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The Passion of Frankenstein part 4 of 5

Size: 10.5M Duration: 17:53

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We’re back with another podcast, and this time we’re coming back to the studio production of The Passion of Frankenstein. Remember, you can get this production in all its glory, with CD quality sound instead of the heavy compression we put on the podcast tracks, right here!

Also, just like the last time we used the studio production, we have no photos from that show, so we’re bringing you more from the LibertyCon show.

The LibertyCon cast for Frankenstein!
The LibertyCon cast for Frankenstein!
Matt Goodson
Matt Goodson as Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Where did he get his PhD, anyway?
Foley for Frankenstein
The best Foley team in all of existence. In this case it’s real FrankenFoley!
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31 Years of ARTC: The Island of Dr. Moreau 2010

Continuing our look back at ARTC’s 31 years (thusfar!) with photos from our live performances. You can get a look at our whole history of combining adventures in sound with the thrill of live performance in our Chronology!

In this installment we bring you our appearance at the Academy Theatre in October 2010 where we performed The Island of Dr. Moreau, featuring music by The Ghosts Project, along with Inhuman Rights, Rory Rammer, Space Marshal: Set Loose the Dogs of Time, and Bumpers Crossroads: The Stray Dog. This performance was a benefit for the Atlanta Humane Society and also included special musical guest Julie Gribble! Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

Ok, first up, we know that using The Island of Dr. Moreau as a benefit for the Atlanta Humane Society sounds like a sick joke.

Fiona K. Leonard and Daniel Taylor.
Really sick.

But the truth was that we thought it was a perfect choice to highlight the plight of animals. While it’s true that nobody is trying to turn animals into humans surgically…

Hal Wiedeman, Rachel Wansker, Clair W. Kiernan, Daniel W. Kiernan

…animals still face serious challenges every day due to neglect, maltreatment, habitat loss, and various other challenges. We wanted to help, and we felt that one of H. G. Wells’s more shocking stories might assist with that.

Ron N. Butler, Brian Troxell, Hal Wiedeman, J. E. Hurlburt
And goodness knows we can use all the help we can get.

This was also a musically packed performance. In addition to the usual brilliance of Alton Leonard, we were thrilled to be graced with The Ghosts Project!

Daniel Taylor, Clair W. Kiernan, Paul Mercer, Davis Petterson
There they are, lurking in the background. Try not to frighten them.

Not to mention our very special musical guest, Julie Gribble!

Julie Gribble
With suitably dramatic lighting

This performance also featured our Beast Men Chorus, led by Beastmistress Trudy Leonard.

The Beast Chorus
Try not to let THEM frighten YOU. (click this image for a larger version)

Not to mention one of the more violent Foley performances in ARTC’s history, involving a rubber mallet and a rather unfortunate butternut squash, used to simulate the cracking of the pantherwoman’s skull.

Butternut squash
Before (front)
butternut squash
Before (back) (it saw what happened to its predecessors…)
Sonya, Mary Ward, David Benedict
The dastardly deed
butternut squash...squashed
The evidence of the crime

Be sure to come see more crimes against produce as we mangle a grapefruit in our upcoming performances of The Passion of Frankenstein!

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The Passion of Frankenstein part 2 of 5

Size: 9.36M Duration: 16:21

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As we mentioned last month, we’re bringing you The Passion of Frankenstein in five parts and will be showcasing a different performance for at least the first four. We hope. We haven’t performed two of these yet and if the recording devices fail (it’s happened) then we might have to improvise. Part five will probably include the best performance of those scenes, but who knows? We might surprise ourselves.

Paige Steadman Ross and Kelley S. Ceccato

This month we’re bringing you a section of the studio recording that we did at Audio Craft Studio back in 2002. This is what we refer to as the “original cast”. The pictures in this entry are still from World Horror Convention 2015, though, because we don’t have any pictures from any of the other performances yet. Talk to us after LibertyCon and Dragon Con. So the picture below of Thomas E. Fuller and Henry Howard at Audio Craft will have to do.

Thomas Fuller and Henry Howard admire an issue of the Centauri Express audio magazine at Audio Craft Studio
Thomas Fuller and Henry Howard admire an issue of the Centauri Express audio magazine at Audio Craft Studio

The studio recording was, literally, a monster to produce. The rich soundscape we talked about in last month’s entry is difficult to produce live, but surely in the studio it’s easier, right? Wrong.

Christina Fuller and Matt Gwaltney
What do you mean it’s not easier??

First, in the studio the standards are higher. Live audiences are very forgiving (thank goodness!), but once it’s on a recording all the little flaws stick out, so there’s a lot of precision work that has to get done. And the music, which in a live performance has a little bit of ebb and flow and adjustment to it, had to get timed out to the second to make the scenes work the way they were supposed to.

And then there was the review process.

Anthony Fuller and Bob Brown
“Our opinion of that draft of the recording might be at the bottom of this bucket. Or maybe it’s under it.”

See, this was back in the early 2000s when the Internet was only barely a thing for the general public. Cloud storage didn’t exist. Websites were hosted on Angelfire and Geocities. And CD-R technology wasn’t even remotely as reliable as it is now. We couldn’t just create an mp3, put it on a server somewhere, and have beta listeners download it and give feedback. We had to try to gather everyone together at the same time and have a listening party. On one memorable occasion we had all the relevant parties in the room…and the CD wouldn’t play. And burning another one would have involved an hour of driving and probably 30 minutes to actually burn the disk. So we all went home.

Ah, those were the good old days…

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The Passion of Frankenstein part 1 of 5

Size: 9M Duration: 15:12

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The Passion of Frankenstein is legendary amongst longtime ARTC members. First performed at Dragon Con in 1998 it has been repeated only four times in our long 31 year history. It is powerful. A freight train of an audio drama, crafted by Thomas E. Fuller to assault the audience with raw power and emotion. And it is a technical nightmare.

Bill Ritch, Christina Fuller, and Matt Gwaltney - the tech crew
Pictured: a technical nightmare

The creation scenes involve layer after layer of switches, electrical sounds, dynamos, chains, rain, thunder, lightning, and the frantic shouting of Victor and his assistant Henry, along with the mournful recitation of the Monster’s borrowed poetry. Fuller made extensive use of Percy Shelley’s poetry in the script.

Daniel Taylor and David Benedict

Over 80 individual sound cues go into this hour-long production, not to mention the live Foley sound effects. In 1998 this involved multiple CD players and tape decks, some of which were arranged to play certain sounds on a loop and could be faded in and out to prevent having to cue up those sounds again later. In 2015 we brought it to World Horror Convention, safe in the assumption that modern technology would make the production easier. While it is true that the laptop we ran the SFX from took up less space, it did not help as much as we’d hoped in terms of making the SFX easier to cue.

Tony Fuller and Bob Brown on Foley
Just some of the live Foley, performed by Tony Fuller and Bob Brown, mixed by Ashley Harp

When you have a piece this complex, you can’t just perform it once, so we will be repeating it in 2015 at LibertyCon and Dragon Con. For the next cycle of podcasts we will be bringing you each of the 5 parts from a different one of those productions, as well as the studio production.

We hope you enjoy it.