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30 Years of ARTC: Dragon Con 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 Dragon Con 2007. Check out all the pictures on our Flickr album.

In 2007 we had only one performance at Dragon Con for a change, and so we knew we had to bring a new episode of Rory Rammer. That episode was Madhouse in the Sky.

Clair W. Kiernan

We’re all mad here.

But more than that, we knew we needed to bring something we knew our audience would enjoy. So we brought The Challenges of Brave Ragnar.

Phil Carter

Just look at all that majesty.

As with many ARTC serials, we have two versions of Brave Ragnar. The version we performed in 2007 was the “short” 1-hour version, but we’ll be bringing it into ARTC Studio in its full 13 episode glory very soon!

Jonathan Strickland, Alton Leonard, and Phil Carter.

Glorious

Want to know more about Brave Ragnar and other serials from ARTC? Check this page out!

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30 Years of ARTC – Harry Potter at Barnes and Noble 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!

As anybody who has seen us perform live knows, we don’t often go in for costumes. We also pride ourselves on performing original material. But who could resist the opportunity to come celebrate the release of the newest Harry Potter book?? In 2003 Barnes and Noble Perimeter invited us to come bring Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix to the citizens of Atlanta. We were competing against parties citywide, but we like to think we represented ourselves quite well against the other (somewhat mundane) readings and magicians that were peppering the landscape at that time.

ARTC in costume!

ARTC in costume!

This was actually a lot more work than you might imagine. First, we had to find a way to make it more like our style of audio drama, but we couldn’t do a straight up adaptation. It’s not our work, so we didn’t feel free to dramatize it the way we would normally. What we eventually settled on was a melding of an audiobook and an audio drama, where a narrator would carry most of the reading and characters would come in as appropriate to speak their dialogue. We did take the step of eliminating many of the “he said/she said” narrations to make it flow a little better.

Casting a spell on the audience.

Casting a spell on the audience.

 

Another big challenge was picking which chapters we wanted to read. Obviously we couldn’t read all of the previous four books, so we picked and chose based on our favorites and also on some scenes that the movies had left out.

Foley for the performance.

Foley for the performance.

Of course we also had live Foley sound effects. It was really gratifying to see the Foley artists get so much attention at this event. Of course we also had a few unwanted sound effects from the coffee bar behind us.

Our attentive audience.

Our attentive audience.

It was definitely an unusual venue, but also festive! We ran contests, did giveaways, and there was trivia. Everybody had an amazingly good time. We could see some adults in the crowd who had some familiarity with our craft having a grand time, plus the kids who had never seen anything like this before were enraptured. Of course some of it was the content, but many of them were enjoying experiencing it in a whole new way.

Jack Mayfield's Harry looks nervous.

Jack Mayfield’s Harry looks nervous.

And at midnight we unveiled the greatest surprise of all. When the boxes were cracked open, we pulled out our own copies and began reading from the first chapter of the new book as the audience broke ranks and made for the checkout counters. I think a lot of them appreciated being able to get a head start on their reading by having us perform it for them while they were waiting in line. Especially since Order of the Phoenix got off to such a dramatic start with a chapter entitled “Dudley Demented”.

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30 Years of ARTC – The Dancer in the Dark, Dragon Con 2002

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 2002 we presented Thomas E. Fuller’s The Dancer in the Dark. We had no way of knowing it, but this would be Thomas’s final performance with ARTC before his untimely passing in November. We led off the show with the presentation of the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award, with Thomas bestowing it upon Joyce Leigh.

Thomas E. Fuller presents Joyce Leigh with the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thomas E. Fuller presents Joyce Leigh with the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.

But Thomas was in for a bit of a surprise himself, as David Benedict arose to address the microphone to present a second award that evening. One of the hazards of organizing an award is that sometimes you don’t get it yourself. In this case, we just couldn’t let that happen to Thomas and so the ARTC Board of Directors had voted in secret to present Thomas with the award as well.

Thomas E. Fuller accepts the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Thomas E. Fuller accepts the ARTC Lifetime Achievement Award.

Following the award presentation, we dove into The Dancer in the Dark.

Brad Strickland and Alton Leonard in The Dancer in the Dark

Brad Strickland and Alton Leonard in The Dancer in the Dark

The Dancer in the Dark was originally written in five half-hour segments. But those of you familiar with our convention shows know that we’re usually restricted to an hour. So Thomas painstakingly trimmed two and a half hours down to one. It is a testament to Thomas’s skill as a writer that he was able to do so and tell the entire story. The narrative details an archaeological dig and their discovery of the Malatowa Mounds. It starts off with a standard story of the struggle between academic exploration and the traditional beliefs of a small town’s residents, but quickly takes a decidedly Lovecraftian turn as mutilated animals start appearing mysteriously. And then the situation becomes much more serious as the Dancer’s last acolyte tries to raise an ancient evil from the mounds themselves.

Live Foley sound effects demonstrated

Foley artists and actors work together as a seamless whole

In the picture above you can see the Foley artists watching the actors closely for their cues. The creation of live sound effects is one of the most interesting parts of our live performances and is always enjoyed by our audiences.

Our technical team and our audience. Two critical componants of a successful show

Our technical team and our audience. Two critical componants of a successful show

And here you see one of the things that makes our Dragon Con shows so much fun: our appreciative audience! Our following at Dragon Con is quite loyal and we’re always glad to hear from folks, some of whom claim that they come to the convention every year just to see us!

Thomas Fuller and Doug Kaye

Thomas Fuller and Doug Kaye

The Dancer in the Dark is one of our favorite pieces and in 2013 we were finally able to release the full five parts on CD and digital download. But the production was incomplete without Thomas, who normally played Sheriff John Bell Hood Conklin. We miss you, Thomas.

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Blues for Johnny Raven – 2009 Edition

Size: 18.25M Duration: 39:00

This month we bring you Blues for Johnny Raven.  Longtime listeners to the podcast will remember that this was the fifth podcast we ever published, and that we re-ran it later.  But this is the 2009 edition, with Daniel W. Kiernan as Johnny Raven, Fiona K. Leonard as Gloria Kinsolving, and Mary Buchanan on live saxophone!  This piece clearly illustrates the evolution of ARTC as a live performance audio drama company and the power of audio as a storytelling medium.

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Nothing-At-All Part 2 of 2

Size: 10M Duration 21:47

This month we bring you Nothing-at-All, written for the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company by Kelley S. Ceccato, performed live at the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates, GA on October 25 and 26, 2008.

As promised, this month we bring you a second podcast with part two of Nothing-at-All by Kelley S. Ceccato.

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Nothing-At-All Part 1 of 2

Size: 10M, Duration: 21:28

This month we bring you Nothing-at-All, written for the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company by Kelley S. Ceccato, performed live at the Academy Theatre in Avondale Estates, GA on October 25 and 26, 2008.

Due to length, this podcast will be in two parts.  But, in the spirit of the upcoming holiday season, we’re giving you the gift of TWO podcasts this month.  Tune in here this time next week for the concluding part of Nothing-at-All.

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Dr. Geoffry Stanhope, Investigator of Occult Phenomena: The Dweller in the Depths part 2 of 2

Duration: 17:32 Size: 8.25M

St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland (but not on a plane…unless you mean a 2-dimensional surface…nevermind).  But did he miss one?  Just what is the Loch Ness Monster?  Assuming it even exists.

Last week we brought you part one of The Dweller in the Depths, by Thomas E. Fuller, recorded live at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA.  This week we bring you part two of the story, but this performance was recorded at Stone Mountain Park in 2005.

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Dr. Geoffry Stanhope, Investigator of Occult Phenomena: The Dweller in the Depths part 1 of 2

Duration: 16:43 Size: 8M

Ah, St. Patrick’s Day.  Leprechauns, shamrocks, pots o’ gold, and green things everywhere.  Well, everywhere except here.  We’ve just got lots of blarney because this week our podcast features a story set in that fabled land of…Scotland.

This week: Part one of The Dweller in the Depths, by Thomas E. Fuller.  This episode was recorded live at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, GA back in 1997.  Next week we’ll bring you part two of the story, but the performers will be a lot different because it will have been recorded at Stone Mountain Park in 2005.  We hope you’ll hear how far we’ve come in those 8 years.

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