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30 Years of ARTC – Throne of Shadows, Dragon Con 1999

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!

ARTC has been priveleged to perform at every single Dragon Con since the very beginning back in 1987. In 1999 we debuted the audio version of Thomas E. Fuller’s Throne of Shadows: The Last Relic of the Empire. It’s a complex story involving the Emperor of Mexico, an actress pushed to her limits of sanity, and an alternate history of the way things really went in 1867. But leaving geopolitics aside for a moment, the story is really about the love that Maximilian shared with his wife Carlota and how that love transcended death and madness.

The cast of
The cast of “Throne of Shadows”

In this photo we see an extremely young Sarah Taylor as the fictional Sofia, along with several other members of the cast of the production. We managed to get Sarah into the studio to record her lines while she still sounded like a girl instead of the young woman she has grown up to be. Also pictured, Trudy Leonard as Carlota, Dena Friedman Williams as the actress Victoria Forell, and Thomas E. Fuller as Emperor Maximilian.

Foley for
Foley for “Throne of Shadows”

Foley for Throne of Shadows was fairly involved. There was lots of walking around on castle floors when the scenes were set in Bavaria, but when the scenes magically shifted to the Mexican Empire in 1867, it was occasionally necessary to have dense foliage available. One side set in winter, the other in a glorious Mexican spring.

Brad Weage at the keyboard
Brad Weage at the keyboard

Brad Weage composed the haunting score, including the essential “Imperial Waltz”. For the final studio production, Joel Abbott provided a good deal of a replacement score, due to Brad’s original compositions being unavailable, but the “Imperial Waltz” lives on!