Tickets on Sale for A Little Sumpin’ WildClaw: The Creature from the Black Lagunitas Halloween Benefit!

lagunitasA Little Sumpin WildClaw: The Creature from the Black Lagunitas
All proceeds will go directly towards DEATHSCRIBE 2014, our January production of Scott Barsotti’s The Revenants, and our world premiere production of Motel 666 in the Spring.

By all proceeds, we mean all. Every dollar spent at the bar for every IPA, Lil Sumpin Sumpin, Dogtown Pale, etc., goes directly towards WildClaw Theatre. So come on down, enjoy one of Chicago’s newest and finest taprooms, overlooking one of the largest independent breweries in the nation, all while supporting Horror Theatre!

Costumes totally optional.

Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

Doors open at 5:30pm
Lagunitas Chicago Taproom
2607 17th Street

Meet Our 2014 Deathscribe Directors (Part 1 of 5): Kevin Theis

If you say his name into the mirror three times, he'll appear. I hope.

If you say his name into the mirror three times, he’ll appear. I hope.

Today we’re channeling the spirit of Kevin Theis, director of Steve Baldwin’s “Please Stand By.” In addition to returning for the THIRD TIME as a Deathscribe Director, directing Lifeline’s runaway hit production of “Monstrous Regiment” and Festival Theatre’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Kevin just won an Jeff Award for Outstanding Ensemble with Irish Theatre of Chicago’s production of “The Seafarer.” We’ll be talking about how horror mirrors current events, demystifying sound design, and What Scares Him.

How has your relationship to horror changed since you became involved with Deathscribe?

This is my third year at the helm of one of these shows and what I love the most is how eagerly and vociferously the audience responds to something truly terrifying during the Deathscribe performances.  Gasps of astonishment, cries of terror…that’s what theatre is all about, isn’t it?  It forces you to look even harder for those moments in your show when you can make the audience jump out of their seats.

What excites you most about directing horror, compared to other genres?

Horror is much more visceral, and less apologetic about it, than straight theatre can be.  You can pretend to cleave someone’s head from their body, eviscerate characters right in front of the audience, force people to face their greatest fears….and they thank you for it an clamor for more.  It is an extremely rewarding genre to work in.

What in this script resonated most with you?

“Please Stand By,” is a very timely and resonant piece.  Without giving much away, it involves the spread of a virus, played out in real time in the media.  Nothing could possibly be more relevant than a story like that in our new age of Ebola panic.  It plays directly into a fear that a lot of people are experiencing right now, taken to its logical, absurd conclusion.  I can’t wait to show it to people.

How has Deathscribe changed your relationship to sound design as an artist and an audience member?

Sound is an under-appreciated discipline, without question.  People notice the sets because…there they areThey notice the lighting because it guides the audience’s focus from scene to scene.  But sound design is enigmatic.  It calls attention to itself only when it really wants and needs you to pay attention to it.  And really clever sound design can make or break a show, especially when you’re trying to build tension and suspense.  And, of course, the WildClaw Foley artists are beyond compare.  Endlessly creative, fantastically collaborative and fearless.  I can’t wait to get started.


When asked for comment, the WildClaw Foley artists got…oh GAWRSH.

What have you learned from previous Deathscribes that you’re excited to use this time around?

When I first began working on these shows, I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Was it radio theatre?  Was it theatre disguised as radio?  Is it a kind of aural/horror/reader’s theatre hybrid?  The answer seems to be:  All of the above.  Deathscribe is what you make of it.  There are no rules.  Which is what makes it so fun.

What sound would you most like to see/hear performed in a Deathscribe piece?

I dunno.  I’ve heard a lot.  I’ve heard human heads split open and shoot deadly spores.  I’ve heard grown men eaten by giant, flesh-eating fish.  This year, I just want to sit back and see what’s in store.

Do you listen to any podcasts? What advice would you give a director about radio performance?

I listen to a LOT of podcasts, but they’re mostly political.  The only “spooky” podcast I listen to with any regularity is “Welcome to Nightvale,” which is a wonderfully creepy, hilarious show. And I don’t know if I’m qualified to give any specific advice, other than to be very, very specific about what you want to hear from both your actors and your Foley artists.  Being vague won’t provide you with the exact vomit sound you may be looking for.

What scares you?

I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again:  There is nothing not scary about frogs.  Horrible creatures.

Did I leave anything out?

I’ve got nothing to hide, so you can pretty much ask me anything.  Well….except for what that smell is coming from my trunkThat’s none of your damn business.

We’ll make Kevin’s business OUR business when we see his take on Steve Baldwin’s “Please Stand By” on Monday, December 1st at the Mayne Stage Theatre!

^_ _^

Meet Our 2014 Deathscribes (Part 1 of 5): Kevin Alves

Looks just as good onstage as on paper...

Looks just as good onstage as on paper…

Welcome to our first spotlight interview with the braiiiiiiiiins behind Deathscribe 2014! For the next five weeks, we’ll be showcasing the writers and directors dedicated to delivering our newest crop of audio traumas on December 1st at the beautiful Mayne Stage Theatre. Today, we’re exploring the storybook existence of first-time Deathscribe Kevin Alves. Kevin is no stranger to things that go bump (or squish) in the night: in addition to being a regular in The Bruised Orange Theater Company‘s “I Saw You,” performing funny and ridiculous personal ads from in and around Chicago every Wednesday night at the Town Hall Pub and the first Monday of every month at Mary’s Attic, Kevin stars as Harold Bloodstone in The Factory Theater‘s Hotel Aphrodite, a farce set in a Sybaris-styled sex hotel opening November 14th. Kevin is going to talk to us today about stretching yourself artistically, motherly love, and What Scares Him.

How did you get into horror?

My first touch of horror was A Nightmare on Elm Street.  Freddy scared the shit out of me because the one time you should feel safe is while you’re sleeping.  He messed that up for me.

What excites you most about writing horror, compared to other genres?

My mom always said that I have a weird, sick mind (in a good, loving motherly way).  It’s nice to let some of the dark out, on occasion.

What was the hook for you in this story? What came first, the story or the sound?

It was a blend of the character and music.  I ran across an album called Waltz of the Monsters.  It’s an orchestral album with a lot of slow toy piano pieces.  Sounds like that creep me out and put my brain in a weird place.  The main character, Louis, is based on a character I did in a performance of “I Saw You”.  The personal ad was from a guy who just wanted “some body”.  He was very lonely and he felt very sad.  A mind set like that can make you do crazy things to feel loved and I wanted to explore that.

What do you consider the biggest challenge in writing for “radio,” compared to traditional theatre?

Remembering that you’re having to show action through sound only.  No “The room is decorated with this” or “Steve cringes in fear”.  You have to show everything through your words and the Foley.

I'm sorry, Monsieur Marceau, I know it hurts when we talk about you like you're not hear.

I’m sorry, Monsieur Marceau, I know it hurts when we talk about you like you’re not hear.

What discoveries have you made about storytelling during this process that you are excited to use in future projects?

Since this is one of the first things I’ve written since college, the fact that I am writing excites me for more in the future.

What sound would you most like to see/hear performed in a Deathscribe piece?

Someone expelling all of their internal organs and/or exploding.  Good luck with that one.

Do you have any advice for aspiring Deathscribes?

I almost wrote and submitted Louis for Deathscribe 2013, but I didn’t because, since I’m not a “writer”, I did not have the confidence.  This year, I gave myself the artistic goal to suck it up, stretch myself, and just do it.  I thought, “They’ll pick it or not pick it.  Either way, this is for me to see what I’ve got on the inside and to step into something outside of my realm.”  My advice would be if you’re interested in it, just do it.  Put yourself out there and something good may come out of it.  If not, at least you proved to yourself that you can do it.  Sometimes it works out in the end (case in point).

What scares you?

As a 39 year old man I am sad to say that the dark still scares the shit out of me.  If you can see what you’re fighting, you can possibly find a weakness.  If not, you’re just screwed.  In the dark, you’re always screwed.

What’s your favorite kind of snake?

The dead kind.  (I’ll be here all week).

Kevin’s here all week, but Deathscribe is One Night Only! Come check out Kevin’s “Louis,” directed by Shade Murray, at the beautiful Mayne Stage on Monday, December 1st!

^_ _^


Announcing the Finalists for DEATHSCRIBE 2014

For those of us who are of Clavian descent, there is little in this world that makes us smile on a consistent basis. Our hearts are full of soot and bile, our blood like vinegar, our minds a yawning trenchlike abyss, our souls…pfft…*snicker*…souls. Can’t even type it with a straight face.

But if there is one thing in this world that will never fail to rouse our dark spirits it’s DEATHSCRIBE, and few occasions more pleasing to us than the announcement of our five annual Deathscribe Finalists, and the infernal talents damned to direct them.

So without further ado, we Daemons gleefully present to you the lineup for DEATHSCRIBE 2014:


written by Steve Baldwin

directed by Kevin Theis


written by 2011 Bloody Axe winner Jessica Wright Buha

directed by Anderson Lawfer


written by Kevin Alves

directed by Shade Murray


written by Ignacio Zulueta

directed by Mary Rose O’Connor


written by Christopher M. Walsh

directed by Sara Sevigny

This year’s crop was culled from over 100 submissions from all over the U.S. and many spots abroad. We even received one from “Parts Unknown,” so we have to assume it was submitted by Papa Shango.


Sorry, Papa. Maybe next year.

DEATHSCRIBE 2014 will take place on December 1st at the gorgeous Mayne Stage. Mark your calendar to come witness the 7th annual Battle for the Bloody Axe!

Our Fair City Live at Chicago Fringe THIS WEEK!

All of the good little boils and ghouls in WildClaw are hard at work reading this year’s treasure trove of submissions for Deathscribe 2014. Rest assured, there are vampires, there are sea monsters, there are serial killers, and a couple more that…well, while they defy description, they have already begun to worm their way into our hearts and braiiiiiiiiiiins.

But don't axe me where...

I tell ya, that Sutter Cane is going places!

But we know that doesn’t dull the ache of waiting for Deathscribe 2014 on December 1stninety-nine whole days away. That’s ninety-nine lifetimes to a mayfly, and twice that to my downstairs neighbor (shh–don’t tell him). Lucky for you, live radio fans, we have just the thing to keep your blood a-boiling and ears a-ringing: Our Fair City’s live show at Chicago Fringe!

Our Fair City is a locally produced, internationally loved dystopic science fiction podcast entering its sixth season. They’ll be gracing Chicago Fringe with a noir-styled live radio show set in a world run by the nefarious Hartlife, which prizes efficiency and algae production above everything else, until a series of mysterious deaths prompts Detective Jack Winters to cut through their web of red tape.

Opens Thursday, August 28th!

Opens Thursday, August 28th!

Featuring Deathscribe 2013 darlings Jeffrey Gardner and Jared Latore, along with the vocal talents of Kat Evans and Sebastian Orr, music by DJ Catnip & Betsey Palmer, and WildClaw’s own Helper Monkey/Foley girl Ele Matelan, this production promises powerhouse performances and a body count that would make even the WildClaw daemon’s eyes bulge and mouth water.

You can check out the Fringe performance schedule & buy tickets here, and delve deeper into the world of Our Fair City here with previous seasons and comics, brought to you by Hartlife: all the life you’ll ever need.

^_ _^



WildClaw in the Wild, part II (a nightmare come true)


Better late than never. Too many Daemons having babies these days. We’re all like, “um, hey, did you warn the minions about the coming nefarity? No? Just on Facebook? Just in a newsletter? YOU MUST PUT IT ON THE WEB YOU USELESS IMPS!!!”

Our second WildClaw in the Wild reading is TOMORROW at 3031 (3031 N Honore, Chicago). For a suggested donation of $5 you get delectable beer from Uinta Brewing Co to delight your taste receptors, and a reading of a classic ghost story by some of Chicago’s finest actors.

Join hosts Ele Matelan and Josh Zagoren as reading begins at 6:00pm at 3031 (3031 N. Honore); doors open at 5:30pm. Suggested donation $5

Sunday, July 27, 2014

by Tim Foley
directed by Josh Sobel
featuring Ariel Brenner, Ed Dzialo, Elizabeth Dowling, Lona Livingston, Peter Greenberg, and Stevie Chaddock Lambert

Music from Erik Hellman

In a Victorian manor house far to the north, when the winter storms rage, a melody flows from a broken organ, a ghostly child walks the night, and a family curse is reawakened. An adaptation of Elizabeth Gaskell’s classic story of a house haunted by the cruelties of the past.

Ele Nominated for Gwendolyn Brooks Poetry Award

Hi ‘claws, Ele here.

I’m thrilled to share that my poem, “The Last Lullaby,” which Steve Herson read so deliciously in a recent Deathscribe, has been selected as a semi-finalist for the 21st Annual Gwendolyn Brooks Open Mic Award for poetry!

Less "muse," more "amusing."

As you can see, everyone is thrilled.

The finals are tomorrow–Wednesday, July 23rd, at 7 pm at the beautiful Chopin Theatre. The 20 semi-finalists will perform their nominated pieces, and audience voting will determine the winner of the $500 grand prize!

I hope that those of you who favor cursed verse can join us at the Chopin tomorrow night–as with all things WildClaw, our fans support means the world to us.

Gwendolyn Brooks

^_ _^


WildClaw in the Wild: Tales at Twilight on July 27th, 2014

a summer reading series at 3031

Join WildClaw in the great outdoors this summer as we gather in the twilight at 3031 to hear three chilling new plays. Sip on a beer, have a snack, and hear a scary story as the sun goes down…what better way to spend a Sunday night?

Each selection for this series represents a different flavor of Horror than what WildClaw has done in the past. We invite you to join us (and bring a minion!) to hear these exciting new plays read aloud by some of Chicago’s finest actors, and then stick around to talk about what Horror Theatre means to you.

The WILDCLAW IN THE WILD series will take place on the last Sunday evening of the months of June, July, and August.

Join hosts Ele Matelan and Josh Zagoren as reading begins at 6:00pm at 3031 (3031 N. Honore); doors open at 5:30pm. Suggested donation $5

Sunday, July 27, 2014

by Tim Foley
directed by Josh Sobel

Music from Erik Hellman

featuring Ariel Brenner, Ed Dzialo, Elizabeth Dowling, Lona Livingston, Peter Greenberg, and Stevie Chaddock Lambert

Evil Dead 2 Collectibles | Sideshow Collectibles

Evil Dead 2 Collectibles | Sideshow Collectibles.


Super Excited?  We are!!!

Monstrous Regiment Or Bad girls do it well

This past Monday at Lifeline Theatre in Rogers Park, Chris Hainsworth’s adaptation of Terry Pratchett‘s Monstrous Regiment premiered.Chris Hainsworth is one of the Daemon’s most favorite WildClaw Artistic Associates. “Something about the scent of his blood…” he said. “Egyptian papyrus, aged tobacco & the ink of an Ancient One.” Now, I don’t know about all that, but he makes a great mix CD.

I’m not an avid Pratchett reader. Truth be told, I’ve only read Monstrous Regiment to prepare for the role of Maladict. But Pratchett’s Discworld is amazing & rich & HILARIOUS.

If you’re in the Chicago area, stop by and check it out!

Our cast and crew are stoopid.

Sarah Price as Polly Perks is new to us in the WildClaw clan, but she’s got moxie and we’re into it.
Robert Kauzlaric, one-time Deathscribe judge and avid one who appreciates the strong qualities of Event Horizon, as Lt. Blouse.
Chris Walsh as Sgt. Jackrum has been known to participate in Deathscribe both as a performer, and in 2011 as a finalist with “Comparing Notes at the End of the World”.
Mandy Walsh and I met when I murdered her in Carmilla. “Tonight…” was always hers, and the matches are always hers as Lofty.
Kim Boler is a huge Discworld fan and a regular participant of Bruised Orange‘s “I Saw You” at the Town Hall Pub. As Tonker, she has a tendency to face off with… Everyone. Always.
John Ferrick is our man of many faces as Corporal Strappi, General Froc, one of Heinrich’s biatches & Bernice the washerwoman. He’s a friend to the claw and is birthing a monster soon.
Justine Turner is Carborundum. We had to turn down the a/c in the theater to make sure, as the troll, she’d get her lines out in a timely manner.
Katie McLean Hainsworth & I met when I was a bad penny at the very first Deathscribe. As Igor, she’s always pulling something out somewhere. Stitching, fixing, lisping.
Matt Engle is our man of many moustaches. He’s our Handsome Young Man, Prince Heinrich, Lord Rust, Paul & … Let’s just say he’s got to polish himself up a bit. A member of The Factory Theater, he was recently nominated for a Jeff Award for his directorial work on Incident on Run #1217.
Melissa Engle is a sweet dream and our Wazzer.
Oh, and me. I’m Maladict. Yes. Total typecasting.