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.


The Sum of Your Experience

By Trace Crawford
Directed by Bilal Dardai
Featuring Mike Hamilton and Neil Bhandari

We all live in fear of never knowing when the things we hold dear might be stolen from us and The Man was just trying to get a taxi when The Thief pulled a gun. But it’s what the Thief wanted that was truly terrifying.

Trace Crawford’s plays have been published in six collections and produced in NYC, LA, Chicago, London, Edinburgh, throughout most the US and on a total six continents – Antarctica remains elusive. A member of the Dramatists Guild, his horror-comedy screenplay Dead (Re)Tired has received honors from over 15 film festivals this year including Best Feature Script at the Independent Horror Movie Awards. Trace’s book, Absolutely Everything** You Need to Know about Teaching and Performing Improv is available on Amazon in paperback or for Kindle. He lives with his beautiful wife and son in Ohio.

Recently WildClaw’s resident Priestess of Pandemonium Ele Matelan put Mr. Crawford to the question. Below are some of the answers she extracted:

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

It’s funny – I’ve always enjoyed horror movies (I thank my mom for getting me interested in them in the 1980s) but I’d also watch tons of films in other genres all the time. I loved Stephen King and the like, but I always read other genres as well. Then about 10 years ago or so, something changed. When my wife or I asked the other “Want to see a movie tonight?” It really meant “What potentially psychologically damaging feast of carnage shall we partake in this evening?” Maybe it’s because the stakes are so high, but there’s something automatically engaging about even mediocre horror.

What was the hook for you in The Sum of Your Experience? What came first, the story or the sound?

For this play it was definitely the story, I have spent more time honing this script than any other of my short plays – radio or stage. Honestly, I’m not sure why, but usually when I work I hear a line or two of dialogue and just start writing and writing and discover what the story is actually about as I ramble. For this piece, I knew exactly what it was I wanted to accomplish from the get go, so maybe that changed the process.

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

It’s obvious, but it’s got to be how to “show, don’t tell” without the use of the traditional method of “showing.” I mean, even the word “theatre” comes from the Greek “theatron” – the place for seeing. But that’s also the FUN of writing for radio as well.

What scares you?

The permanently encroaching darkness. Silence so loud it hurts. And Cheetos – all that orange powder.

What additional projects do you have, previous or pending, that I can brag about for you?

I’ve written a book on teaching improv (Absolutely Everything** You Need to Know about Teaching and Performing Improv – available on Amazon) and several other plays that have been performed throughout the US and on six continents (Antarctica remains elusive) – but in the horror arena I’m the most proud of my horror-comedy screenplay Dead (Re)Tired which pits two rival groups of senior citizens against a drug-crazed zombie horde attacking the world’s largest antique mall. It’s a ton of gory fun and has been given awards from 23 different film festivals and competitions including the Nashville Film Festival.

What question do you wish I’d asked, and how would you answer it?

I’m not sure the question, but the answer is 12. Or possibly Des Moines.