Nazi-occupied Aquitaine, 1943: François Dufy, alcoholic and alone, is dragged into the war effort when he rescues a young Jewish girl from the Nazi Security Police. She breathes life into his world and gives him a reason to go on.
Dufy begins a path of revenge on the occupying Germans. A sniper in the Great War, he uses his skills to devastating effect, always posing as the town drunk. Then the British drop supplies and a beautiful SOE agent whom Dufy falls in love with. But as the invaders hunt down the partisans in the deep, crisp woodland, nothing works out as Dufy had hoped. Farewell Bergerac is an unforgettable wartime tale of fragile love, loss, and redemption.
On the eve of World War II, the most intelligent nuclear physicist in the world discovers a new sub-atomic particle, but before his secret could get out, he mysteriously disappears. The repercussions of the young physicist’s actions leave waves that, 80 years later, reach the rocky shores of Ocean Point, Maine.
Perry Franklin, a US government researcher, is pulled from forced retirement to investigate a strange phenomenon that shut down one of the CIA’s most sophisticated spy satellites. Odd clues soon lead him to an isolated village on the northern coast of Sicily where he finds much more than he was looking for. To avoid disturbing the delicate balance of nuclear powers, Franklin must put his career and his life in the hands of a woman, a family, and a culture unlike any he’d experienced before. Join Perry Franklin and his Sicilian companion, Christina LaTorre, as they reluctantly battle rogue boat captains, black ops mercenaries, and high-level political appointees, to achieve an outcome that will change the world.
Nazi-occupied Aquitaine, 1943: A beautiful young woman is found murdered in the shadow of the Bergerac Prefecture. Auguste Ran, assistant chief of police, suspects Brunner, a German security police major, of the crime. The more Auguste investigates, the more obsessed he becomes with bringing down the seemingly untouchable Brunner. Auguste begins to realize he has been conveniently ignoring the Nazi atrocities going on around him and understands too late the human cost of his own participation in the internment of the local Jewish population. Driven by conscience and struggling with his Catholic religious beliefs, his actions start to put his own family at risk. Harboring the daughter of his lifelong Jewish friend Pierre, they are forced into a desperate trek toward neighboring Switzerland, pursued all the way by the German Sicherheitspolizei.
“For Blood & Glory” by Cassandra A. Hendricks is officially wrapped and just released on Audible and Amazon! Really had a lot of fun working with Cass on this new venture, the first in her “Chronicles of the 13th Tribe” series. And so grateful she entrusted me with the project involving several strong female protagonists and lots of ethnic characters in play. Wonderfully actable scenes that make it as much fun as a So. Cal. coming-of-age story as it is a brewing interplanetary war between good and evil. Check it out on the audiobook page for the details!
Pre-order Now! Available for 72 hour access October 15-31!
Wicked Drama. Great Voices. Just Add Your Imagination…In this classic tale from the pen of one of the greatest of storytellers, a man tampers with his own psyche to free his spirit and mistakenly unlocks his own evil nature. Immerse yourself in 1880s London as PICT brings one of the most beloved horror stories to life in a stunning new radio drama. This world premiere audio experience can be streamed right into your home on the device of your choice for only $10.
Featuring Martin Giles, John Michnya, Tony Bingham, Darren Eliker, James Fitzgerald, Karen Baum, Cotter Smith, Ken Bolden, and Carolyn Jerz.
We jokingly refer to it as the TARDIS after the fictional time machine/spacecraft from the Dr. Who series. But it’s one way that has helped make theater possible in the new normal. It’s where I got to spend a day and a half with my fellow actors Marty Giles, Tony Bingham, and James Fitzgerald cutting our scenes for the upcoming The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll, an audio adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic written by Alan Stanford, artistic director of Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre.
Just a week before, the AEA audition call went out, followed by a flurry of call backs, castings, and COVID testings. Then two evenings of Zoom rehearsals and union meetings with the rest of the 9-member cast to go over all the new socially-distant protocols that had been put in place. All weirdly fascinating. Rehearsing by Zoom is just odd for people used to being in the same room, hearing each other in the same space, seeing expression, and salivating all over each other. Yes, dear audience, that’s the price of enunciation and p-p-p-passionate diction to be clear for you in the back row. I say that as a particularly spitty actor. Don’t let anyone tell you we don’t aerosolize.
The Tardis has four entrances, one each side, leading to individual booths separated by plexiglas from the chest up and wood framing covered by heavy blacks on the bottom half. Each actor was given a personal pair of earbuds we had to keep with us. And the spaces were all wiped down between actor changes. Outside, in addition to being masked, everyone was spaced at individual tables about twelve feet apart and had a clockwise walk path around the recording space to follow. There were weekly COVID tests to be taken and daily temperature checks on the way in to the building. I really have to hand it to both the union and the theatre company for working really well together with a great deal of care, clarity, and camaraderie to make it all possible.
I’ve only heard stories about when the Orson Welles’ radio drama of H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds originally aired and scared the pants off people. But I do remember listening to Jeff Wayne’s musical adaptation of it as a kid one Halloween, and huddling under the covers as the sound of the first Martian cylinder ominously unscrewed on an imaginary Horsell Common and Richard Burton intoned the depiction of black slathering bodies that glistened and writhed in the pit before the coming of the heat ray.
What we call “radio” is really audio production and internet streaming, but the effect is the same as any of you who consume audiobooks already knows. Theatre of the mind is incredibly powerful and personal because it enlists the listener’s own imagination as it brings a scene to life with the sounds of the actors and magic of foley. And it’s one of the many reasons I’m thankful to be part of this production. In an industry that’s been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, its just one way theatre is being done together, yet apart. We hope you enjoy it.
Dr. Jekyll is the first of a series of radio dramas PICT is producing between now and Christmas and is set to stream between October 15-31. TICKETS ON SALE NOW at www.picttheatre.org.
Featuring the talents of Martin Giles, John Michnya, Tony Bingham, James Fitzgerald, Karen Baum, Cotter Smith, Ken Bolden, Carolyn Jerz and myself. Written by Alan Stanford. Cory Goddard, Stage Manager. Catherine Kolos, Company Manager. Patrick McCall, Production Manager. Sound by Kristopher Buggey and Foley by Reed Allen Worth.
“Joe Nolan and his Thought Thief friends managed to escape Brightside in the original novel, but now they find themselves with a giant price on their heads, the entire country looking for them. Joe is badly injured and up against incredible odds but he is willing to do whatever it takes to helps his friends and father.”
Are we bad people who sometimes do good things, or good people who do bad things?
As a society that struggles to reconcile the uncovering of past wrongs with simple human frailty, punishment, and personal redemption, the stories in Without Expiration challenge us to consider the humanity of characters who are flawed and heartbroken and who do and suffer terrible things.
Works from Without Expiration have been published in some of America’s best short fiction journals. From the tale of a devastated father hunting his daughter’s killer to that of a couple forced to confront the disintegration of their marriage anew each time the wife awakes from a persistent vegetative state, the short fictions in this anthology seek to obliterate any sense of righteous indignation and to question how any of us can make it unscathed through a life where our every mistake is without expiration.
We’re all itching to get back to work. Pittsburgh is no exception. But we won’t do it without each other. Writing and producing audio from my bunker at home, with Gary Dickson, editing video from his, we put this piece together for Salem Surround, a division of Salem Media Group.