Theatrefolk - The Drama Teacher Resource Company
Looking at Theatre in a New Light: being creative with your high school drama program
Lindsay Price

Looking at Theatre in a New Light: being creative with your high school drama program

Episode 144: Looking At Theatre in a New Light

In this episode we have two interviews that explore theatre in a new light. That’s the wonderful thing about theatre – it is malleable, it’s changeable. You can approach the act of theatre is so many different ways. It can happen in a theatre, it can happen in a parking lot. It can be realistic, absurd, intimate, epic, people can break into song at any moment. You can take a piece of theatre and put it in a different style. You can take something from another genre and apply it to a theatrical form. Clark Taylor took a podcast and turned it into a play with shadow puppetry, actors, and live music. The students at Shelby High School took a script and filmed it in locations around the school. Theatre can happen any time, anywhere.

Show Notes

Episode Transcript

Welcome to TFP – The Theatrefolk Podcast – the place to be for Drama teachers, Drama students, and theatre educators everywhere.

I’m Lindsay Price, resident playwright for Theatrefolk.

Hello! I hope you’re well. Thanks for listening.

This is Episode 144! 144 and you can find any links for this episode in the show notes. Where are they?

All right. Today, in this episode, which would be 144, we’re going to look at theatre in a new light, and I think that’s the amazing, awesome, wonderful, spectacular thing about theatre. It’s not static; it doesn’t have to be. It’s malleable. It’s changeable.

You can approach the act of theatre in so many different ways. It can happen in a theatre. It can happen in a parking lot. It can be realistic, absurd, intimate, epic. You know, people can break into song at any moment and people will go, “Yeah, that’s theatre.”

You can take a piece of theatre and put it in a different style. You can take something from another genre and adapt it to a theatrical form. All of this – all these different explorations and approaches – those are the reasons that I love theatre and why I like writing and being in this form.

That’s what we’re going to do today – look at theatre in a new light.

First, we’re going to talk to Clark Taylor.

Clark is a Drama teacher in Georgia and he took a podcast and adapted it to the stage using shadow puppetry, live actors, and live music. When I got that email from Clark, ogh, I knew I wanted to talk to him about this.

After I talk to Clark, I’m going to talk to a group of students who took one of my plays and adapted it into a film – used their school as the location, as the landscape.

But, first, we talk to Clark. Let’s get to it.

LINDSAY: All right, I am here today with Clark Taylor. Hello, Clark!

CLARK: Hey! How’s it going?

LINDSAY: Awesome. How are you?

CLARK: Just fantastic.

LINDSAY: I like to hear that. So, first off, tell everyone in the world where you are situated.

CLARK: Well, right now, I’m direct from my living room in Atlanta, Georgia.

LINDSAY: Awesome. How long have you been a Drama teacher?

CLARK: I’ve been a Drama teacher a long time.

LINDSAY: Is it too long to put numbers?

CLARK: You may as well cut my leg off and count

LINDSAY: Okay, all right.

CLARK: Let’s just say that.

LINDSAY: Let’s say…

CLARK: Really, I didn’t get started… I was out of college and I was pursuing my career here in Atlanta and, I don’t know, I’ve gone through all these other art, artistic stuff in my life starting as a visual artist and then as a musician, composer, actor. I did lots of designing here in Atlanta and teaching just called to me. I just really found a niche there and able to use the gifts I had, artistically, to kind of combine that. That was a reason of finishing my master’s up at the Ashland Center for Theatre Studies in Southern Oregon and it’s just been wonderful.

LINDSAY: Well, that’s awesome. Yeah, I think that’s pretty wonderful to say you’ve been teaching since the dawn of time and yet that your last thought about it is that it’s still wonderful.

CLARK: Yeah, it is. It really completes the teaching artist in me, I think, very, very much. I love that I get to go in and, as a teacher and as a director, to use visual and oral elements to share the story-telling that I think is so unique and so important to what we get to do in the theatre.

LINDSAY: Yeah, and I think, at its heart, theatre is a visual medium. We sometimes forget that.

CLARK: Yeah, and I think it’s interesting how we’re going to come more to talking about how this show we did came around from an oral medium – a podcast – and makes its way on stage as a visual-driven piece.

LINDSAY: Well, that gets us right into the heart of what we’re talking about today. Clark sent me an email and told me about his production that highlighted shadow puppetry and also an awesome use of – you had five overhead projectors that you used?

CLARK: Right.

LINDSAY: And I just think that that is a great different aspect of theatre and it makes it completely visual in terms of because, we need to see, when we’re looking at the shadow puppetry, that’s what we’ve got – we’ve got shadows – in terms of making that happen.

Let’s get into why did you go from an oral podcast medium and choose partly shadow puppetry to illuminate it?

CLARK: Yeah, great story. Our creative director at school, he and I did a production together of a verbatim drama by Annabel Soutar based on the GMO battle over a canola farmer and it was a really cool experience. We got to implement a lot of visual elements of a little shadow puppetry and overhead projectoring. We had like a video monitor wall and it was fantastic. And so, he approached me that school season and said that he was able to scare up this cult following podcast called Welcome to Night Vale and he had gotten permission to let us stage it. And so, I said, “Wow! Fantastic and great!” Then, the more I started listening to the podcast, I mean, I don’t know if you’re familiar with it.

LINDSAY: I am familiar with it.

CLARK: It’s like the Twilight Zone.

LINDSAY: Yes, yes, yes! It is a podcast but it’s not like this podcast where we’re talking interviews and stuff. It’s much more out there.

CLARK: Yeah, really wonderful avant garde experimental piece. And so, we went around wondering how we wanted to stage this and still keep the elements of what made it such a cool, unique podcast in place. And so, where our black box theatre is really presented a wonderful opportunity for us. Before it was a black box, it was a weight conditioning room.

LINDSAY: Oh, okay. Let’s pause and let that sink in for everybody.


LINDSAY: Let me say it and let me verbalize it for everybody. Oh, my god, yes. So, a sweaty box, basically?

CLARK: Yeah, it smells like sweaty actors now.

LINDSAY: Well, okay.

CLARK: You know, it’s a small space and it divides between it the school cafeteria wall with four big panels of glass. Their initial purpose is that they were going to just remove that wall and make it one big old giant cafeteria until I said, “Wow. This would just make a fantastic black box for us and give us a place to do more intimate theatre and really experiment.” The school has always been wonderful in letting us explore and innovate and collaborate artistically.

Fast forward, a dear friend of mine and an amazing puppeteer, Lee Bryan – in fact, he’s known as “Lee Bryan – That Puppet Guy” – we’ve done a lot of shows together and puppetry but I never had a chance to do a lot of big shadow puppetry with him. And so, he came in and looked at those glass panels and said, “Whoa! This could just make an incredible shadow puppetry opportunity for you.” I said, “What? We’re going to have the audience sit out in the cafeteria and watch the show on these glass panels?” and he said, “Yeah!” And so that’s where I started discovering the wonders of low-tech overhead projectors.

LINDSAY: I have myself done… did a tour, I did a shadow puppetry version of Romeo and Juliet in which we used low-tech – we only had one – low-tech projectors.

CLARK: It’s amazing. It’s a wonderful rough magic that happens when you start pushing that medium around and seeing all the just incredible opportunities you have to do things. I’ll do another shout-out. Lee said, “You’ve got to watch this group out of Canada called,” and I love the name, “Manual Cinema.” That’s all they do. It’s just overhead shadow puppetry and live action in front of various light elements and that. And so, that’s what we went for. We had live actors who were acting and interacting with what we were doing on the overhead projectors. Just took bed sheets and made some roll-up blinds for the glass panels. We incorporated a live band because the podcast itself for their sessions had to say and now the weather they have music. And so, we had a live band playing outside and actors sometimes that would go in front of the panels as the story was unfolding. It was a theatrical experience that none of us had directed before. For the students, it was just fantastic because they had the opportunity to experiment as technicians and as artists and actors. If they weren’t behind a projector and manipulating cardboard and light gel and whatever, they were onstage in all kinds of apparatus and costumes, performing. It was really wonderful.

LINDSAY: There’s two things – one, I want to get into the whole student response side. Can you just break down a little bit about exactly how you used the projectors? Can you visually sort of talk about – for anybody listening – you know, what do you mean? How do you use an overhead projector and what is the final effect?

CLARK: Sure, yeah. We had four to five of these. A couple of them were at school and, the rest of them, I just got really cheap off of eBay. They’re just the old, you know, transparency projector. We measured them out and had them all set and sort of rough calibrated that we could show single images off of each panel of glass. You know, we had a projector for every panel. We can also configure it to show one big continuous image using four but that took a lot of rehearsal off of the puppeteers to pull that off. We mounted them just on some tables that we had for height and experimented with material. The bed sheet was incredibly great. Payoff, we didn’t have to spend a lot of money to getting twin screens or that for it. And then, we had a fifth overhead projector that was our sort of moving camera. We had it on a little track that we could move back and forth in front of the other projectors so we had some animation with it for scenes that we wanted to do. We had like a moon going across.

Everything that was done was manually operated. We had no computerized technology happening. We wanted it to be authentic and some of the kids said, “Wow. It’s like acoustic projection!” and I said, “Yeah. Yeah, it is.”

LINDSAY: Well, in this world that we live in right now where everything is CGI and everything, I’m sure your students are of that age where they expect a spectacle that is computer-driven.

CLARK: Yeah.

LINDSAY: To be able to provide them with an opportunity where the spectacle is of their own creation – both artistically and actually physically – I think that’s very cool.

CLARK: And, I think because a lot of the imagery we used was silhouetted, I think a lot of that imagination buy-in from the audience and from the performers as well just really paid off – that, as you were saying, the CGI, you know, we’re having so much of our imagination filled in for us by the crazy special effects that we’re given a steady diet of and so this – I keep going back – it’s just a wonderful rough magic that came out of this experience. For the audience, they were blown away. They’d never seen anything like it. Our headmaster was very impressed. We had a show and share afterwards that everyone could come backstage which was in the black box and see all the mirrors and smoke that we’d been doing. When they see how simple it was, that it was just, you know, overhead projectors and a whole lot of transparency sheets and some cardboard for cut-outs and, you know, costumes, they were really thinking, “Wow! That’s really incredibly impressive!”

LINDSAY: Did you play with color at all?

CLARK: Yeah! Yeah, we did! As I said, we just got a couple of light gel sample packs and we made mosaics with them. We used translucent markers and paint to do a lot of color on it. We had a couple of LED lights that we hung in some places to give us a big broad wash of color. Also, it colored shadows nicely so we kind of incorporated that but the majority of it was coming off of the overheads. The nice thing about our ring roll now is that you could grab images. You didn’t have to be a great artist. There’s just tons of clip art that we could manipulate a little and then throw on these transparency sheets and just print them out.

LINDSAY: I find that amazing now because I think you can just throw them into a printer, can’t you?

CLARK: Yeah, and you can do black and white or color.

LINDSAY: Wow. I think that’s awesome.

CLARK: Yeah. Some of the more animated things, you know, we just built. We learnt to experiment with scale a lot in the process also because the projectors themselves mounted were about three, four feet apart from each other. Doing a scene, we had one scene where there was this rolling man, just rolling left to right. We had to have four images of him and we had to rehearse. When he went off of the first screen, our second puppeteer is moving their rolling guy. To make it look consistent and continuous, that took a lot of rehearsal time. It was just fun. It was the most fun exploration we had. It was incredibly hard work, granted to be sure, but we all kind of felt like pioneers playing with this new medium.

LINDSAY: Okay. Let’s talk about your students. What was their initial response when you said, “Okay, this is what we’re doing.”

CLARK: Yeah, there was a long pause. I think, going back to what you were saying about this generation has grown up in a technological visual world that they’ve seen all this amazing contrived digital stuff and film and on TV, when I was pitching this to them, it was hard for them to wrap their heads around it but they trusted me. They know I’m pretty crazy anyway. But I accomplished a lot of wonderful things. They bought in and, as we started moving and manipulating and creating the stuff, they really got into it and, from that point, being inspired and innovated to come back and say, “Look what happens when I do this with this gel and this piece of fabric.” And so, it was a wonderful discovery process and they ended up just owning it themselves and I was able to move back more and more and let them go. That was just the most satisfying for me.

LINDSAY: Oh, yeah, what a wonderful thing that something that is sort of met with resistance ends up becoming their own creation.

CLARK: Yeah, they are so proud of it to show folks, when we went backstage to see the things, you could just see it in their faces and so proud and just watching folks’ faces when they saw what it really was making all the fantastic phantasmagorical show happen.

LINDSAY: Where do you think that having this experience for them, what was their takeaway and how are they going to apply it?

CLARK: One of them went off and did an internship at the Center for Puppeteer Arts. It’s our big organization – major puppeteer organization here in Atlanta. She went off and did an internship with them because she was so inspired.

LINDSAY: Oh, my god, that’s really cool! And, like, unexpected!

CLARK: Yeah, and I think they’ve become more interested in the visual aspects of – I don’t know – the simplicity effect with theatre that a small, small thing can just get so much creating empathy and excitement. That was a big discovery for a lot of them.

LINDSAY: You know what, too? Because there is so much emphasis in their daily lives on spectacle and we say, you know, theatre can be intimate, theatre can be small, what sometimes ends up happening is it’s bare stages and acting – which is fine, I’m very happy with that – but what a great way to introduce to students this is how we can be simple and this is how we can be theatrical and yet spectacle.

CLARK: Yeah. The other interesting thing that came out of it was the oral aspect that we had gone with deciding on, you know, there were so many episodes, we decided we were going to do the pilot episode of Welcome to Night Vale and then another piece that was called A Story About You. In rehearsal, we had made a lot of recorded voiceover work with our main actor but, at the end, we made a big decision to go back with him live and that made a really big difference in our first act. Our second act was so loaded with audio – things that were happening live and on recorded medium – that it was another wonderful experience for the students to see in just those two acts the variety and things that they could do with it.

LINDSAY: That’s awesome.

If you are speaking to a teacher who is listening about implementing shadow puppetry, what advice would you give them?

CLARK: I would give them advice that there’s a lot of great books out there and a lot of them dedicated to overhead projectionering. Can I say that?

LINDSAY: I say you can.

CLARK: Okay, good. One of them I think is called World of Shadow – that’s a great book. It kind of gives you a wonderful scale that, you know, “Here’s what you can do with just a sheet and a flashlight,” and showing you the small details of working with just one overhead projector screen that’s got some great schematics in there and that was really helpful to us that Lee recommend. And, you know, go out there. Use the internet, get on Google.

Check out Manual Cinema; it will blow you away. The unique thing about them is that you get to see all the manipulation happening right in front of you – the way they situate themselves, you can see the puppeteers doing their thing but right above them is the screen that it’s all happening.

LINDSAY: Oh, I like that because then it’s a learning thing, too.

CLARK: Yeah. You know, they use live music. All their stuff’s original. But it’s just mind-blowing what they can do and it’s just all manipulated. It’s all hand-manipulated. It’s like watching a magic show but you’re getting to see how they do the trick but it’s still awesome.

LINDSAY: Well, that’s the best kind of magic – when the mechanics of the trick don’t actually matter. You know it’s a trick and it’s still awesome.

CLARK: Yeah. With theatre, you know, we come in and we want to escape and buy into, they were looking at Elsinore Castle when we know it’s made out of foam block and two-by-fours. The thing with the puppetry – I don’t know – there’s just this old magic about it that it seemed like our audience was willing to just totally go with it and be caught up in the story.

LINDSAY: Do you think it mattered that you weren’t telling a children’s story but, using something like puppetry is a children’s technique? Do you think that that mattered? Not mattered… that that made a difference?

CLARK: I don’t think so. All the parents, adults that came to it, they were just amazed that they could enjoy something like that. It was a lot of the curious that came in to experience it and a lot of them just walked out just saying, “I’ve never seen anything like that. It was amazing.” Granted, there’s lot of adult puppetry out there that’s happening – shadow and otherwise. I just think we’re seeing more of that here with things like Avenue Q and all the great stuff that Julie Taymor did to bring big puppetry into the theatre. With Lion King, she just used so many different varieties of it. Things with like Manual Cinema and another great Canadian troupe called The Old Trout Puppet Company. They use a lot of that technique as well as other manipulative art. Yeah, I think it’s there for everyone.

LINDSAY: And it’s pretty much the definition of a theatrical experience.

CLARK: I think you get it all.

LINDSAY: Very cool.

CLARK: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Well, Clark, thank you so much for sharing this. I think that these are the kinds of things that we want to sort of get out there – that it’s possible. We don’t need big budgets and we don’t need fancy sets, lights, and costumes. We can do it all with an overhead projector.

CLARK: Absolutely, absolutely.

LINDSAY: Awesome. Thank you very much!

CLARK: Thank you!

LINDSAY: Thank you, Clark! Ah, it’s so awesome!

Okay. Now, Shelby County High School in Kentucky, they worked on a production of one of my plays, Agatha Rex, and they approached the play differently. They wanted to approach it as a film project rather than a theatre piece. Let’s talk to them, see how it worked, see what they did.

LINDSAY: Okay, I am talking to some folks at Shelby County High School in Kentucky and these guys have been working on a production of Agatha Rex. They’ve approached the show differently. They’ve been filming it – using it as a film project rather than a theatre piece – and I’ve got a couple of guys here. I have Trent Moody, he played Dr. Creon. I have the director, Harrison Baldwin; Josh Barry, co-director; Trey Stelnicker and Gabe Leeman you are a tech guy.

Okay, Harrison, let’s start with you. Why did you decide to do this as a film project instead of directing it as a theatre piece?

HARRISON: Well, a couple of reasons, really. Kind of the initial one was like, yeah, let’s try to take a different take on this – do something different – but also it worked out even better with us only having one hour intervals to work on and to practice it and there’s really no time to perform it or have extended rehearsals with it just being kind of a class and not being able to come after school and work on it for long periods of time so it worked out even better that we could film it and adapt it. Also, it’s a cool challenge that we wanted to take on – try to do it a little differently.

LINDSAY: That was the thought behind it. Okay, we’re just going to take this and then we’re going to put it on film. How was the reality of filming this? What was your biggest challenge?

HARRISON: The biggest challenge was probably the takes and the cuts and where to cut it and where to start filming again because, when you watch a movie, you’re like, “This flows really nicely.” It’s difficult when you’re on the other side. It’s like, “How are we going to make this flow as nicely as we see on TV or in the movies?”

LINDSAY: Josh, you were working with Harrison on this. What was your job as co-director?

JOSH: I was more of a stage manager.

LINDSAY: Ah, okay! What was your job?

JOSH: He would give me the idea. He would cut the script and change it to where it would fit with the recording aspect instead of as on a stage. I would put people where he wanted them to go, tell them what they were going to do, and kind of did them more on a personal level than like the small picture rather than the big picture was kind of like my job.

LINDSAY: Did you have to handle the actors?

JOSH: I did.

LINDSAY: Okay. Trent, what was it like being handled?

TRENT: At times, it was kind of frustrating but it was fun.

LINDSAY: Yeah? What was it like working on this as a film project?

TRENT: It was a bit different than actually doing it onstage because it gets more personal when it’s on-camera.

LINDSAY: How so?

TRENT: You see yourself doing it whereas, if you’re onstage, you just perform it for people. You get to have feedback on yourself.

LINDSAY: Yeah, it’s a much different experience when you can hide a little bit onstage, can’t you? Because you don’t really know what you look like and what you sound like but you’re right. It’s a real intimacy in film. You can actually see all the flaws, everything, very up-close, would you say?

TRENT: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Yeah? Dr. Creon, he’s a big character. He’s the principal, he’s not really vicious but he’s very stern and he’s very unchanging, unwavering. How did you play him?

TRENT: When I was doing his voice, I did it kind of angry with a little bit of sarcasm because he knew he was getting to the student as he was talking to them, and it was really fun.

LINDSAY: Yeah? How so?

TRENT: Because I got to mess with the students. On a serious note, I also got to mess with them and it’s kind of a fun experience.

LINDSAY: All right. Tell me, Gabe, you did sound, is that right?

GABE: I did sound and lighting and all kinds of stuff, really.

LINDSAY: What were the challenges for you?

GABE: Well, actually, you know, honestly, I feel like shooting the play on camera would have made it a lot easier, you know. Problem-shooting was a lot easier. You know, just speak up or get closer or open up. It’s a lot easier to hear you and see you and all kinds of stuff. If you’re shooting on the stage, you’re going to take ten to twenty minutes at a time trying to figure out what you can do to fix what you’re doing. On camera, it was a lot easier.

LINDSAY: What’s your experience working with sound?

GABE: Actually, this is the first time I’ve ever done it. I really enjoyed it.

LINDSAY: Awesome. How about you, Harrison and Josh, was this your first time working with film?

RESPONDENT: It was. Actually, we’ve done various other projects in class where we’ve kind of taken the director role, I guess you could say, but this was our first time actually filming it and using the cameras and the more technological stuff.

LINDSAY: Why do you think that Agatha Rex worked well as a film project?

RESPONDENT: Well, first off, we had a great setting to do it in because, you know, we’re…

LINDSAY: In a school.

RESPONDENT: In a school, yes, so that made it easy to find areas to film and get offices and things like that.

RESPONDENT: It was good because, sorry, what was your question again? Sorry, could you repeat that?

LINDSAY: That’s okay. So, I just want to know why this particular play worked well as a film project. We know that your location worked well. What about the content of the story?

RESPONDENT: It worked well, I guess the location you can say that even the people in it, they understand, they go through the stuff that Agatha – well, not as drastic but they go through this stuff every single day. You go to a school teacher controlling and trying to be overcontrolling and doing whatever they want so they understand that and they can sympathize and really understand and get into character because it’s close to the persona that they take on every single day.

LINDSAY: Have you finished? Do you have a finished product of your film yet?

RESPONDENT: We’re working on it. We’re working on finally piecing it together but it’s taken so long because we had to take a break because here we did, like, a five-hour arts spectrum so all the arts department put on a presentation and so the drama department put on just a section of the Agatha Rex that actually was performed onstage so we got a little bit of that, too. And so, we just had to take certain parts and actually mend them together and put them together to make it one coherent piece, scene, and so we’ve been working on that for the past few weeks to get that ready to be presented.

LINDSAY: Right. Now, you’ve got back to… What’s going to be the final cut is this? How long is it going to be, do you think?

RESPONDENT: It’s really hard to tell with all the… because we’re working on piecing together Act One and still kind of filming Act Two. It’ll probably be – I don’t know – close to an hour. Probably 30 to 45 minutes.

LINDSAY: That’s a pretty huge project, eh?


LINDSAY: Yeah, I think that’s a really amazing undertaking that you guys have put on.

Let’s go through each one of you guys. I want you to tell me what’s something that you learned on this project that you’re going to apply to the next project that you work on. Let’s go through. Trent, what’s one thing that you learned working on Agatha Rex this way?

TRENT: In the next production, if I do one, to be an authority figure, I know how it would feel to be that so I could better depict it.

LINDSAY: Yeah. Now, you’ve got some muscle memory, right? By working on this type of character, you could play this type of character again. Is this kind of character in your natural personality or is it completely different?

TRENT: I’m not usually a mean person so no.

LINDSAY: Well, that’s good. It’s good that you’re not a mean person. We try to shy away from that, right? What about working on film itself? What’s something that you learned working on film that you can apply next time?

TRENT: About just the aspects of it like knowing where you stand, where the camera is, because, if it’s real close, you don’t want to be all up on the camera.

LINDSAY: It’s a very specific medium, isn’t it? A lot of times, onstage, you can get away with wandering around and maybe making some different choices with your blocking. In film, because everything is so tight, you really have to know what your mark is and really hit it, right?

Harrison, did you have trouble with people not getting their marks and hitting their place where they were supposed to?

HARRISON: Yeah, sometimes, at the beginning. Gradually, it got better as they got more comfortable with filming and stuff. But that also was another way that itworked out because, you know, when that happens – someone missed a cue or missed a line or anything like that happens – just do another take.

LINDSAY: Awesome.

Harrison, what’s one thing that you learned in this process that you would apply?

HARRISON: You’ve got to be flexible. You can’t have a… I mean, you can have a plan but, when we started, we tried to map out like, this day we’re filming this, exactly this. Within two days, that was just all over the place. And so, you’ve just got to learn to adapt and learn to be flexible. With taking the break to do the fine arts spectrum and having to kind of mend the script to make what we were trying to accomplish with that. You’ve just got to be able to be flexible and take on whatever challenge and do as best you can and what you have to do.

LINDSAY: Josh, how about you? What did you learn in this project?

JOSH: Well, it would be kind of the same thing with flexibility but in a different way because I had to deal with the actors and, some days, they didn’t want to do anything.

LINDSAY: What did you do?

JOSH: Well, if that actor wasn’t in a scene that was on later, we got to shoot that one instead of the one we were previously going to take. I just had to figure it out – use what I had to make the scene, I guess.

LINDSAY: Okay, Trey, what did you learn in this process?

TREY: Mainly, to adapt then, sometimes, you’re not always going to be the big dog so you have to change your characters up.

LINDSAY: Okay. Gabe?

GABE: I learned to take charge. You know, some of the people didn’t want to work together but, you know, you have to make sure they work together and that they’re adapting to each other. You know, it’s like a really big role in that just getting as far as we have right now, really.

LINDSAY: Awesome. What do you think, guys? I think that’s probably what we’ve got on this project, eh? I hope that it all comes together for you. Was it fun working on this project?

RESPONDENT: Definitely.

LINDSAY: Definitely? Awesome. Well, that’s all we can ask for, right? I’m really impressed that it’s going to be such a… I guess I know the play is that long but, to put together an hour long film project like that, that’s a lot of work.

Harrison, are you and Josh putting together this final edit?

HARRISON: Us and Gabe.

LINDSAY: Ah, you and Gabe, cool. I think that’s great. Okay. Well, all the best with that.

RESPONDENT: Well, thank you very much.

LINDSAY: Awesome. Thank you for talking to me.

RESPONDENT: Yeah, thanks for having us.

LINDSAY: Bye, Trent!

TRENT: See you!

LINDSAY: Bye, Harrison!


LINDSAY: Thank you, Josh!

JOSH: Yeah.

LINDSAY: Thank you, Trey!

TREY: See you.

LINDSAY: And thank you, Gabe.

GABE: Have a great day.

LINDSAY: All right, you too. Thank you, guys!

Thank you, guys!

That was Trent Moody, he played Dr. Creon in the project; Harrison Baldwin was the director; Trey Stelnicker was another character, Elliot; and Gabe Leeman was the tech.

Before we go, let’s do some THEATREFOLK NEWS.

It’s a play feature! It’s a play feature! It’s time to feature a play!

I wanted to direct you to one of our brand new plays that looks at theatre in a new light, in a different light. Actually, it’s not really a new light. It’s a completely old light. It is a theatre as radio play.

We have Dead Men Don’t Do Radio Plays by Allison Williams.

This collection of two plays – there’s two one-act plays in here – we have Dead Men Don’t Carry Handbags and Dead Men Don’t Jaywalk. They both feature the same character, Steve Powell, who is radio star, Frank Grayson, Private Eye. On the radio show, he’s your typical suave, has a way with the ladies private eye – not so much in real life. Not suave, no ways with the ladies, and has this habit of narrating his life. But that doesn’t stop crimes from falling into his lap and his life.

Can this guy step into his character’s shoes and get the dame? Well, you’re going to have to read the play to find out.

This is such a great format for your students and Allison has done an amazing job with being very specific with the sound effects that you can use and there’s a nice essay at the end about putting on radio plays and how you can do it in the traditional style and still in front of an audience.

That’s Dead Men Don’t Do Radio Plays. I’m going to put the link in the show notes which you can find at

Finally, where, oh, where can you find this podcast? We post new episodes every second Tuesday at and on our Facebook page and Twitter. You can find us on and you can find us on the Stitcher app. You can also subscribe to TFP on iTunes. All you’ve got to do is search for the word – what is it? “Theatrefolk.”

And that’s where we’re going to end. Take care, my friends. Take care.

Music credit:”Ave” by Alex (feat. Morusque) is licensed under a Creative Commons license.

Products referenced in this post: Dead Men Don't Do Radio Plays

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Facilitating a student led production
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Subscribe for our exciting updates, insights, teaching resources, and new script releases. Plus, sign up now and get 4 plays and 2 lesson plans for FREE!

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