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30 Years of ARTC: An Atlanta Christmas 2008

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 the Academy Theatre for An Atlanta Christmas 2008. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

What else can we say about Christmas? We just finished up our 2014 edition of An Atlanta Christmas, its 15th consecutive year of production, and it’s always a fun time. It’s kind of interesting how we crave newness and novelty all year long, but around the holidays we get all nostalgic and don’t mind listening to the same songs (or audio dramas!) that we’ve heard a dozen times before.

Audience for 'An Atlanta Christmas' 2008
Case in point.

But it’s such a fun time! The reds! The greens! The getting to see people you haven’t seen in forever! The trying to cram in as much activity as possible while also shopping for people you suddenly realize you don’t know well enough and trying to live your normal life as well!

Jeff Montgomery, Laurice White, and Kelley S. Ceccato.
There’s a lot to do, is what we’re saying.

Plus, it’s different every year, while also staying the same. We shuffle the scripts around, we get new kids when the old ones get too big (everything gets exchanged just after Christmas, even actors).

Jonathan Strickland, Rachel Pendergrass, and Trudy Leonard.
Especially actors.

So we’ve put the wraps on Christmas for another year, but we’ll be back next year. And there’s still more Christmas pictures to post (we’re only up to 2008, after all). So, who knows? Maybe you’ll see Christmas in July.

Kris Kringle, Jayne Lockhart, Laurice White, and the Children's Ensemble.
But hopefully not wearing these outfits, unless you’re in the Southern hemisphere.

The 2008 production will live on in our hearts. We welcomed new performers. We made new memories. We refreshed ourselves. We did it again in 2009 all the way through 2014. And we’ll do it again in 2015.

The cast of
The cast of “An Atlanta Christmas 2008”
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Dash Cardigan part 4 of 4

Size: 9.3M Duration: 16:24

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We now bring you the concluding chapter of the short version of Dash Cardigan!

It’s been a pleasure bringing you another year of free audio drama! Don’t forget us when it comes time for gift-giving and those tax-deductible charitable donations. You do know we’re a 501(c))(3), right? Lots of options on our donate page, so pick the method and the budget that’s right for YOU.

Thanks for listening! We’ll see you all again in 2015!

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30 Years of ARTC: An Atlanta Christmas 2007

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 Stage Door Players for An Atlanta Christmas 2007. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

An Atlanta Christmas is in its 15th year of production. The show is unique in that it tends to be easy to perform, but difficult to produce. It’s easy because the plays are like the yearly carols – tried and true, memorable, and familiar. It’s difficult to produce because the first step is deciding what to perform each year out of over three hours of available material and the second step is finding children to play the younger roles.

The cast of 'The Santa Claus Blues'
Pictured: children

We’ve had tons of amazingly talented young people in our performances over the years, but they all have one significant and unavoidable flaw: they eventually grow up and are no longer suitable for the roles.

Trudy Leonard and Daniel Taylor in An Atlanta Christmas
Pictured: grown-ups

The show also sneaks up on you. We have a notice posted in our rehearsal area: dates on calendar may be closer than they appear.

Clair W. Kiernan, Jeff Montgomery, and Dawn Marie
The cast of ‘Civil War Triptych’ with Producer David Benedict moving as fast as Christmas in the background.

But for all the trials and tribulations, we wouldn’t dream of missing this show. It’s magical. It’s heartwarming. It’s a chance to get away from it all and come back home for the holidays as you remember them.

David Benedict and J. E. Hurlburt flag down an audience.
Pictured: heartwarming

It’s a time for the whole ARTC family to come together each year, and that includes you! Be sure to see the 2014 edition of An Atlanta Christmas on December 13 and 14 at the Academy Theatre in Stockbridge!

The cast of 'An Atlanta Christmas' 2007
The cast of ‘An Atlanta Christmas’ 2007
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Dash Cardigan part 3 of 4

Size: 11M Duration: 19:19

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In the “better late than never” category, this month we present Dash Cardigan part 3 of 4, by Thomas E. Fuller.

We’d like to offer some standard advice to our fine listeners – take care of yourselves! Being sick is no picnic, and it’s what caused this episode to be delayed a bit. So take it from the fine folks at ARTC: get plenty of rest, wash your hands frequently, take your vitamins, and stay healthy!

If you’re enjoying the podcast, why not head on over to Patreon.com/artc. and lend us your support? You can also see other ways of ensuring the podcast keeps coming with a few other donation options. Thanks!

Patreon logo

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Dash Cardigan part 1 of 4

Size: 11.5M, Duration: 19:33

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Welcome again to the podcast! This month we bring you…

Dash Cardigan title cardNow…here’s where things are going to get confusing. Dash Cardigan was originally written as a 13-part serial. So why is this just part 1 of 4? Because what you’ll hear on the podcast is the hour-long version.

We get some of our best audiences at conventions. LibertyCon, Dragon Con, 221B Con, and a great many others have all welcomed us. A convention appearance, however, has to work within the convention’s schedule, and panels are almost always an hour long. So that’s how long our shows have evolved to be over time.

We’ll be breaking out of that a little as we continue our work in the studio (the full 13-part series of Dash Cardigan as well as Nairobi Jack Rackham: The Lost Gold of the Atlantimengani are both on the slate and we already have the 5-part The Dancer in the Dark), but you can always count on us having shorter versions of longer stories at conventions!

 

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30 Years of ARTC: An Atlanta Christmas 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. You can see all of the photos in their full size on our Flickr album!

We’re back with another round of pictures from An Atlanta Christmas!

The holidays are a serious time. A time for reflection. A time for self-assessment.

Colin Butler looks serious at the microphone.
Colin Butler. Serious.

It’s a time for somber contemplation of…aw, who are we kidding? The holidays are a ton of fun! In this installment, we feature some of the goofier moments in An Atlanta Christmas.

Daniel W. Kiernan in a Santa hat with ears.
Daniel W. Kiernan. Reflective.

The play being a series of short subjects has the advantage of being able to swing through a wide range of emotions. There are very serious pieces, such as O Tannenbaum and Civil War Triptych, but the overall feel tends to convey the lightheartedness of the season. It’s a time of hope.

Tamara Morton.
Tamara Morton. Hopeful.

A time of giving.

Clair W. Kiernan rolls her eyes as Daniel W. Kiernan wears a blinking red nose.
Clair W. Kiernan wanting someone to give her a break.

A time  of anticipation.

Sketch MacQuinor.
Sketch MacQuinor anticipates…something.

Sorry for the blurriness on that last picture. We just couldn’t resist that expression.

It’s also a time for family and gatherings.

The ARTC Chorus gathers around the microphones.
A gathering. Or a police lineup. Your choice.

And through it all we somehow manage to have a good time. Every year for the last 15 years! Be sure to come see us this December! We’d love to have you be a part of our family. Details coming soon.

Clair W. Kiernan at a microphone that's too tall for her.
Just out of reach…
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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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30 Years of ARTC: Dragon Con 2003

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!

We don’t often get a chance to show off our rehearsal process. Unless of course you’re interested in joining us, in which case feel free to come on by.

ARTC rehearsing for Dragon Con 2003
ARTC rehearsing for Dragon Con 2003

Here you see the state-of-the-art Ritch/Wilbanks Arts Center, where we do the majority of our rehearsals. In 2003 we performed The Island of Dr. Moreau and Can You Hear Me? at Dragon Con, so we had to kind of pack in the actors. Moreau in particular requires a big cast because of the chorus of beast men.

Matt Ceccato and Trudy Leonard lead the beast men chorus.
Matt Ceccato and Trudy Leonard lead the beast men chorus.

The chorus requires a rhythm and a leader, which in this production were provided by Matt Ceccato and Trudy Leonard. Wrangling beast men is hard work!

Rehearsals are usually a good time.
Rehearsals are usually a good time.

It’s serious work getting ready for a major convention. But it’s also a ton of fun. We couldn’t have done it for the past 30 years if it weren’t!

Getting ready for showtime!
Getting ready for showtime!

And before you know it, the day is upon you and you’re getting ready for the show! Our setup looks a lot different now, but there’s still just as many wires. If anybody knows how to make copper less heavy, please let us know!

The ARTC sales table in 2003.
The ARTC sales table in 2003.

The unsung heroes of the convention, the ARTC sales team. Please note the number of cassettes on that table. Oh, how far we’ve come! And at this year’s convention, not only will we have some new CDs, but we’ll also have some digital-only releases that you can buy on a flash drive!

James Leary performing with ARTC.
James Leary performing with ARTC.

We also welcomed special guest James Leary to the show! At the time, he was best known as Clem on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Doug Kaye accepts the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.
Doug Kaye accepts the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.

And we awarded the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award to Doug Kaye!

It was a great year! Be sure to check out the rest of the photos on Flickr!