Atlanta Radio
Theatre Company

30 Years of ARTC – An Atlanta Christmas 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!

Welcome to the first installment of photos from our performances of An Atlanta Christmas. 2014’s performance will mark the 15th consecutive year of this heartwarming show about Christmas in the south. Originally conceived by Thomas E. Fuller as a series of vignettes that focused specifically on Atlanta and the history of the holidays, the ARTC writers have expanded it to include many of our serials, including Rory Rammer, Space Marshal, Unresolved Mysteries: Solved While U Wait, and Bumpers Crossroads. We’ve got Thomas’s original vision on CD for you (or through our digital distributors) and the expanded edition will be coming out of ARTC Studio in due time.

More photos of these performances will be coming in this series as we go along. You can watch the kids grow up, just as we did!

The ARTC chorus warms up before the show.

The ARTC chorus warms up before the show.

Brad Weage plays a medly of holiday favorites.

Brad Weage plays a medly of holiday favorites.

Music is a huge part of the Christmas holiday tradition, and we work hard to integrate it into our performance each year. Alton Leonard composed the theme song for the set, Old Atlanta Christmas, and provides carols whenever he can. Brad Weage also brought the classics along with him every year. Combine that with our talented vocalists and it creates that warm holiday atmosphere that’s a trademark of this performance.

Our younger performers take the microphones.

Our younger performers take the microphones.

The original version of An Atlanta Christmas was framed by a family gathered around in the living room reminiscing about holidays long past. Finding talented children to play those roles, as well as the roles of the children in the individual stories, isn’t necessarily difficult. The hard part is keeping them from growing up and out of the roles! Each year the producers have to look at the kids from the previous years and determine if it’s time to replace them with the next crop of budding audio dramatists!

Everyone dresses in their holiday finery each year.

Everyone dresses in their holiday finery each year.

More folks dressed up for the holidays.

More folks dressed up for the holidays.

Dressing up for the holidays is always a festive part of the performance. We’ve tried several different things to make the visual part of our medium more interesting for our live performances, but for Christmas it’s never really that difficult. Everyone breaks out the reds and greens and we throw a great big holiday audio party on the stage!

The Foley team enters into the holiday spirit!

The Foley team enters into the holiday spirit!

Plush animals, Santa Claus hats, coonskin caps, and jingle bells traditionally adorn the Foley table. Our usual fare of horror and science fiction often has a mix of recorded and practical Foley sound effects. After all, how do you cast a space ship from the skies of Earth to the orbit of the moon with a table full of sound effects? Sure we could do it, but it adds to the immersive depth of our performance to mix in a recorded effect from time to time. But at Christmas there aren’t as many Martians, there are fewer Elder Gods, and that thing clattering on the roof isn’t a faceless monster, and so we’re able to put the focus on what traditionally sets audio drama apart from other art forms.

Clair Kiernan presents the traditional Christmas poinsettia.

Clair Kiernan presents the traditional Christmas poinsettia.

And what holiday would be complete without the poinsettia. Not sure why the poinsettia is significant? Come see this year’s performance of An Atlanta Christmas and we’ll be glad to tell you all about it. More details coming soon!

In the meantime, be sure to check out the rest of the photos from our Stone Mountain appearance of An Atlanta Christmas on Flickr. We’ll have another set of holiday photos in a few weeks!