Cast & Crew
Dad – Baby Boy: Allen Busby
Mom – Baby Boy: Aliza Moran
Boy – Baby Boy: Nicholas Taylor
Doctor – Baby Boy: Robert Arnold
Sound Effects – Baby Boy: Karen Strachan
Writer – Baby Boy: Julia Hinson
Director – Baby Boy: Julia Hinson
Narrator – The Flower Tender: Erin McGhee
Old Woman – The Flower Tender: Cheryl Wolder
Sound Effects – The Flower Tender: Robert Arnold
Writer – The Flower Tender: Cheryl Wolder
Director – The Flower Tender: Cheryl Wolder
The Announcer – Cinema Verite: Robert Arnold
Janice – Cinema Verite: Erin McGhee
The Director – Cinema Verite: Allen Busby
The Producer – Cinema Verite: Andrew Sullivan
Mike – Cinema Verite: Joe Vescovo
Writer – Cinema Verite: Katherine Whitfield
Director – Cinema Verite: Katherine Whitfield
Musician: Jeremy Howard
Producer: Andrew Sullivan
Announcer: Tom Badgett
Artist: Karen Strachan
Special Thanks to:
- Kevin Collier of the McCoy Theater at Rhodes College
I could say that “Baby Boy” was inspired by my own experiences with a long-term pregnancy, but that would be a lie. I could also say that this story is inspired by my personal travels to and from multiple dimensions, but that too would be a lie. What I can say is that this story is inspired by my own recognition that people in relationships tend to grow toward and away from each other over and over again and for different reasons. Sometimes relationships grow apart and end, but sometimes, the lucky ones get a chance to start over. This is a story about the lucky ones.
The Flower Tender
Inspiration can come unbidden. I was at the preview party for Chatterbox, which introduced the idea to performers and writers who might be interested in taking part in radio productions, something I’ve long wanted to do. Listening to the discussion, my mind briefly wandered off into the land of imagination. Wondering what I might write, I suddenly envisioned an old woman rolling out her cart to plant flowers. I scribbled down a few notes and thought about it more on the drive home. My original intent changed only slightly as I began to write, as the characters began to speak in their voices.
Recording the play was a moving experience, not only as a performer enacting the part of the old woman (radio can let you play any character, even one way older than yourself!), but as the writer, hearing my play come to life and seeing the hard work everyone put into it. I hope you enjoy “The Flower Tender.”
I think most folks who have spent much time studying the craft of creative writing have, at some point or another, had some fun (perhaps) toying around with metafiction. Somewhere along the road between John Barth’s Lost in the Funhouse and David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest–and in my case, with a side venture along the way through Lorrie Moore’s breathtaking Birds of America–we start to explore the different facets of storytelling and the dynamic that exists between the writer/reader, experimenting with modernism, postmodernism, post-postmodernism, postoperative care (in Peed Onk and beyond), Post cereal, Yahtzee score sheets, super-omniscient narrators, dancing stick figures, and all of the literary nuances that contribute to the sense that we are creating something new, if only by the slightest margin.
When I initially wrote “Cinema Verite” for a fiction writing workshop during my senior year in college, I was hoping to accomplish a number of sweeping things: exploring the notions of human interconnectedness and divine authority, the various employments of irony within texts, the different aspects of the “every woman,” and the overarching concept of self-awareness both on and off the page. Quite a full plate for one story. Having recently adapted “Cinema Verite” for Chatterbox, I find myself far less concerned with those things that seemed so important to me at first blush. I am more interested in the gentle ebb and flow between life, art, and imitation; in the bright spots and the dark corners from which we draw our daily inspiration. I think the story says what it needs to say, and I also believe it has found a home here with Chatterbox–an entity very well acquainted with the creation of something new. It was an unexpected delight for me to hear these characters come to life outside of the printed page, and I’m left thinking of Janice and her final sentiments: this was really lovely.