Deathscribe 2016: A Few Words with Trace Crawford

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 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.

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The Ninth Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays

TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!

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. A new ticket structure will also be in place for this year’s Deathscribe with admission at $35 for lower level seating, $30 for upper level seating and $25 for standing room only so be sure to purchase your ticket EARLY to reserve a seat!

The five finalists will send thrills up your spine as they are brought to life by Chicago’s finest actors and directors, accompanied by a live band and a team of sound effects artists – complete with live foley onstage. The winner of the Bloody Axe will be chosen by a panel of horror and theatre experts.

DEATHSCRIBE 2016 will present the following five original horror radio plays:

THE WOMAN BELOW
By Daniel Dauphin
Directed by Jessica Mondres

THE SUM OF YOUR EXPERIENCE
By Trace Crawford
Directed by Bilal Dardai

THE QUAKE
By Travis Williams
Directed by Sara Sevigny

I LET THEM OUT
By Julia Everitt
Directed by Molly Brennan

DEAD RINGER
By Tim Griffin
Directed by Aileen McGroddy

In our continued quest to acquire original, imaginative horror stories, we solicited and received over 100 new works from theatre and horror aficionados around the world. These final five radio plays have emerged, perhaps slightly bloodstained, as finalists of the grueling selection process. Join us to see who will be this year’s victor and winner of the coveted Bloody Axe Award!

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A WildClaw Salon

Featuring pieces by Brooke Allen, Joseph Zettelmaier and Ryan Oliver

FOUR NIGHTS ONLY!

WildClaw Theatre Company, Chicago’s premiere horror theatre company, proudly presents Nicks and Cuts: a WildClaw Salon on Thursday, August 18th – Sunday, August 21st. The evening will consist of a performance of MEAT by Brooke Allen directed by WildClaw company member Norine McGrath, and WORM FOOD by 2015 Deathscribe Winner Joseph Zettelmaier directed by WildClaw Artistic Director Josh Zagoren. Both pieces will be accompanied by full Foley designed and performed by WildClaw company member Ele Matelan. The centerpiece of the evening will be a fully staged performance of SHAVE AND A HAIRCUT written and directed by filmmaker and special effects artist Ryan Oliver.

All shows will be performed at The Den Theatre, 1333 N. Milwaukee Ave, Chicago, IL 60622. Thursday-Saturday performances start at 7:30pm and Sunday matinee at 3:00pm. Admission is Pay-What-You-Can online and at the door. Advanced ticket reservations recommended.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit wildclawtheatre.com.

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WildClaw’s Mistress of Auricular Malevolence Ele Matelan sat down with the folks at the Radio Drama Revival podcast to talk about all things Deathscribe. And as a bonus, check out the recording of last year’s winning entry, EARWIGS by Joseph Zettelmaier.

Listen to it all here.

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Just when you thought you were safe…

The submission window for DEATHSCRIBE 2016, the NINTH Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays is NOW OPEN. Submissions will close JULY 31st. This festival is open to all, and there is no fee for submission. Submissions are accepted via email only at deathscribe2016@gmail.com.

DEATHSCRIBE is a one-night-only extravaganza of original short radio plays, written by horror enthusiasts from around the globe, produced by some of Chicago’s finest actors, directors, musicians, sound effects artists, and special guest stars, plus a celebrity panel to judge the best of the fest! Shape your fear into a 10-minute radio play complete with LIVE FOLEY and send it to us! Five finalists will be selected, and their scripts performed live on Monday, December 5th 2016. The author of the best of the festival will be awarded the coveted Bloody Axe award and a $100 cash prize.

Please visit www.wildclawtheatre.com/deathscribe/ for submission rules, regulations, and information on previous shows. If you have any questions regarding submission guidelines or policies please contact literary@wildclawtheatre.com.

We are looking for 10-minute radio scripts that are genuinely scary, imaginative, chilling, intelligent, suspenseful, horrific, or downright grotesque. There are no restrictions as to content or tone, but keep in mind that WildClaw is a Horror Theatre. We take our horror seriously, and so should you. We want stories about serial killers, insects, distorted squirrels, cannibals, deep ones, plagues, demonic possessions, dogfish howlers, werewolves, vampires, zombies, aliens, and of course, the monster within.

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WildClaw Theatre Company is proud to announce the submission window for our upcoming DEATHSCRIBE 2016, the NINTH Annual International Festival of Radio Horror Plays. Submissions will be accepted starting MAY 1st and will close JULY 31st. This festival is open to all, and there is no fee for submission.

DEATHSCRIBE is a one-night-only extravaganza of original short radio plays, written by horror enthusiasts from around the globe, produced by some of Chicago’s finest actors, directors, musicians, sound effects artists, and special guest stars, plus a celebrity panel to judge the best of the fest! Shape your fear into a 10-minute radio play complete with LIVE FOLEY and send it to WildClaw Theatre starting MAY 1st! Five finalists will be selected, and their scripts performed live on Monday, December 5th 2016. The author of the best of the festival will be awarded the coveted Bloody Axe award and a $100 cash prize.

Please visit www.wildclawtheatre.com/deathscribe/ for submission rules, regulations, and information on previous shows. If you have any questions regarding submission guidelines or policies please contact literary@wildclawtheatre.com.

We are looking for 10-minute radio scripts that are genuinely scary, imaginative, chilling, intelligent, suspenseful, horrific, or downright grotesque. There are no restrictions as to content or tone, but keep in mind that WildClaw is a Horror Theatre. We take our horror seriously, and so should you. We want stories about serial killers, insects, distorted squirrels, cannibals, deep ones, plagues, demonic possessions, dogfish howlers, werewolves, vampires, zombies, aliens, and of course, the monster within.

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Cringe and grovel, all ye unworthy minions! Wallow in terror beneath the terrifying gaze of…

YOUR DEATHSCRIBE JUDGES:

Martin Atkins

Since appearing on the scene in 1980, English­born Martin Atkins has become one of the leading lights of the world of industrial metal. His label, Invisible Records, has been home to some of the most important acts of the genre. Born on August 3, 1959, in Coventry, England, Atkins took up drumming at an early age and soon displayed a notable proficiency. His first break came when he joined John Lydon’s post-­Sex Pistols band, Public Image Ltd. Atkins left P.I.L. to concentrate on his new venture, the industrial collective Pigface. Throughout the ’80s and early ’90s, Atkins played with a large number of bands, including Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, and Killing Joke. After leaving the latter in 1992, he formed Murder Inc., inviting members of Killing Joke and Ministry to join him. As usual, Murder Inc. proved to be a short­lived affair, producing just a single album and a handful of live shows before folding. Since then, Atkins has put most of his efforts into maintaining Pigface and Invisible Records, occasionally joining other bands on a temporary basis. His most significant recent project, the Damage Manual, involved contributions from Jah Wobble, Killing Joke’s Geordie, and Chris Connelly. An EP and an eponymous album were released to critical acclaim, but the individual members returned to other things soon afterwards.

Deanna Dunagan

Deanna Dunagan began her acting career performing in regional theaters such as the Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida, and the Actors Theatre of Louisville before trying her luck in New York City. She made her Broadway debut in the 1979 production of George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman at Circle in the Square as an understudy for Ann Sachs. In 1981, Dunagan performed in the first national tour of Children of a Lesser God. After the end of the tour, Dunagan moved to Chicago and has lived there ever since, performing in more than 30 theaters in the Chicago area. Her work on the Chicago stage has garnered her three Joseph Jefferson Awards and three After Dark Awards. She has worked in films including The Naked Face, Running Scared, Men Don’t Leave, Losing Isaiah, and Dimension. She has also appeared in more than ten made-for-television movies, in the TV mini­series A Will of Their Own and Amerika, and as a guest star on the television shows Prison Break, What About Joan, and Missing Persons. In 2007-­2008, Dunagan returned to Broadway in Steppenwolf Theatre’s transplant production of Tracy Letts’ August: Osage County. For her performance, Dunagan won a Tony Award, Theatre World Award and a Drama Desk Award. She went on to portray Violet Weston in productions in London’s West End in 2009 and in Sydney, Australia in 2010. She can currently be seen as Nana in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit.

Ike Holter

Ike Holter’s work has been produced at The Steppenwolf Garage, A Red Orchid, The New Colony and The Inconvenience, where he is a founding member and resident writer. He’s received fellowships and commissions from The Goodman Theater, The Kennedy Center and The Playwrights Center. His show Hit The Wall played at Steppenwolf Garage and Off-­Broadway at The Barrow Street Theater in New York. Jackalope Theater premiered his new play Exit Strategy, which played to sold ­out houses and transferred to Michigan at 3oaks Theater. It is being produced at Philadelphia Stages and will transfer Off Broadway to Primary Stages this spring. He was named the “Chicagoan of the Year in Theater 2014” by The Chicago Tribune, and his monologues have been published in The New Yorker and several editions of Applause Books. Holter was recently named one of Victory Gardens newest ensemble playwrights.

Brian Pinkerton

Brian Pinkerton is the author of novels and short stories in the horror and thriller genres. His books include Anatomy of Evil, Rough Cut, Killer’s Diary, Abducted, Vengeance and Bender. His series, How I Started the Apocalypse, follows the adventures of a smart zombie battling for survival against a hostile humanity. Select titles have also been released as audio books and in foreign languages. His writings have been published in PULP!, Chicago Blues, The Horror Zine, Zombie Zoology and Horror 201: The Silver Scream. Brian’s screenplays have finished in the top 100 of Project Greenlight and top two percent of the Nicholl Fellowship of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He is a member of the Horror Writers Association. Brian lives in the Chicago area with his family. Find him online at www.brianpinkerton.com.

Marisa Ross

Marisa Ross is a Casting Director working in both Chicago and Los Angeles. Currently, she is casting the series Chicago Med for NBC. She is also the Casting Director Consultant for The Onion and all of it’s subdivisions (Clickhole.com, Onion Labs, Onion Studios, Onion News Network), and together with her casting partner, Christal Karge, just finished casting the pilot The Chicago Project for Showtime. In 2015, she was contracted to do all the pilot searches in Chicago for both NBC and CBS Studios and will do the same for the 2016 pilot season. Last year, Marisa was the Chicago casting director on Love is A Four Letter Word, a drama pilot for NBC. She is best known for her work casting How I Met Your Mother. Marisa has been the casting director on numerous television series including How I Met Your Mother, GREEK, The Goodwin Games, Tracey Ullman’s State of Union, Romantically Challenged, The Winner, We Got Next, Hollywood Residential, American Body Shop, The Showbiz Show with David Spade and Campus Ladies. Some of her pilots include How I Met Your Dad (CBS), Iceland (FOX), The Gabriels (FOX), Adam Carolla’s Ace in the Hole (CBS), Single White Millionaire (CBS), Drive (FOX), and Mindy Kaling’s Mindy & Brenda (WB). Some of her feature credits include The Virginity Hit, Snow Globe, and Nic and Tristan. Some of her Associate Feature Casting Director credits include The Amityville Horror, Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning and Hellboy. To launch her Chicago office, Marisa, led several casting searches in Chicago for 2014 pilots for CBS, ABC, 20th Century Fox and Sony. Marisa is the co­founder of the SCOUT Chicago Festival which is an annual comedy festival highlighting Chicago’s new talent. It is attended by casting executives from all the major studios and networks (including NBC, CBS, FOX, ABC, Dreamworks, Showtime, USA and Comedy Central) along with independent Casting Directors and agents from NYC and LA for a weekend in June. Marisa is an active member of both the Casting Society of America and the Television Academy which she has served for several years on the Casting Director peer group committee. Marisa Ross has been nominated three times and was the recipient of the Television Casting Director of the Year award in 2009 given by the Talent Manager Association.

Brett Sechrist

Brett Sechrist has been with Naked Voices since 2011. A powerhouse in animation and interactive media, Sechrist was previously employed at AVO Talent in Hollywood, where he represented such notable talent as Kath Soucie (Rugrats), Marcia Wallace (The Simpsons), and Bill Farmer (Goofy), to name just a few. Sechrist also worked with producer Mario Kassar (Terminator, Rambo) and various producers at Paramount Pictures before moving into the agency side of filmmaking. Mr. Sechrist is a Seattle native and graduated from the University of Redlands in California with a degree in Creative Writing and Film Production.

Kevin Theis

Kevin has been a director, actor and writer in Chicago for the past twenty­-eight years. An ensemble member with the Irish Theatre of Chicago and an Artistic Associate with the Oak Park Festival Theatre, Kevin has directed for City Lit, CT20 Ensemble, Lifeline, greasy joan and others and has received three Jeff nominations for his directing work. As an actor, he has performed at the Goodman, Next, Festival Theatre, Seanachai, Lifeline and many others and received a nomination for his performance in Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me in 2013. Favorite recent shows include directing Lifeline’s Monstrous Regiment and performing in Seanchai Theatre’s The Seafarer. He is a three­-time Deathscribe director, and twice directed the winner of the coveted Bloody Axe Award (­Joseph Zettelemaier’s “Fish Story” and Chelsea Paice’s “We Apologize for the Inconvenience”).

WildClaw Theatre presents DEATHSCRIBE 2015 on Monday, December 7th, at the Mayne Stage on Morse Ave. in Chicago. Click here for more information.

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by Axel Arth
directed by Leigh Barrett

Featuring Andrew Behling, Elyse Dawson, Christopher M. Walsh*, and Mandy Walsh*

When a tent revival rolls into town promising cures for all life’s ills, everyone is interested in what Dr. Mordebit is selling, especially the children. But when the good doctor’s intentions become clear, the town may regret their choice. Especially the children.

Axel Arth is thrilled to be part of Deathscribe 2015. A Nebraska native, he is a graduate of the Johnny Carson School of Theatre and Film. Starting his fifth year in the city, Axel is proud to call Chicago his home and its artists his peers. His work has been featured in American Theater Company’s Big Shoulders Festival, as well as several other festivals in the city. Additionally, he is a five time contributor to the Whiskey Radio Hour.

Leigh Barrett has been a producer, designer and manager active in new play development in Chicago since landing here in 1989. She is Artistic Director of Babes With Blades Theatre Company, where she directed the world premieres of the screwball swashbuckler The Double, detective noir Bo Thomas and the Case of the Sky Pirates, and most recently the western drama Patchwork Drifter. She has also directed readings for Chicago Dramatists, Strangeloop Theatre, City Lit, Inch Worm Playreading Series, and for Babes With Blades Fighting Words series. This is her first time playing with Wild Claw – Enjoy the ride!

*Denotes WildClaw company member.

For more information about this year’s festival, follow this link to the official page for Deathscribe 2015.

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by Tim Griffin
directed by Elly Green

Featuring Kathryn Acosta, Kevin Alves, Krista D’Agostino*, and Katie McLean Hainsworth

In this homespun cross-stitch of American terror, a lonely young girl’s innocent wish conjures a bloody bible-belt object-lesson of how a sincere attempt at redemption might be ambushed by long-overdue retribution.

Tim Griffin is thrilled for Imaginary Fiend to be chosen as a finalist for Deathscribe 2015. His writing work includes the produced stage plays Deadworry, Ticklebrains, Murder in Mirthburg, Closer to Free, and Re: Alice, as well as the short films Snare and The Cellar Job, and the full-length creature feature Tail Sting. He is currently working on Letters from the Seventh Circle (a collection of horror/dark fantasy short stories), a new full-length gothic horror play, and the first in a series of “superhero noir” novels. As an actor, Tim has performed on stage and/or screen in Chicago, Los Angeles, Dublin, and Moscow, and is also an accomplished voiceover talent and fight choreographer. His jazz-blues band, “The Smoking Section,” plays regularly in the Chicago area. He is of indeterminate age and is currently at large.

Elly Green recently directed After Miss Julie by Patrick Marber (Strawdog Theatre) and The Woman Before by Roland Schimmelpfennig (Trap Door Theatre). Current/upcoming projects include No More Sad Things by Hansol Jung for Sideshow Theatre, and The Distance by Deborah Bruce for Haven Theatre. Other Chicago directing credits: Happy (Redtwist Theatre), Unwilling and Hostile Instruments (Theatre Seven), Rabbit (Stage Left Theatre – Jeff Nominated, Best Director) and The Tomkat Project (Playground Theatre & NY Fringe). Elly was the assistant director on Henry V (Chicago Shakespeare Theater) and Proof (Court Theatre). Her UK directing credits include: Our Country’s Good, My Balloon Beats Your Astronaut, Beyond Therapy, About Tommy, Copenhagen, Skylight, The Beach and The Zoo Story. She also spent a year at the Royal National Theatre as a staff director on Oedipus, Mrs. Affleck and Her Naked Skin. Elly has an MFA in theatre directing from Birkbeck College, University of London.

*Denotes WildClaw company member.

For more information about this year’s festival, follow this link to the official page for Deathscribe 2015.

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by Joseph Zettelmaier
directed by Sara Sevigny

Featuring Robyn Coffin and Jennifer Santanello

Sara and Amber have followed their dream and moved into a small cottage in the woods. They soon discover it is infested with vile, crawling things. Fortunately, the little vermin are totally harmless. Right?

Joseph Zettelmaier is scary excited to return to Deathscribe, having previously written The Monroe County Pumpkin Queen in 2013 and Fish Story in 2012 (Bloody Axe Winner). He’s a Michigan-based playwright and instructor at Eastern Michigan University, where he teaches Playwriting, Stage Management, and Stage Combat. This season, his plays Dr. Seward’s Dracula and The Gravedigger will be performed at Normandale Community College, All Childish Things at The KNOW Theatre of Cincinnati, The Decade Dance at Williamston Theatre, and Pulp at both Phoenix Theatre and The Performance Network. This past summer, he contributed “Coulrophobe” to WildClaw’s Motel 666. He’s also an Artistic Associate at First Folio Theatre. Big thanks to WildClaw for inviting him back around the campfire.

Sara Sevigny is a Chicago-based actor, singer, improviser, writer, and director of “festivals” or “one night only events”. A full run? You’ve lost your mind. This is her return to Deathscribe as a director, where she was triumphant last year directing Noah Simon and Corrbette Pasko in Christopher M. Walsh’s winning piece, “Fracture Zone.” Oh yeah. BRING IT! A proud member of the Actor’s Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, you can check our her credits on her website. I mean we’re here for horror. Let’s stay focused. Sara currently resides as an ensemble member and playwright with The Factory Theater in Chicago. She loves travel, overly dramatic karaoke, writing with her comedy partner Corrbette Pasko, and fighting zombies. You’ll thank her.

For more information about this year’s festival, follow this link to the official page for Deathscribe 2015.

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