The Spidey Project

Spotted Pup Productions, which ran a staging of Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog last year, is back with a new musical project: The Spidey Project! Founded in 2011 by Noa Saunders, the production company is designed to “create opportunities for young artists, produce high quality shows, and build connections with the community.”

The Spidey project “is an unauthorized musical parody created in the wake of the extended preview performances of Spider Man: Turn Off the Dark, which was criticized for its excessive delays, bloating budget, and cast injuries.”

Spotted Pup is also delighted to announce THE SPIDEY PROJECT marks Nate Venet’s directorial debut. The show consists of a cast of seven local high school and college students and a live band. Saunders says, “Nate and the cast have been incredible, working so hard on every aspect of the production. I’m also very lucky to have fantastic support from many adults, including our sponsors: John Canning and PCC, Bill Reed Voice Studio, Tanya Lee Stone, Associates in Orthodontics, and Northfield Savings Bank. I could not do this without the support of so many people!”

The play will begin on at the Main Street Landing Black Box Theater on December 12th with two shows at 7 and 9pm, with additional shows on Saturday, December 13th at 7 pm and 9 pm, and Sunday, December 14th at 6 pm. Tickets are free, but reservations are encouraged. Donations will be accepted for the Make-A-Wish Foundation in Vermont.

Reserve your tickets here.

Reminder: “Sci-Fi Exploration” Performances

Sci-Fi Poster scan

Tonight, the Eclipse Grange Theater will be starting their run of performances of some classic SF stories.

We are presenting our fourth episode of this popular series, in the style of “Selected Shorts” on NPR. Now celebrating its two-year anniversary, these rehearsed readings – not mini-dramatizations – integrate words, music, and lighting to present theatrical performances. Themed “Sci-Fi Exploration,” this episode features stories by such masters as Isaac Asimov, Ray Bradbury, and Fredric Brown. Taken together, the evening explores several sci-fi genres.

The stories featured are:

  • Isaac Asimov, “The Immortal Bard”
  • Leslie Stone, “The Invasion of Gola”
  • Fredric Brown, “Knock”
  • Ray Bradbury, “The One Who Waits”
  • Eileen Gunn, “No Place To Raise Kids”

You can get more information at Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for Seniors, and $10 for students. The performances will be held at the Eclipse Grange Theater, located in Thetford. The first show starts at 7:30 pm

Eclipse Grange Shorts “Sci-Fi”

Sci-Fi Poster scan

This is seriously cool: the Parish Players of Thetford Vermont are embarking on their 4th episode of their theater series Eclipse Grange Shorts. The theme this time around is adaptations of Science Fiction stories!

Here’s the stories that will be staged:

Isaac Asimov, “The Immortal Bard”
Leslie Stone, “The Invasion of Gola”
Fredric Brown, “Knock”
Ray Bradbury, “The One Who Waits”
Eileen Gunn, “No Place To Raise Kids”

The shorts will be held on September 5th and 6th at 7:30 pm, Septembed 7th at 3:00pm, and September 12th and 13th at 7:30pm. The play will be held at the Eclipse Grange Theater in Thetford. Tickets go for $15 for adults, $12 for seniors and $10 for students. Reservations can be made at 802-785-4344.

What makes this cool is some of the authors involved: Asimov and Bradbury are largely household names, but it’s really exciting to see stories from early SF pioneers such as Leslie Stone, who doesn’t get a lot of press. It’s also really cool to see Frederic Brown and Eileen Gunn make the list. This looks like something that we’ll be heading out to see!



Kickstart This: Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction & Fantasy Plays


There’s a Vermont connection to this Kickstarter project, Geek Theater: Anthology of Science Fiction & Fantasy Plays. Jeanne Beckwith and F. Brett Cox’s play’s play, Mission to Mars, will be included. This play was read at the first Vermont SF Writer’s series event last year!

Here’s what the kickstarter is about:

Geek Theater includes an assortment of stage plays, which range from full-length to monologues. Our goal is to showcase the exciting plays being written for the theater by well-known science fiction and fantasy authors and playwrights. The exact combination of play lengths will be determined as we develop the final selection of pieces for the anthology. However, we’ve already confirmed the bulk of the plays that will be included within the anthology.

Here’s their bios from the Kickstarter:

Jeanne Beckwith’s plays have been performed from coast to coast and in between. Her play, A War Story at the Rialto, was recently produced by the State Theatre of Turkey in Ankara and Istanbul. Another play Opportunity of a Lifetime was selected best SciFi Play by Red Tale Theatre and received a staged reading in NYC . It was presented as a radio play by the Thistle Dew Theater in Sacramento this past January. Selections from her play, Love Letters Made Easy, produced by Lost Nation Theatre, Montpelier VT, in 2010, were published in Smith and Kraus’s 2011 Best Scenes and Monologues for Women. She is a member of the Dramatist’s Guild and lives in Vermont with her husband, the writer, F. Brett Cox and teaches theatre and English at Norwich University.

F. Brett Cox’s fiction, poetry, essays, and reviews have appeared in numerous publications. Forthcoming in 2014 are new stories in the anthologies Shadows and Tall Trees, War Stories, and Tales in Firelight and Shadow. His plays have been presented in staged readings at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Alaska, and in performance at TenFest and the Burlington Fringe Festival in Vermont. With Andy Duncan, he co-edited the anthology Crossroads: Tales of the Southern Literary Fantastic (Tor, 2004), and he currently serves as Vice-President of the Board of Directors of the Shirley Jackson Award. A native of North Carolina, Brett is Associate Professor of English at Norwich University and lives in Vermont with his wife, playwright Jeanne Beckwith.

There’s three days left to support this really cool project!

The Quarry


This looks like a promising show at the Flynn: The Quarry. Put on by the Vermont Stage Company, it follows a town after a mysterious discovery in a nearby quarry. The play will run from April 23rd through May 11th at the FlynnSpace in Burlington.

Here’s the description:

An eerie discovery is made in the marble quarry of the Vermont town where Jean has spent her life – and now everything is changing. For the first time, she scrutinizes the complex and intertwining lives of her neighbors, all of whom are trying to keep it together as they are increasingly mystified by the goings-on in the rocky domain beneath their feet.

This World Premiere combines original live music with panoply of characters to create a world that explores unconventional relationships, notions of home, aging, Vermont geology, love, guilt, second chances, and the wide-ranging powers of the unknown.

The play is written by Greg Pierce with music from Randal Pierce.

Here’s a preview:

The play premieres today, and will run on the following dates at the FlynnSpace in Burlington:

  • 04/23/14 7:30 PM
  • 04/24/14 7:30 PM
  • 04/25/14 7:30 PM
  • 04/26/14 2:00 PM
  • 04/26/14 7:30 PM
  • 04/27/14 2:00 PM
  • 04/30/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/01/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/02/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/03/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/04/14 2:00 PM
  • 05/07/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/08/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/09/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/10/14 7:30 PM
  • 05/11/14 2:00 PM

Ticket prices are $32 for Adults and $28.80 for Students. Prices for shows on Friday and Saturday night are $37.50 for adults and $33.75 for students.

More details here. Buy tickets here.

Theater: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

One of Joss Whedon’s best productions is coming to South Burlington, courtesy of Spotted Pup Productions: Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog! The theater company will be producing a live version of the musical from January 3rd through the 5th, and will benefit Equality Now.


  • Friday, January 3rd at 7pm & 9pm
  • Saturday, January 4th at 7pm & 9pm
  • Sunday, January 5th at 6pm

The production will be performed at Spotlight Vermont, in South Burlington. Tickets are free, but donations are highly encouraged. Reserve your seat here.

Open Fields Medieval Festival May 25-27

With the official first day of spring coming up fast, it’s time to start thinking about those mythical “out of doors” events. Word’s getting out about Open Fields’ medieval festival, held on the Thetford town green at the end of May:

On Saturday, May 25, 2013, Open Fields will hold its Medieval Festival on the Thetford Green from 11 am to 3 pm. During this family-friendly festival, the Green comes alive with the sights and sounds of a Medieval village. A King & Queen, knights and ladies, peasants, craftsmen, shepherds, and farmers gather to celebrate the age via music, dance, games of skill and chance, food, parades, storytelling, Benny the Dragon, and feats of juggling and acrobatics. Costumes are encouraged.

[Tip via New England Science Fiction and Fantasy Events.]

BTV Radio Players present The Gloved Fox!

It started with a serendipitous discovery. Early in 2012, Andrew Liptak, the founder of Geek Mountain State, mentioned an upcoming performance by The Intergalactic Nemesis at the Flynn Theater. On a whim, my partner Andrew Rash and I decided to check out this unique, interesting-looking performance art that mixed live radio drama with Foley effects and comic book images projected onto a large screen.

Inspired by this experience, my partner Andrew developed an original superhero-esque character named the Gloved Fox, set her heroic exploits in a 30’s-era city, and started approaching friends and acquaintances with his idea of writing, producing, and directing a live radio drama complete with Foley effects. The response was immediate and overwhelmingly positive. Friends of friends asked how they could take part in this adventure. Actors, radio lovers, sound designers, and aspiring Foley artists all came together and asked, “How can we make this happen?”

Andrew approached Bill Simmon and the staff at VCAM to discuss using VCAM’s equipment to record the episodes with the intention of creating both a video and audio version. Though the episodes were to be designed primarily for the radio/Internet listener, Andrew also wanted to create something visually appealing to highlight the acting and skill that goes into radio theater and Foley artistry. Andrew’s ideas intrigued Bill, and he eagerly agreed to help us figure out how to make The Gloved Fox! possible.

Thus, The Gloved Fox! was born! As of today, we’ve recorded episode 1 – “The Thespian’s Revenge” – and made it available as a video version on Youtube and a downloadable audio version through Google docs. We learned quite a bit about on-the-fly sound mixing with this first episode, as you will hear when you listen/watch (since it was performed in one take without post-editing). Our technical issues revolved mostly around audio mixing and how different types of microphones pick up sounds – issues that we will iron out with future recordings (and the help of a more experienced audio engineer who has joined our team!).

Designing the Foley SFX has been one of the most geekilicious aspects of this project, and as lead of sound design and Foley artistry, I’ve learned a great deal about creating and performing SFX. Our goal is to perform most of the SFX live, relying on pre-recorded sound as little as possible. This goal has led to fantastic sound design meetings where we’ve played with a variety of objects and brainstormed ideas for needed sounds, lengthy research sessions of old-time radio drama Foley techniques, random experimentation with various objects that we encounter each day, and e-mails with the creators of The Intergalactic Nemesis for advice. Some of our happiest discoveries so far: using a large suitcase to simulate car door opening and closing; “random acts of fruit violence” to mimic knife stabbing and neck breaking; and the maker talents of our friends in creating a beautiful and functional “Foley door.” While we still struggle to make the microphones pick-up certain sounds effectively (i.e. the thunder in episode 1), we eagerly continue our experiments as Andrew’s scripts challenge us to explore new ground with each episode.

We are scheduled to record episode 2 “Victims of the Voracious Vamp” and episode 3 “Wrath of the Wraith” on February 1st. Andrew has mapped out 10 episodes for The Gloved Fox!, after which he will write a series of Old West/Cowboy stories followed by a serial adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

Stay tuned for upcoming episodes – and more “lessons learned” as we explore the world of live radio drama!

Japanese Robot Android Human Theater

Japanese Robot Android

The Flynn Center for the Performing Arts has a really interesting looking performance coming up in February 2013: Japanese Robot Android Human Theater. The show will be on February 21st (already sold out), and February 22nd, both at 8pm. Tickets are $25.

Here’s the description:

Internationally acclaimed playwright and director Oriza Hirata teams up with world-renowned roboticist Hiroshi Ishiguro to present Japanese Robot Android Human Theater: the first full-scale theater production in which human actors share the stage with robots. Set in the near future when it has become natural for robots and humans to coexist, I, Worker depicts a young couple, the Mayamas, who live with two robots named Takeo and Momoko. The second piece, Sayonara, stars an android who not only looks but acts like a human, and features a scene in which a robot recites Japanese, French, and German poems to her dying young master. This groundbreaking, haunting performance casts questions on the roles of work, technology, and what it means to be human, as well as our relationship with life and death.

Looks pretty awesome!