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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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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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The Doom of the Mummy part 3 of 4

Size: 12M, Duration: 20:52

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This month we continue with 2008’s presentation of The Doom of the Mummy by William Alan Ritch, performed live at Dragon Con.

Lori Emerson, Floor Manager extraordinaire.
Lori Emerson, Floor Manager extraordinaire.

We’d like to take a moment to highlight one of the roles in the company that isn’t often appreciated by the audience, but is crucial to a successful performance, and that is the role of Floor Manager/Stage Manager. These days that vital function is fulfilled by Patti Ward (who will get her own feature posting soon!), but in 2008 and for many years before and after it was Lori Emerson.

Lori’s moved on to bigger and better things, but she did a stellar job for us as Floor Manager.

For those of you who might not know, the Floor Manager’s job is to be the primary liaison between the actors, the director, and the technical staff. They herd cats (aka wrangle actors into position), convey messages between groups, do a little script supervision, and provide timing cues to actors.

The presence of a good Floor Manager can literally be the difference between an amazing show and a sloppy show and we’ve been very lucky to have several work with us over the years. The Doom of the Mummy has so much going on with so many different musical instruments, a Floor Manager was absolutely essential.

Thanks, Lori! You’re welcome back with us if your path ever brings you back to this neck of the woods! And thanks also to all the Floor Managers everywhere!

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The Doom of the Mummy part 2 of 4

Size: 8.5M Duration: 18:03

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This month we continue with our presentation of 2008’s performance of The Doom of the Mummy, performed live at Dragon Con.

Regina Maniquis on cello for Dragon Con 2008
Regina Maniquis on cello for Dragon Con 2008

The music for this performance was particularly special. We had the incomparable Brad Weage, and we also added in the talents of Alton Leonard, who played the lyre and the ugab. But the star of this musical show was Regina Maniquis on the cello.

Bill Ritch wrote an ambitious script that called for all kinds of authentic Egyptian music with authentic Egyptian instruments, but integral to the plot was this all-important cello.

We hope you enjoy it!

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The Doom of the Mummy part 1 of 4

Size: 7.3M Duration: 15:39

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Bill Kronick as Dr Creighton AlastairIn 2008 we performed The Doom of the Mummy at Dragon Con. The performance was dedicated to Thomas E. Fuller, who had already provided us with retellings of the classic monster stories The Passion of Frankenstein and The Brides of Dracula (not to mention an adaptation of The Invisible Man). Although he’d never really talked about it, it seemed natural to assume that he would follow those up one day with more audio dramas in the vein of the Universal Monsters by also retelling the time-honored tales of the wolfman, the mummy, and several others in that same vein.

Unfortunately, Thomas passed away in 2002 and we were never able to see what his vision for these classic monsters might have been. We are forced to fill the void ourselves, and have begun to do so with The Doom of the Mummy by William Alan Ritch and The Wood-Bound Werewolf by Kelley S. Ceccato.

Now, here in 2014, we dedicate this performance again, this time to Bill Kronick, himself recently passed away. Bill was a marvelous voice talent, a skilled improviser, and a great friend to all who knew him. We are proud to present his work here as Dr. Creighton Alastair.