Tag Archives: suspense

Spooky Oasis

Today is Halloween and to celebrate all things spooky, I wanted to share this script of mine that was recently featured at an evening of live radio theatre!

Screenshot 2018-10-31 at 5.49.55 PM

It’s a genre I’ve absolutely fallen in love with over the past couple of years, thanks no doubt to local groups such as the Mysterious Old Radio Listening Society and Conundrum Collective. Between them and some others, I try to lap up as much radio drama as possible and taking note of the technique’s specific to the format has posed an exciting challenge to say the least. One’s dialogue, for instance, has to be as specific as possible so as to accurately convey the scene your writing. Remember, there are no visuals! So if it being “sunny outside” is integral to the story, then make sure you have a character say something about the sun. It’s things like that that can trip you up and as I listen to my first recorded script, I realize I could have done a better job with…

Anyways, give a listen here! The Oasis starts at around the 14:00 minute mark.

Listening to this, I certainly took my notes for revisions, etc. but all that aside, I was just giddy listening to Small Fish Radio Theatre’s adaptation of The Oasis. Performed as one piece in a larger narrative, the story tells of a post-apocalyptic world where the inhabitants of a small desert outpost struggle to survive dehydration, marauding raiders and the fact that the sun’s rays are literally getting hotter and hotter by the minute. It’s an idea that’s gone through several revisions in my brain (first coming to mind as a stage play in the winter of 2016 and now finally, a realized radio play).

Now I can’t wait to churn out all the ideas I’ve got and see who’s willing to produce them. That goes for myself too. Radio drama has been seeing a bit of a renaissance lately thanks to the popularity of podcasts and I’d love to take a crack at something longer than 10 minutes. Whole serials! Half hour programming! Advertising!

OK, slow down than there cowboy. First write another and take it from there.

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It’s a *Death* trap!

This past weekend I had the immense pleasure of opening Deathtrap at Theatre in the Round Players in Minneapolis. From the cast to the director and most certainly the script, it has been an all round joyful experience.

deathtrapplaybillWithout revealing too much, Deathtrap is a thriller that tells the story of a veteran playwright named Sidney, who’s a bit washed up and eager for inspiration. Inspiration then walks in, in the shape of Clifford- an eager young playwright and former student of Sidney’s. There’s so much more that ensues, but I’ll leave you with words like “diabolical”, “conniving”, “murder” and “thrilleritis malignis” – the fevered pursuit of the one-set five-character moneymaker. The play itself was just that, running on Broadway for four years and 1,809 performances. Good enough for fourth all time (when it comes to straight plays).

Now in Minneapolis in 2017, Theatre in the Round Players (TRP) has it’s own venerated distinction as one of oldest theatres in town, opening in 1953. Amazingly enough, in 65 seasons, Deathtrap has never been produced. A thousand other plays have, for sure, including a production of The Great White Hope in 1975 that starred Ernie Hudson and is still talked about in the theatre community here.

deathtrap-promotionalAside from working at TRP, the show itself has been great. My director, Shanan Custer and stage manager, Stacey Britt, have made the process a delight, as well as my stage companions Charles Numrich, Meri Golden, Tina Frederickson and Todd O’Dowd. Ira Levin, too, who is the playwright and mastermind behind the curtain. In addition to Deathtrap, Levin is stupid famous for works such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Stepford Wives and The Boys from Brazil. If you know me, you know how much I love a good thriller and how much I relish the chance to play the genre on stage.

Part of Deathtrap‘s charm is that it references the famous stage thrillers of it’s day; shows like Sleuth, Angel Street and Dial “M” for Murder. I’ll admit that I was not familiar with those plays before, but I’ve loved the chance to revisit some of my favorite movies of that grisly ilk. Why I love playing in Deathtrap so much is because it’s the closest I can get to being in Misery or Psycho or The Silence of the Lambs. Of course now that Misery is itself a play maybe I can get even closer…

So without having said too much about the actual plot of Deathtrap, I hope I’ve still managed to paint an enticing picture nonetheless. If you love any of the aforementioned titles then by all means comes to Theatre in the Round. You’re guaranteed to jump, laugh and cover your ears!

Theatre in the Round Players
presents

DEATHTRAP
by
Ira Levin

Directed by
Shanan Custer

With
Charles Numrich Vincent Hannam
Tina Frederickson Meri Golden and Todd O’Dowd as “Porter”

February 17 – March 12, 2017