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We apologize for the lateness of the podcast this month. Dragon Con ate our brain.
Well, this is it. The final chapter in this 5-part saga of The Passion of Frankenstein. It’s been quite a summer with an unprecedented three performances of this gothic masterpiece.
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to hear this piece from the different casts. We looked for some of the older performances, but they appear to have been misplaced. If we find them, maybe we’ll run them later.
In the previous installments of this piece, the music was done by Brad Weage. In this final installment we were pleased to have live music from The Ghosts Project.
We also presented the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award to William Alan Ritch and David Benedict!
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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.
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You know who tends to get all the glory in theatrical productions? Actors. You know who really does all the work? Technicians.
Especially in audio drama, all actors have to do is show up and read their lines. We even get our scripts on stage!
Sure, acting requires diction and timing and the ability to convince an audience that you are a person other than the one you really are, but without the music and without the sound effects the giant squid just ain’t gonna attack The Nautilus.
Plus, they’re the only ones who know which wires to plug into which other wires. Also, amplifiers are heavy. And ARTC brings a lot of stuff with us to our performances because you never know what you’re gonna need.
So the next time you’re at an ARTC performance, be sure to thank the technicians! (Also the floor manager, not pictured). It’s their show, too!
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Sometimes in the podcast we give credit to the lighting designer. This may seem strange to listeners who have never seen us perform live because it’s not like we’re showing a video of the performance. Why would we give a credit to the lighting designer when you can’t see their work?
Because at a live performance, the lighting can enhance even an audio experience in ways that are difficult to describe. In Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea the characters are often underwater, outside of the Nautilus. During those times they can’t easily speak to each other, which makes dialogue challenging.
When we adapt H. P. Lovecraft, there often isn’t any dialogue at all, and so we just make some up. But in this case the passages where the characters are underwater are filled with lush descriptions of undersea life and landscapes that many of us will never see. We couldn’t just leave them out completely, nor could we make up dialogue that the other characters could never hear.
So we decided to create a music bed and have the characters each share their own perspective on what they were seeing through a triptych of interwoven monologues. In those instances the lighting helped the live audience adjust better to the transition.
That lighting design is nearly always done by our host at the Academy Theatre, Robert Drake. So the next time you come out to see ARTC perform live anywhere where we have control over the lights (we usually don’t at our convention performances), ask if Robert’s around! And thank him for all his work!
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When writing the script for Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, David Benedict and Brad Strickland had two major problems to overcome. The first was compressing a novel-length work of genius by Jules Verne into an hour time slot. That was solved through vicious editing.
The second problem? There are no women in Verne’s tale of the sea and ARTC has been blessed with a number of extremely talented actresses. It would have been a crime to leave them out entirely. So, artistic liberty was applied. First, it was decided that Conseil, Professor Arronax’s faithful companion, would be a woman. Second, a new female member of the crew would be introduced.
Captain Nemo’s crew is not mentioned heavily by name in the original work. They are clearly vital to Nemo’s voyage under the sea, and he values them greatly. No, he reveres them. But precious few individuals are named. This gave Strickland and Benedict an opportunity to introduce audiences to one, who just happened to be a woman, and also to allow the audience an opportunity to track the progress of the Nautilus as Navigator Aznar announces the submarine’s position at the beginning of many scenes.
One thing that was very important, however, was that Aznar not be relegated to the “love interest” of the play. The only love interest that is present in the script, as well as the original novel, is Nemo’s love of the sea – of its beauty and what it can provide if it is respected.
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In 2013 ARTC took our adaptation of Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates for its debut, and thusfar only, performance.
As part of the performance, we commissioned a cake from our good friend Heather Schroeder with Sweets to the Sweet (edit: we just got word that Sweets to the Sweet is taking a bit of a hiatus. Sad face! Hopefully they’ll be back baking soon!). Check out how awesome this is!
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This month we bring you episode one of Sketch MacQuinor’s versatile seriesThe Game is Afoot!: The Phantom Chippendale. It was performed live at the Academy Theatre’s STEAM Fest, April 9, 2011. Versatile because it started as a puppet show, changed cast, then morphed into an audio drama, and may transform back at a moment’s notice. Or less! You can also get a visual on this performance at our YouTube site so you can see what everybody is laughing about 10 or 11 minutes into the piece. Part 1Part 2