Can you believe the first ARTC podcast was back in 2006? We can’t, and we published it!
At the end of 2015, we featured three interviews with ARTC writers and performers. We’ll be having more of that in 2016, but for now let’s get back to the audio drama with The Music of Erich Zann by H. P. Lovecraft, adapated for audio by Jonathan Horton and David Benedict, featuring music by The Ghosts Project, Paul Mercer and Davis Petterson with Alton Leonard.
This was part of our Lovecraft’s Nightmares show back in 2012 at the Academy Theatre.
Davis is a dark and shadowy presence.
Lovecraft’s Nightmares was a monthlong celebration of the master of cosmic horror. His writing focuses on the strange, the macabre, and the insane. Speaking of insane, we performed a different Lovecraft adaptation each week in October of 2012, and many of the cast and crew went insane and everyone called the producer insane. But it was a ton of fun and we got a lot of great performances out of that month!
Pictured: The Producer. Insane.
You can hear more of the performances from Lovecraft’s Nightmares, and even more of our ongoing collaboration with The Ghosts Project, by purchasing them from our catalog. But for now, here’s a glimpse into madness. We hope you enjoy it.
This month we’re completing our interview series…for now. Be sure to let us know what you think of this new format and we may mix it in again from time to time! This time we are featuring ARTC actor and Head Writer Brad Strickland. Also, how is everybody liking the new Libsyn plugin format? Be sure to let us know what you think and we’ll make adjustments based on your feedback!
This month we’re continuing on with our interview series, this time featuring ARTC author and actress Kelley S. Ceccato. We’re also pleased to be making our very first post using the new Libsyn WordPress plugin! This will, of course, be changing up how the podcast is presented just slightly, so be sure to let us know what you think of the new format and we’ll make adjustments based on your feedback!
Kelley is the author of several audio dramas including Nothing-at-All (which we’ll be performing LIVE at CONjuration this weekend), In Need of a Bard, Sarabande for a Condemned Man, The Horseman of the Hollow, The Worst Good Woman in the World, and The House Across the Way.
She is also the author of the novel Atterwald and the forthcoming Nightmare Lullabye under the name Nan Monroe.
As we enter the last quarter of 2015, we’ve got big plans for the podcast. We’ve been publishing since 2006 and have been highlighting our live performances. The response from our fans has been incredible, and we’re deeply grateful for all the kind words that have been sent our way. We’ll still be bringing you live performances on occasion, but the time is approaching for us to change things up a little.
For the remainder of this year we will be featuring interviews with various ARTC actors, authors, technicians, and producers to help our fans get better acquainted with the people who have been bringing you audio drama since 1984!
This month we begin with an interview conducted by ARTC founder William Brown with actor and author Dave Schroeder.
As always, we welcome your feedback. Let us know what you think, and we look forward to helping you get to know us better with even more exciting events to come!
We apologize for the lateness of the podcast this month. Dragon Con ate our brain.
Well, this is it. The final chapter in this 5-part saga of The Passion of Frankenstein. It’s been quite a summer with an unprecedented three performances of this gothic masterpiece.
The Dragon Con stage.
We hope you’ve enjoyed getting to hear this piece from the different casts. We looked for some of the older performances, but they appear to have been misplaced. If we find them, maybe we’ll run them later.
“No, please! No more Frankenstein!”
In the previous installments of this piece, the music was done by Brad Weage. In this final installment we were pleased to have live music from The Ghosts Project.
Davis Petterson, Gabriel Monticello, and Paul Mercer
We also presented the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award to William Alan Ritch and David Benedict!
William Alan Ritch accepts the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award
David Benedict accepts the Thomas E. Fuller Lifetime Achievement Award
We’re back with another podcast, and this time we’re coming back to the studio production of The Passion of Frankenstein. Remember, you can get this production in all its glory, with CD quality sound instead of the heavy compression we put on the podcast tracks, right here!
Also, just like the last time we used the studio production, we have no photos from that show, so we’re bringing you more from the LibertyCon show.
The LibertyCon cast for Frankenstein!
Matt Goodson as Dr. Victor Frankenstein. Where did he get his PhD, anyway?
The best Foley team in all of existence. In this case it’s real FrankenFoley!
As we’ve mentioned several times, the script is like an irresistable force, bearing down on the audience and hitting them with a heady blend of emotion, horror, and intense sound effects. The piece is vocally challenging for our actors. When we decided to bring the performance to World Horror Convention, we knew we couldn’t just perform it once but we also knew that the actors’ voices might never be the same if they had to perform it as many times in a row as we were planning.
So for LibertyCon 2015 we switched up the cast. We hope you enjoy this segment that features several performers brand new to ARTC!
The cast and crew of “The Passion of Frankenstein” for LibertyCon 2015
And this is what happens when the director loses control of the performers.
We’re also bringing you the preview of our upcoming new release, Blues for Johnny Raven! Be sure to check out the IndieGogo campaign to see how you can help us make the CD available to YOU!
As we mentioned last month, we’re bringing you The Passion of Frankensteinin five parts and will be showcasing a different performance for at least the first four. We hope. We haven’t performed two of these yet and if the recording devices fail (it’s happened) then we might have to improvise. Part five will probably include the best performance of those scenes, but who knows? We might surprise ourselves.
This month we’re bringing you a section of the studio recording that we did at Audio Craft Studio back in 2002. This is what we refer to as the “original cast”. The pictures in this entry are still from World Horror Convention 2015, though, because we don’t have any pictures from any of the other performances yet. Talk to us after LibertyCon and Dragon Con. So the picture below of Thomas E. Fuller and Henry Howard at Audio Craft will have to do.
Thomas Fuller and Henry Howard admire an issue of the Centauri Express audio magazine at Audio Craft Studio
The studio recording was, literally, a monster to produce. The rich soundscape we talked about in last month’s entry is difficult to produce live, but surely in the studio it’s easier, right? Wrong.
What do you mean it’s not easier??
First, in the studio the standards are higher. Live audiences are very forgiving (thank goodness!), but once it’s on a recording all the little flaws stick out, so there’s a lot of precision work that has to get done. And the music, which in a live performance has a little bit of ebb and flow and adjustment to it, had to get timed out to the second to make the scenes work the way they were supposed to.
And then there was the review process.
“Our opinion of that draft of the recording might be at the bottom of this bucket. Or maybe it’s under it.”
See, this was back in the early 2000s when the Internet was only barely a thing for the general public. Cloud storage didn’t exist. Websites were hosted on Angelfire and Geocities. And CD-R technology wasn’t even remotely as reliable as it is now. We couldn’t just create an mp3, put it on a server somewhere, and have beta listeners download it and give feedback. We had to try to gather everyone together at the same time and have a listening party. On one memorable occasion we had all the relevant parties in the room…and the CD wouldn’t play. And burning another one would have involved an hour of driving and probably 30 minutes to actually burn the disk. So we all went home.
The Passion of Frankenstein is legendary amongst longtime ARTC members. First performed at Dragon Con in 1998 it has been repeated only four times in our long 31 year history. It is powerful. A freight train of an audio drama, crafted by Thomas E. Fuller to assault the audience with raw power and emotion. And it is a technical nightmare.
Pictured: a technical nightmare
The creation scenes involve layer after layer of switches, electrical sounds, dynamos, chains, rain, thunder, lightning, and the frantic shouting of Victor and his assistant Henry, along with the mournful recitation of the Monster’s borrowed poetry. Fuller made extensive use of Percy Shelley’s poetry in the script.
Over 80 individual sound cues go into this hour-long production, not to mention the live Foley sound effects. In 1998 this involved multiple CD players and tape decks, some of which were arranged to play certain sounds on a loop and could be faded in and out to prevent having to cue up those sounds again later. In 2015 we brought it to World Horror Convention, safe in the assumption that modern technology would make the production easier. While it is true that the laptop we ran the SFX from took up less space, it did not help as much as we’d hoped in terms of making the SFX easier to cue.
Just some of the live Foley, performed by Tony Fuller and Bob Brown, mixed by Ashley Harp
When you have a piece this complex, you can’t just perform it once, so we will be repeating it in 2015 at LibertyCon and Dragon Con. For the next cycle of podcasts we will be bringing you each of the 5 parts from a different one of those productions, as well as the studio production.
You know who tends to get all the glory in theatrical productions? Actors. You know who really does all the work? Technicians.
Tony Fuller is upset about not getting more glory.
Especially in audio drama, all actors have to do is show up and read their lines. We even get our scripts on stage!
Bob Zimmerman is unimpressed by your reading skills.
Sure, acting requires diction and timing and the ability to convince an audience that you are a person other than the one you really are, but without the music and without the sound effects the giant squid just ain’t gonna attack The Nautilus.
Alton Leonard can’t hear the actors complaining because he’s busy making music.
Plus, they’re the only ones who know which wires to plug into which other wires. Also, amplifiers are heavy. And ARTC brings a lot of stuff with us to our performances because you never know what you’re gonna need.
Giuliana Ward is too happy to be mad at actors for hogging the spotlight.
Just kidding! She’ll cut you if she gets half a chance!
So the next time you’re at an ARTC performance, be sure to thank the technicians! (Also the floor manager, not pictured). It’s their show, too!