Deathscribe 2016: A Few Words with Travis Williams

WildClaw Theatre Company proudly presents Deathscribe 2016, the Ninth Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays on Monday, December 5th, at 8:00pm. This collection of bone-chilling audio nightmares will be performed live at Deathscribe’s NEW VENUE, Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln Ave, Chicago.

CLICK HERE FOR TICKETS!

The Quake

By Travis Williams
Directed by Sara Sevigny
Featuring Linsey Falls and Corbette Pasko

After the earthquake, Briggs and Jackie went out in the woods. But just because they brought the guns doesn’t mean they’re the ones doing the hunting…

Travis Williams is incredibly excited and honored to be part of WildClaw Theatre’s Deathscribe for a fourth time as a finalist! His previous Deathscribe works include The Wall, Strange Weather, and Back in Baby’s Arms. Travis is co-creator and writer for the web comics Revenge Girl with artist John Wright and The Adventures of Lock and Rat with artist Angel Onofre. Travis is a featured writer in Famous Monster Magazines anthology, Tales from the Akermansion, with his short comic Unraveled co-created with artists Jonathan La Mantia. He is also currently developing an original web series The Park with Adam Hinkle & Stone Soup Theatre Project. For more information follow Travis on Twitter @Travisdmw or visit his website TravisWilliams.info – Much love to my wife Elizabeth!

Recently WildClaw’s resident Mistress of Malevolence Ele Matelan transfixed this year’s Deathscribe finalists with her withering glare. Below are some of the answers she conjured from Travis Williams:

How did you get into horror? What excites you most about writing horror, compared to other genres?

I got into horror because of my grandmother and my mother. My grandma introduced me to all things Stephen King because she was actually a member of his fan/bookclub and read all of his works. Whenever I’d stay at her house and we’d go to Blockbuster to look at movies she would always introduce me to some of her favorite films including “Pet Cemetery”, “Amityville Horror”, and others.

My Mom was the one that introduced me to “Pumpkin Head” “The Leprechaun” “Tales from the Crypt” and the Holy Grail of horror films – “The Exorcist” that one did a number on me, but it made me fascinated with the genre.

I enjoy writing horror because it’s fun. Also because it’s character driven and incredibly versatile! Horror can make you laugh, cry, and get your skin to crawl all at the same time. It’s a genre that people always come back to no matter who the actor is in the movie, or who produced it, or who wrote it… it’s all about the scare and exploring the dark of humanity. It’s universal.

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

The hook for me was kids in the woods coming across monsters. The woods are a scary place and I wanted to write about encountering the monsters that would scare the hell out of me.

I actually wrote this as a short comic that was illustrated by John Wright. I adapted the comic into a radio play which was a really fun exercise and I’m excited to see how it ended up.

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

The biggest challenge is using sound to create location, environment, and mood for your characters to play around with. Exposition is hard in radio too. You need to be very decisive in how you dole out information and how much you leave to the imagination.

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

There are so many possibilities here… I think hearing what teeth grinding on concrete sounds like would be a gross thing to hear and witness.

Do you have any advice for aspiring Deathscribes?

Let sound and character paint your landscape. Also, like music, try building toward a crescendo.

What scares you?

Bugs, snakes, guns, and walking down a dark quiet street with someone walking toward me.

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