series, which he co-authored with Thomas E. Fuller.

Jack Mayfield, Daniel Kiernan, and Brad Strickland in full pirate regalia.
Jack Mayfield, Daniel Kiernan, and Brad Strickland on the high seas.

Talk Like a Pirate Day is always a ton of fun in and of itself, but being able to present this work (in costume, no less), was a real treat for us.

Jack Mayfield, Megan Tindale, and Jonathan Strickland.
Jack Mayfield, Megan Tindale, and Jonathan Strickland. None of which are showing any signs of scurvy.

You know, we keep saying we don’t do many shows in costume, but examples to the contrary keep cropping up!

Terry Sanders and Jack Mayfield.
Terry Sanders and Jack Mayfield on the bounding main.
A bunch of pirates.
A bunch of pirates.

We hope you’re enjoying these forays into our past. If you are, let us know! We’ve got lots left, including some of our best work coming up soon!

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Noir in the Naked City – Episode Seven: Madness

Naked City Atlanta logoNaked City is a monthly live literary event held at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. Each month, the hosts reveal the theme for the next month and people sign up for the privelege of getting five minutes to speak, sing, or do whatever on the subject of the theme. Go over your five minutes? Then you must spin the Wheel of Consequences!

Naked City’s website
Naked City’s Facebook page

Starting in February, I began a writing challenge for myself: A crowd-influenced serial called Noir in the Naked City where, at the end of each episode, the protagonist would be faced with a choice. The audience would make the decision for the character, and then the next episode would be written with that choice in mind AND on the next month’s theme.


Episode Seven: Madness

The car pulled away from the curb, leaving Abigail and Gus behind us. For someone who hated cars so much, I sure seemed to be spending a lot of time in them lately. Guess it’s my accommodating nature. Not everybody likes to walk everywhere like I do. I looked out the side window and watched the world go by, a blur of people all moving about in their routine. I wondered if they felt as out of control of their lives as I did in mine.

The Nazi dame sat next to me in the back seat. “What’s the matter, detective?” she cooed. I didn’t answer.

It had felt wrong to leave Abigail back there, but I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t even get a chance to tell her why I had gone. Gus had been prepping for a fight, and he just might have been able to take our dear fraulein friend even with the pistol she’d been holding. What they hadn’t noticed was her three goons lurking in the shadows.

The entire situation was beginning to get on my nerves. A vicious murder, crazy Nazis trying to create their own master race, Abigail, my long lost brother. What next? I closed my eyes and tried to figure out how I’d gotten into this. Then I decided I didn’t care. It was time to get out. Literally. As the car slowed for a traffic light, I unbuckled my belt, threw open my door, and vaulted out into the street. I dodged a car coming from the other direction, threw myself forward into a roll, and launched myself forward.

Behind me I could hear the Nazi dame screaming, apoplectic with rage, yelling for them to get after me, but they’d never catch me. I had a head start, was in better shape than them, and have a kind of springy gait that gives me a little extra edge when I’m on the run, something which feels like it happens a lot. I just hoped that Abigail had had the brains to get away from the Empire Night Club, because it was a safe bet they’d go after her to get to me. Assuming her goons hadn’t just scooped her up after we left. She clearly knew too much anyway.

I ducked into a doorway and listened for the telltale pounding footsteps of pursuers and heard nothing, so I allowed myself to breathe for a minute. I looked around the immediate area and saw some bum sitting on the ground, leaning against the brick wall of the building, but nothing else. These guys are everywhere. Down on their luck, out of time, and up against the wall, in this case literally.

It was this kind of thing that made the Nazi dame’s plan almost appealing, if it weren’t completely crazy. It wasn’t like things were rainbows and sparkles out there now in the Naked City. It was grimy and gritty and you could find yourself with a knife between your ribs shortly after breakfast if you looked at the wrong person the wrong way or end up like this poor schmoe if things didn’t quite break right. Breed a master race and maybe things improve. Care enough about your population and maybe you take better care of them. Maybe I should just let them get about their business and look out for myself.

The interesting part about bums like this guy was that they were often the best confidence men in the city. They had persistence, could convince you of all kinds of things when they were sober, and could own the world for a song if they could just get their act together. Their downfall was usually substances or madness. Impossible expectations and an inability to compromise could lead someone to turn down the golden goose while they were holding out for diamonds and end up with nothing.

The bum looked up at me, as if seeing me for the first time, and stared. Stared a little too long.

“I almost had it all,” he said.

“What’s that, old timer?” I asked, looking around nervously. Getting distracted while on the run was a sure way to get dead.

“All of it. Every bit. The fountain of youth. The Philosopher’s Stone. El Dorado. The Holy Grail. You name it, I almost had it.”

“So what happened?”

“Turns out you don’t have those things. They have you.”

With that he lunged towards me and shoved a stick of gum in my hand before I could react. He stared at me with a knowing look in his eye, although what he knew was anybody’s guess, and then opened the door and ducked inside. I went to follow him, but he’d locked it behind himself.

The next thing I heard was the sound of screeching tires. The Nazi dame’s damn black car backed into view at the end of the alley. They’d found me somehow.

I turned to run, but the other end of the alley was also blocked. Damn. I looked around. No ladders. I tried the other doors that were close by. Locked.

“Detective!” I heard the Nazi dame’s voice cut through the sound of the idling motor of the car. I turned to face her. This time she’d probably just go ahead and put me in handcuffs. An intriguing thought, but the circumstances were wrong. But when I got my head around in her direction, I saw that Abigail was with her. Double damn.

“You are much more problematic than I’d anticipated, Detective,” the dame hissed. “Now get in the car.”

“Detective, I know you’re going to get in the car because you’re just the kind of noble fool who tries to rescue the damsel in distress,” Abigail said, rolling her eyes. “But I’m telling you anyway that she’s a liar and that you should run away back down the alley. There’s only one guy there. You can make it. Don’t worry about me. You need to go to your brother. He’s at the park. He’ll explain when you get there.”

I looked and saw that she was right. I probably could make it. But I’d hate myself in the morning.

CHOICE: Run away to find my brother or go with the Nazis to save Abigail.