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30 Years of ARTC: Pirate Day 2006

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 for a look at our 30 (and counting!) years of live performance!

This week we bring you our appearance at Talk Like a Pirate Day 2006. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

In 2006 we returned for what is so far our final appearance at Barnes and Noble for Pirate Day. We had a blast at these, but time marches on and we’ve just been so busy since then! If you’d like to see more piratey shenanigans, let us know and we’ll get right on it!

Clair Kiernan, Jonathan Strickland, and Hal Wiedeman perform.
This isn’t really what scurvy looks like.

Bookstore performances are a ton of fun, but make for some interesting experiences. For example, you may notice the coffee shop behind us in that above picture. Imagine trying to do a performance with an espresso machine behind you. There’s also the audience factor – they’re not lined up in neat little rows listening with rapt attention. They’re browsing books, meeting friends, drinking coffee. We were audible all over the store, so people just listened where they were.

The audience for Talk Like a Pirate Day
We love the fact that one couple brought lawn chairs.

But there were a small group of people who camped out on the floor and had a great time!

Brad Weage performs an illusion.
Piracy is magical.

We would be remiss if we didn’t talk about Brad Weage at this performance, also. In addition to being a wizard on the keyboards, Brad was also an accomplished magician. We didn’t often find a way to incorporate this skill into our shows, but when we did it was a real blast.

Clair Kiernan, Terry Sanders, Daniel Kiernan, and Hal Wiedeman perform.
More pirates than you can shake a stick at.
Clair Kiernan, Kelley S. Ceccato, and Caran Wilbanks perform.
Lady pirates!

A fitting conclusion to the Pirate Hunter trilogy!

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30 Years of ARTC: Sci Fi Summer 2006

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 for a look at our 30 (and counting!) years of live performance!

This week we bring you our appearance at Sci Fi Summer 2006. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

Sci Fi Summer 2006 saw an action-packed performance featuring The Brotherhood of Damn Sassy Mutants, Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment, Rory Rammer, Space Marshal, our genre-bending sampler Time for Station Identification, and all of that wrapped up in a unique package we called Three Bad Writers!

Sci Fi Summer cast
Not pictured: Three bad writers

We also tried a little experiment at this show. In the below picture, find the red dot that indicates the red microphone on the right, just to the right of Bob Zimmerman’s head. That’s David Benedict sitting and performing the recorded SFX as well as playing his part in the show.

Sci Fi Summer cast and crew
Pictured: Experimentation

Please note that we haven’t done this much. It worked, it was just inconvenient.

Sorry for the short update this week, folks. We’ll be back next time!

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30 Years of ARTC: Libertycon 2006

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 for a look at our 30 (and counting!) years of live performance!

This week we bring you our appearance at Libertycon 2006. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

Ah, Libertycon. What can we say that hasn’t already been said? Some of our most appreciative audiences attend Libertycon, but it isn’t the madhouse that Dragon Con is (not that we don’t love Dragon Con, too…it’s just that one madhouse per year is sufficient!)

Jonathan Strickland, Trudy Leonard, and Ariel Kasten at Libertycon
Jonathan Strickland approves of Libertycon

In 2006 we brought William Alan Ritch’s powerhouse, The Doom of the Mummy to Libertycon for its debut performance.

Doom of the Mummy cast
Doom of the Mummy cast

It seems like all of our monster-related performances are difficult to produce. The Passion of Frankenstein has about a billion recorded sound effects (in addition to the Foley), The Brides of Dracula requires our best singers to be the brides, and The Doom of the Mummy is no exception, as it requires a cello – not part of our usual musical accompaniment.

Daniel Taylor at the Foley table
It can be somewhat startling

But, as always, we rose to the occasion with Sheila Ameri on cello, Brad Weage on the keyboards, and a stellar cast (many of whom were, unfortunately, unable to reprise their roles for the 2008 Dragon Con performance – luckily we can assemble several stellar casts when necessary).

Cast of Doom of the Mummy
More cast

But enough about the cast. Here are our amazing musicians!

Brad Weage on keyboards
Brad Weage on keyboards (plural!)
Sheila Ameri on cello
Sheila Ameri on cello
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30 Years of ARTC: Barnes and Noble 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 for a look at our 30 (and counting!) years of live performance!

This week we bring you our appearance at Barnes and Noble Perimeter for Talk Like a Pirate Day in 2005. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

A short update this week, but we just couldn’t resist posting these pictures. In 2005 we continued our relationship with Barnes and Noble Perimeter with a reading of the classic book Bunnicula.

Daniel W. Kiernan as the vampire bunny, Bunnicula.
Menacing.
The cast of Bunnicula.
No produce was safe.
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Noir in the Naked City – Episode Nine: Terror

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 Nine: Terror

We emerged into the night, my brother glancing back over his shoulder. We were somewhere on the far outskirts of the city, much farther than I’d anticipated. There were woods nearby. I looked around for Abigail, but couldn’t see her.

“Turn left,” my brother said. I did so and affected the shambling lurch I use for quick locomotion, but then he said “now right!” and I stumbled and fell trying to make the correction.

“This isn’t going to work,” I said from the ground. “You can have speed or quick turns, but you can’t have both. I need to know where we’re going.”

“I don’t know where we’re going yet. I’m trying to throw them off our trail.”

I groaned. My brother. Hadn’t seen him in years, but he hadn’t changed a bit. “Fine. Where did Abigail go?”

“I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. We need to split up for a bit until the heat’s off.”

“For once in your life can you make a decision?” I said through gritted teeth. “I have no idea what’s going on, I’ve got Nazis and cats after me and I’m not sure which is worse. They’ve captured me two or three times and haven’t done anything and now YOU show up insisting that we have to go right now, except you have no plan as to WHERE we should go.”

“I’m sorry, Meyeni,” he began, but I stopped him by getting up and lurching away from him.

“I told you not to call me that.”

I heard silence behind me for a few moments as I trudged away, heading for the woods. More cover there. I thought he might follow me or say something, but the next thing I heard was his retreating footsteps. Good riddance. He bailed me out of that situation, sure, but he sucks at making decisions and that kind of waffling can get you killed pretty quickly.

It was getting dark, the kind of dark that makes your imagination populate every inch of space with your worst fears. Of course in the mood I was in, I probably was someone else’s worst fear. I hated feeling out of control of what was going on around me. I had to find Abigail. I’d been going through the motions with my life for a long time, but here was someone I felt a connection to. It was important.

I heard sounds all around me. The shadows moved and made visibility tricky, but there was plenty to hear and I felt an unfamiliar sensation building within me: actual fear, and I wondered if going into the woods had been a mistake. In general, nothing really scared me. I had a healthy respect for some people and cats made me nervous, of course, but actual fear was new to me. Seeing my brother’s clone and knowing what they were going to do with it was something else altogether, though. The world was changing.

“Detective,” someone said. It was a lingering voice, drawing out the word. I stopped and tried to triangulate the source of the sound. “Detective…” the voice said again. “It’s a tasty offer.” That damn cat.

I considered retorting back, but decided to keep silent. Then I thought I felt something furry brush against my leg and I kicked helplessly out into empty space.

“Detective, you really don’t know what you’re missing,” the cat said. The voice was coming from all different directions.

“Don’t believe him, detective!” That was Abigail. She was close by, but I couldn’t see her. The dense woods, the shadows, masked her from me.

“You probably want to know why we haven’t just taken what we need from you, detective,” the cat went on. “After all, we’ve had you at our mercy several times now. What could you possibly have that we couldn’t have just taken by now?”

“Detective, you’re the biggest fool I’ve ever met, but use your head on this one for a change!” Abigail called out. I wished I knew where all these damn voices were coming from.

“Listen to her, Meyeni,” my brother joined in.

“Your genetic material is invaluable to our plan,” the cat said, clearly moving, slinking through the shadows.  “But we could have gotten that anytime. What proof is there that I mean you ill will? What are they so afraid of? Could it be that they don’t want you to get what’s coming to you? What is rightfully yours? Or even just a night of peaceful sleep instead of the nightmares you drink to fight off every evening? We can give you those things.”

The sounds of the night were punctuated by rustlings all around me. The shadows squirmed and mocked my vision. I closed my eyes and tried to picture the scene around me, but the sounds of the night surrounded me and swallowed up the rustling movements of my friends and my enemies alike. I wasn’t even sure which one was which anymore.

“All of you stop it!” I finally yelled.

“Meyeni,” my brother began, and then stopped. “Detective,” he continued, “they are telling you the truth about one and only one thing: the choice in this is yours. They cannot just take what they need. But they will lie to you until their dying breath to convince you to join them, and once you have done so then all is lost. It is true you haven’t always gotten what you deserve, and some of that is my fault. And for that all I can say here and now is…I am sorry.”

I buried my anger at my brother…Prionace…and tried to think.

Just then I heard a snarl and saw the clone leap at my brother, tackling him to the ground. Then I felt a sharp pain in my shoulders as that damn cat jumped up and raked at my back. I reached back, grabbed him, and flung him as far away as I could, but his claws took a chunk of my shoulder with him.

Turning to my right I could just make out the clone, teeth bared, about to tear out my brother’s throat. Abigail was near as well, looking uncharactaristically frightened. I tensed to spring on my brother’s attacker when I saw movement. The Nazi dame stepped out from behind a tree with a pistol aimed at Abigail’s head. I knew I’d never reach them both in time.

Choice: Who does he save?

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30 Years of ARTC: Halloween 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.

This week we bring you our appearance at Barnes and Noble Perimeter for Talk Like a Pirate Day in 2005. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

It’s October! Our favorite month of the year! A time of witches, ghosts, goblins, and things that go bump in the night. We’re especially fond of things that go bump in the night. It’s that magical time when people really let their imaginations run away with them, and we love that!

ARTC takes the stage!
Imagine there’s a set here.

We get some of our best non-convention audiences around Halloween. Specializing in horror and science fiction, as we do, it’s no wonder that people are looking for something a little extra. Something that goes beyond the usual slasher serial killers the movies so often give us.

ARTC at Stone Mountain Park
We don’t do serial killers. We do killer serials!

At our 2005 performance we got a chance to show off some of our less elaborate, but still really spooky, Halloween material. We brought out Armada Rising about the Spanish Armada risen from the depths, an episode of Dr. Geoffry Stanhope about the Loch Ness Monster, and a bunch of other treats for our audience that year!

ARTC tech and musicians make for an amazing show!
The horror of the tech crew. The horror.

And this year we’re getting the chance to bring some of that unproduced material into ARTC Studio! So you’ll get a chance to hear it yourself very soon!