Monday, August 24, 2009

International Mystery Writers Festival 2009

Words fail me.

The festival this year -- which almost didn't happen -- exceeded my expectations in terms of fun, performance, professionalism ... and prospects for future projects with this company of actors, producers, and directors. I don't want to say much more than that; I don't want to jinx the possibilities, because they are SO GOOD and everyone is so positive and optimistic about taking the show "on the road," as it were.

Besides, all that Big Time talk aside, I continue to have some of the best performance experiences of my life working this festival. If all that comes of the talk is an opportunity to do it again next year, in Owensboro, I would still be thrilled to pieces.

So I'm just going to post some links about the show this year.
Thanks to David Ossman and Judith Walcutt for taking a chance on me last year. LOVE you guys, and love the challenge of making these shows excellent!

Here is one review by Fred Greenhalgh over at Radio Drama Revival.

Here is another from the Evansville Courier & Press.

Some images by Bryan Leazenby of 2 dress rehearsals and the awards dinner.

WNIN 83.3 Evansville aired the Sat night (8/15) performance and streamed it online. They are now offering audio some of last year's shows.

Collaboration finally comes to fruition.

A collaborative project of mine will be featured at an online gallery in September.

The piece is an accordion-fold art book called last speakers of a dead language shut up, words: Tony Brewer, images: Lucia Bennett for S T U D I O 724.

It is a single poem, and each stanza has its own panel, cut from high-grade airplane aluminum by Lucia at Titan Waterjet. She then ... worked her magic. I love her layered approach to adding depth. It's a dark, somewhat violent poem (kind of out of character for me), and Lucia really did it justice. The lettering on the aluminum shines through the murk. I think it's beautiful and haunting.

It's taken about a year from our first meeting to seeing the final piece set up in her studio. It has been so worth it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Coming to you LIVE from Owensboro, KY!

I am here in Kentucky, working on live radio theatre for the International Mystery Writers' Festival. We are doing all four of Agatha Christie's radio plays, originally written for the BBC (“the BEEB”) between about 1937 and 1953. I am the house sound effects artist for all the plays. We're staging them as if we, the company, are a troupe of BBC radio actors working in London.

If there's any chance you -- or someone you know -- could come down and see us in person, PLEASE COME. This is really a hybrid performance: equal parts murder mystery theatre, radio theatre, and audio art. (The auditorium sound is very well-tuned this year, by Steve Wiese.) The audience is real close to the BIG stage, so it will be a very "live" room.

If you can't come, you can still hear us LIVE on the Web on the final night of the run, Saturday, August 15.

NOTE: If you're coming in person, check into getting tickets soon. The Jody Berry Cabaret Theatre holds about 200.

August 12 - 13 - 14 - 15 are the dates -- that's this coming Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The place is:

More info about the Mystery Festival is at:

The four half-hour radio plays are introduced by Agatha Christie herself (as played by Melinda Peterson) and grouped into two one-hour Acts.

Act One:
Butter In a Lordly Dish
Three Blind Mice

Act Two:
Personal Call
The Yellow Iris (a Hercule Poirot mystery)

Here's the schedule:

Wednesday August 12 - Act One opens, 7 p.m. CDT

Thursday August 13 - Act Two opens, 7 p.m. CDT

Friday August 14 - Act Two -- 2 p.m. CDT, and Act One -- 5 p.m. CDT

Saturday August 15 - Act One -- 11 a.m. CDT, Act Two -- 2 p.m. CDT --

....and then, Saturday Evening, at 7 p.m. CDT both acts will be played and broadcast live over WNIN, the Public Radio Station in Evansville, Indiana. You can stream the program at:

I worked the Mystery Festival last year as well, and you can hear some of those shows at:

(I know a lot of you derby people will be otherwise occupied on 8/15, so if you are interested in hearing what this stuff is all about, check the link.)

Zev Buffman and Judith Walcutt are producing the show,and David Ossman of Firesign Theatre fame ( is directing. The cast includes Firesign's Phil Proctor ( ), TV's Gary Sandy (, Melinda Peterson (, Amy Walker (, and Orson Ossman, along with a great group of performers from around the country. Again, I am performing live sound effects, assisted by Preston Ossman.

Today, we are finishing up Day 3 on site. All the elements are finally in place: My toys are out and on stage, the pre-recorded FX are being fine-tuned, and the actors are working out blocking and timing. Tonight I think is going to be our first “at speed” run-through of Act One. It’s all going well. Quite, quite!

Hope some of you can make it for the show (or tune in)!


(x-posted to Facebook)