Review: Wildclaw Theatre Presents Deathscribe 2015
Whenever December rolls around I get excited for the annual Deathscribe radio play extravaganza from Wildclaw Theatre. This is the eighth year they’ve been hosting this party and TerrorDave Fuentes and I trekked up to the wilds of the northside of Chicago to enjoy an evening of laughs and gasps at the Mayne Stage.
Motel 666 presented by Wildclaw Theatre
Directed by Scott Cummins
After watching Wildclaw Theatre’s latest work Motel 666, a 7-play anthology based around a creepy hotel room, Terror Dave Fuentes said serveral times that he was reminded of old EC Comics series like Tales from the Crypt. Horror stories are particularly well adapted for short form stories since many revolve around archetypal characters and themes. The murderer facing karmic justice; the innocent person getting into serious trouble after touching an evil object; the monster in the basement taking an unsuspecting home owner by surprise.
The anthology format has worked very well for Wildclaw in their annual radio play competition Deathscribe, so it seems a logical progression to apply the same format to fully staged plays.
The Revenants presented by Wildclaw Theatre
Written by Scott T. Barsotti
Directed by Brad Akin
It’s a cliche nowadays to say that horror stories that become popular reflect the “zeitgeist of the times”. Giant monsters roam around due to radiation? We’re afraid of nuclear bombs. Space aliens secretly infiltrate a town? Communists are endangering our children! The current rage is zombies – faceless hordes wanting nothing more than to eat our flesh and turn us into one of them. Movies and TV shows starring either slow or fast hordes of zombies running amok in the world are everywhere.
Nothing says Happy Holidays like a little bit of horror!
For seven years Chicago’s Wildclaw Theatre has opened the holiday season with a fun performance of 5 radio horror plays. They invite a panel of judges to choose a winner of the coveted Bloody Axe award. The show takes place at the Mayne Stage (http://www.maynestage.com/) which adds to the fun – food and drinks flow freely to the enjoyment of all.
Every year since 2008 Wildclaw Theatre has celebrated the holiday season with a Festival of short horror radio plays. Running only 10 minutes in length, these plays have to depend strictly on story and sound to get their ideas across.
I attended my first Deathscribe festival last year with Terror Dave Fuentes (read Dave’s review of it here). Last year I did not know what to expect at all. I’ve been to many theater productions around Chicago, but never to radio plays. It was a lot of fun, so I was really looking forward to this year now that I knew how it worked. Continue reading
On January 11, 2014, Terror Dave Fuentes and I saw Strawdog Theatre’s production of Pontypool, a play based on the book Pontypool Changes Everything (read my review here).
The book, screenplay, and play were written by Tony Burgess. Tony is a Canadian author who has written several novels, including Hellmouths of Bewdley, Pontypool Changes Everything, Caesarea, and Fiction For Lovers. He was nominated for both the Genie Award and the Chlotrudis Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Pontypool. Continue reading
Adapted by Tony Burgess
Directed by Anderson Lawfer
Zombies have been undergoing a renaissance lately, much like vampires and werewolves have over the past 20 years or so. This past year there were two films that show the huge range of storylines now being told – the romantic comedy “Warm Bodies”, and the fast-zombie invasion “World War Z”. To continue keeping the genre fresh, new ways of telling the same basic story need to be found.
Strawdog Theatre is presenting a different take on the zombie with “Pontypool”, a play adapted by Tony Burgess from his book Pontypool Changes Everything. Burgess originally adapted his book as a screenplay for the 2008 film “Pontypool”, directed by Bruce McDonald. I attended the January 11, 2014 performance with Terror Dave Fuentes.