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30 Years of ARTC – Guards! Guards!, Dragon Con 2001

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!

In 2001 we had the great honor and privilege of being granted permission to adapt and perform Terry Pratchett‘s novel Guards! Guards!. Many ARTC members are great fans of Mr. Pratchett and being allowed to do this was a tremendous experience for us. The first, and most challenging task for us was to write the adaptation. Our convention appearances typically limit us to a one-hour time slot. Condensing a novel-length work down to an hour of audio was probably one of the most painful things we’ve ever done, especially with a work of Terry’s brilliance.

John Rhys-Davies as Lupine Wonse.

John Rhys-Davies as Lupine Wonse.

As if this weren’t enough, though, we also snagged John Rhys-Davies to play the role of Lupine Wonse! Mr. Rhys-Davies was extremely gracious and a pleasure to work with. His voice added an extra bit of gravitas to our performance. With the incomparable Thomas E. Fuller as Death, Doug Kaye as Samuel Vimes, Brad Strickland as Sergeant Colon, Jonathan Strickland as Nobby Nobbs, Phil Carter as Carrot Ironfoundersson, and Fiona K. Leonard as Sybil Ramkin, this cast was one of the best we’ve ever assembled.

Phil Carter, Jonathan Strickland, and Brad Strickland portray the City Watch.

Phil Carter, Jonathan Strickland, and Brad Strickland portray the City Watch.

The City Watch is simultaneously the comic relief and the crux of the story. We had a wonderful time listening to Phil, Jonathan, and Brad play the roles.

Thomas E. Fuller as Death and John Rhys-Davies as Lupine Wonse.

Thomas E. Fuller as Death and John Rhys-Davies as Lupine Wonse.

This was a dream scene with Death and Lupine Wonse – John Rhys-Davies and Thomas E. Fuller sharing a stage meant lots of deep, resonant voices and a distinct lack of scenery as the two of them chewed it all up!

The Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night. As portrayed by Dena Friedman Williams and Bill Jackson.

The Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night. As portrayed by Dena Friedman Williams and Bill Jackson.

The antithesis to the city’s Night Watch – The Elucidated Brethren of the Ebon Night, who are attempting to summon a dragon.

Fiona K. Leonard as Sybil Ramkin – a wide scope of expression!

The cast of Guards! Guards!

The cast of Guards! Guards!

The multi-talented cast of Guards! Guards!

Display for the Orangutan Foundation

Display for the Orangutan Foundation

Mr. Pratchett granted us this permission in exchange for a contribution to the Orangutan Foundation! We actually chose to “adopt” an orangutan for our donation. Here you can see our sales table’s display. And look! Cassette tapes!

We were also granted very limited distribution privileges! You can hear this classic performance (that was recorded in the Centennial Ballroom at the Hyatt Regency, so forgive us a few sound quality issues) on YouTube (in five parts) and also on our podcast (in three parts (part 1, part 2, part 3)!