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30 Years of ARTC: Pirate Day 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.

This week we bring you our appearance at Barnes and Noble Perimeter for Talk Like a Pirate Day in 2005. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

Daniel and Clair Kiernan

Daniel and Clair Kiernan talking like pirates.

After our extremely popular appearance in 2004 for Talk Like A Pirate Day, we decided to head back to the high seas again the next year with another installment of Brad Strickland’s Pirate Hunter series!

ARTC performs at Barnes and Noble Perimeter for Talk Like a Pirate Day

Piratey shenanigans

These shows really give us an opportunity to connect with our younger audiences. If you were at one of these shows (now 9 years ago, gulp!) and are still with us, let us know!

ARTC in a rare costumed appearance

Pirate costumes of varying quality

It also gives our costumers an opportunity to show off their skills and lets us point out the non-costumers in the group.

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30 Years of ARTC: Dragon Con 2005 part 2

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!

Continuing our Dragon Con theme, we now present The Weapons Shop by A. E. van Vogt. This was a great year for ARTC as we got to perform alongside Battlestar Galactica star Richard Hatch and we also announced a new imprint that will hopefully see its first title released next year, The Sound of Liberty!

Richard Hatch with Brad Strickland

Richard Hatch with Brad Strickland

In 2005 ARTC created the Sound of Liberty project, a unique initiative to identify and adapt works of classic science fiction that put a focus on freedom and liberty. In the intervening time we’ve been busy finding suitable titles and negotiating with the authors. We hope to have the first title on this exciting new category for sale by next year, but the first title to be performed was The Weapons Shop by A. E. van Vogt.

Lydia van Vogt

Lydia van Vogt

We were pleased to have been granted the rights for this performance by his widow, Lydia van Vogt.

Chuck Hammill and Brad Linaweaver introduce

Chuck Hammill and Brad Linaweaver introduce The Weapon Shops

We’re really looking forward to diving into some of these amazing stories!

Cast photo from

Cast photo from The Weapon Shops

A great performance with a stellar cast! This one’s headed for ARTC Studio very soon!

Gerald W. Page accepts the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award

Gerald W. Page accepts the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award

We also got to honor one of our longtime writers, Gerald W. Page. You can hear his work in our catalog on The Assassins and The Happy Man! Thanks for all the great stories, Gerry!

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Dash Cardigan part 1 of 4

Size: 11.5M, Duration: 19:33

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: Dragon Con 2005 part 1

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 still on a Dragon Con high (or still getting over con crud, your choice), so this week we bring you the 2005 edition! Hey, they’re our biggest audiences of the year, I think we can be forgiven for spending some extra time on these great fans!

If there’s one thing we know for sure at ARTC it’s that we’re nothing without our writers, and we’ve been very lucky to have worked with some of the best. Writing audio drama isn’t done much anymore, and finding someone who can write it well is uncommon. We have an extensive workshopping process to make sure that our scripts are their very best before we present them to our listening audience.

At this Dragon Con, we featured several of our newer writers, who have since gone on to write some really incredible stuff!

Jonathan Strickland

Jonathan Strickland

Jonathan Strickland has written a lot, but for this performance we featured an episode from his Mildly Exciting Tales of Astonishment (META) series.

Sketch MacQuinor

Sketch MacQuinor

Sketch MacQuinor seems to write all the time, although sometimes he only writes it in his head. For this performance we showcased the Brotherhood of Damn Sassy Mutants (work out that initialism on your own, kids), but he’s also created The Game is Afoot!, Blue Hannukchristmas Carol, and lots of other stuff too numerous to mention here.

We also performed Rory Rammer, Space Marshal and The Adventure of Brave Ragnar, but somehow managed not to get a picture of Ron N. Butler or Kelley S. Ceccato this year.

Brad Strickland

Brad Strickland disapproves of this egregious oversight.

And after the writing is done, it’s time for the rest of the team to swing into action!

The cast warms up for the performance.

First, warmups.

Vocal warmups are vital to a good performance. Here you can see the ‘huddle’ style.

Brad Weage and Joel Abbott go over the musical score before the show.

Music is important, too.

Music and tech work closely together to ensure everything is plugged in and functional.

Foley artists creating live sound effects.

Foley gets into the mix.

It’s not a radio show without Foley!

David Benedict and Jack Mayfield perform.

And then it’s showtime!

We still aren’t sure what Jack Mayfield is looking at in this picture.

We’ll be back next week with part 2 of Dragon Con 2005!

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Noir in the Naked City – Episode Eight: Revolution

Naked City Atlanta logoNaked City is a monthly live literary event held at the Goat Farm in Atlanta. Each month, the hosts reveal the theme for the next month and people sign up for the privelege of getting five minutes to speak, sing, or do whatever on the subject of the theme. Go over your five minutes? Then you must spin the Wheel of Consequences!

Naked City’s website
Naked City’s Facebook page

Starting in February, I began a writing challenge for myself: A crowd-influenced serial called Noir in the Naked City where, at the end of each episode, the protagonist would be faced with a choice. The audience would make the decision for the character, and then the next episode would be written with that choice in mind AND on the next month’s theme.


Episode Eight: Revolution

“You’re an idiot,” Abigail said. It was tough to argue with her. We both sat tied up in chairs in a large room. Heavy wooden beams held the high ceiling up. Some kind of old warehouse, I supposed. In the room with us were the Nazi dame, a couple of her goons, an old man with a cat in his lap, and a third man, also tied up, who looked familiar even though I had no idea who he was.

“Now, now,” the Nazi dame said condescendingly. “No need for that kind of talk. Our good detective is going to help us usher in a new age of civility and prosperity.”

“Which none of the existing people are going to get to enjoy,” Abigail said.

“Details, details. It’s all for the greater good! You have to think on a species-level plane, my dear, and don’t let yourself get bogged down with simple individuality.”

That was the cat talking. Which was unexpected. The dame had identified the cat as her employer and the old man as the cat’s caretaker, but she hadn’t mentioned that it could talk. This was getting weirder by the minute, and coming from me that was an extremely bold statement.

“Species-level plane?” Abigail shot back.

“Gag her,” the cat said, idly bathing its tail. “She bores me.”

“You’re a cat,” the Nazi dame said. “Everything bores you.”

The cat glared at her briefly, then resumed its bath.

“Now,” the Nazi dame continued as the goons put tape over Abigail’s mouth, “to business. As you can see, detective, I am no liar. I give you your brother.”

“That’s not my brother,” I replied, matter of factly. I was still trying to figure out that damn cat. I was also trying to figure out how these idiots could be this stupid. They knew who I was and they still tied me to a chair?

“Of course it is,” the dame said smugly. “There are a few minor variations, but he’s your brother. Genetically.”

“Oh. How long did it take you to grow him?” I asked.

“We’ve perfected a new technique,” she said in answer. “It only took a few weeks to get him to this size. Yours may take a little longer, for obvious reasons.”

So this was the plan. This was how they were going to create their master race. Their plan was to clone me, and my special situation was going to give the new group some distinct advantages. The next step was obvious. Exterminate the inferior species.

I locked eyes with the thing they were trying to pass off as my brother and saw the reason he was tied up. He wasn’t a prisoner. The ropes were there for everyone else’s protection. I saw rage, ferocity, delusion, and a demented sensibility that showed no remorse. But worst of all was the fact that he wasn’t struggling. He was showing patience. And when the time was right, he might turn out to be a master race all by himself.

“What’s up with him?” I asked. “Your special technique have a few side effects?”

“Oh, no,” she gloated. “Our technique is flawless.”

I reflected on that statement. Flawless implied that they achieved their goal. It made me wonder if I had the right idea on who the murderer was who’d ripped that guy’s throat out. It also made me wonder if I’d just glimpsed how the inferior species was going to be exterminated. And lastly, I wondered if these folks had any idea how they were going to remain in charge of this weapon.

“So what next?”

A smile graced the face of my captor. It was simultaneously stereotypically beautiful and horribly frightening at the same time.

“Now, detective, we pick up where we left off before you were so ungraciously removed from our presence.”

That was enough for me. Silently thanking what few lucky stars I had left I twisted my wrists and my extra flexibility allowed me to slip right out of them. I quickly pushed my sleeve up on my right arm exposing a serrated barb that grew out of my forearm and used it to slash at the ropes around my feet. By that point the goons were heading my way. I dropped to the ground and watched them clumsily collide right where I’d been a moment ago.

I reached out and cut the ropes from Abigail’s feet and rolled so I could reach her hands. Her nails were painted a fiery red and her fingers, while looking delicate, also showed a great deal of strength. I stared at them for a moment, fascinated, but quickly came to my senses as I heard the cat howling in anger.

“Get outta here, Abigail,” I said. She didn’t reply, but instead bolted from the room, leaving the door open for me. Polite of her. I looked up and saw that they had untied my brother’s clone and that he was now standing.

Powerful. Muscular. And grinning with a mouthful of sharp, jagged teeth. I gritted my own teeth and used the chair to heave myself upright, my right arm now held out in front of me. The goons were back on their feet and there was a clear path to the door, but I wasn’t sure I could outrun all of them.

“Detective,” the cat said calmly. “You haven’t even heard my offer.”

“He doesn’t need to hear it,” another voice said. I turned and saw my brother, my real brother, standing there with his own set of jagged teeth bared. “Now we’re going to go,” he said, “and you’re not going to follow us.”

“It’s a tasty offer, detective,” the cat said calmly. It was sitting up now, its bath over, and no more leisure time. Cats make me nervous for obvious reasons.

“How many times do they have to lie to you, Meyeni?” my brother asked.

“Don’t call me that,” I spat back. I remembered now why I had quit talking to him.

“Their offer will be to take what they need and then kill you. Abigail needs you. Hear it later when they aren’t surrounding the building. We need to go now.”

Choice: Retreat to safety or stay and hear the cat’s offer?
Audience opts to retreat to safety.

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30 Years of ARTC: Dragon Con 2004 part 2

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!

Last week we talked about having Harlan Ellison perform The Shadow Over Innsmouth with us, and that was definitely exciting, but it was only the beginning of the festivities. We also had on the schedule The Menace From Earth by Robert A. Heinlein with a special guest!

Jewel Staite appears in 'The Menace From Earth'

Jewel Staite! …with Tamara Morton.

For those of you who don’t know (and we’d be interested to know how many of our fans don’t know this), Jewel Staite is probably best known as Kaylee from the short-lived series FireflyWe were thrilled to have her be a part of this show.

Jewel Staite, Jack Mayfield, and Sarah Taylor.

Jewel Staite, Jack Mayfield, and Sarah Taylor.

Jewel was a delight to work with. Many of our guest stars are given the opportunity to be in an episode of Rory Rammer or some similarly comedic or light-hearted piece. The Menace From Earth isn’t super-serious, but it does require an emotional range that we don’t often subject our guests to, and Jewel turned in a spectacular performance on very little rehearsal.

Cast photo from 'The Menace From Earth'

Cast photo from The Menace From Earth

We’d love to have the opportunity to work with her again! So, Jewel, if you’re reading this and wondering when you can get back in for some audio drama fun, just give us a call! 🙂

But that’s not all!

Alton Leonard and Brad Weage accept the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award

Alton Leonard and Brad Weage accept the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award

We were also priveleged to be able to honor our longtime musicians Alton Leonard and Brad Weage with the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award.

Music done right augments an audio drama in ways that are difficult to describe. It creates a mood, but doesn’t distract. Both of these two musicians have mastered the art and demonstrated tremendous flexibility. Whether we need an atmospheric bed under a tense scene or just a bit of jaunty music to transition from one scene to the next, Alton and Brad can provide. Even after his untimely passing, Brad’s music lives on through recordings, and we are the richer for it. And Alton is still chugging away, most recently providing amazing scores for our Direct to Digital releases The Mark of the Beast and Dr. Geoffry Stanhope, Investigator of Occult Phenomena: The Dweller in the Depths.

All in all, a landmark year for ARTC!

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ARTC on AM 1690

At Dragon Con 2014, ARTC was pleased to be able to announce that on October 5, 2014, we will begin a weekly half-hour series on AM 1690, WMLB, The Voice of the Arts!AM 1690 weblogo

This series will air Sundays at 9:30pm and will be available to local listeners as well as streaming on the web through the station. More information will be coming soon, but we’re super excited about our return to the airwaves.

Initially we’ll be presenting a mix of live and studio recordings edited for radio, but we hope to shortly also be able to offer serialized content with Dash Cardigan and Nairobi Jack Rackham!

AM 1690 banner held up in the audience for the Sunday night show.

Giuli Ward and Alison Bear hold the banner up amongst our adoring fans!

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