Cast & Crew
Ensemble: Robert Arnold
Ensemble: Kell Christie
Ensemble: Tony Isbell
Ensemble: Shannon King
Ensemble: Kevin Murphy
Musician: Matthew Crewse
Sound Design / Sound Effects: Matt Reed
Sound Design / Sound Effects: Michael Towle
Sound Design / Sound Effects: Eric Sefton
Producer: Eric Sefton
Writer – The Hard Night’s Work: Marques Brown
Writer – The Children: Kyle Hatley
Writer – Stop Shaking: Robert Arnold
Director: Robert Arnold
Artist: Talia Liccardello
Audio horror stories are quite possibly my favorite kind. While a good portion of Old Time Radio now feels charmingly dated — comedies have an especially short shelf life — there’s still a lot of bite left in classic shows like Lights Out, Weird Circle, and Suspense. At its best, audio theater conjures vivid images in your mind. When those images are otherworldly, gruesome, or horrific, the experience can be a truly unsettling one.
It was this line of thinking that led to the concept of a Halloween anthology show. The idea was hatched in late August, when our fall recording calendar was already pretty full. We didn’t have enough free nights left to record a Halloween show and send it through post-production — so, we reasoned, why not produce it live? And if we were going to produce it live, why not do it on the radio, where it had the potential to reach an entirely new audience?
Chatterbox already had strong connections with the great folks over at WKNO, so they were a natural first choice. Several friends have marveled that we were able to secure two hours of airtime there, but here’s the truth: All we had to do was ask. Justin, Darel, Charlene, and Kacky could not have been more encouraging or accommodating. Not only did they give us the airtime — uninterrupted — they also provided us with a great performance space (in a corner of the WKNO TV studio) and excellent publicity. Plus they let us get away with some pretty devilish stuff on the air.
WKNO’s blessing was the catalyst that set the whole project into motion. I knew from the beginning that such a show would never work without a massive amount of talent propelling it forward, and I’m happy to say that that’s exactly what we were able to get. The show’s writers, each scribbling away on their own, came up with deeply individualistic stories that are constantly surprising — and chilling. Eric, our producer, dove in fearlessly, and was never once stumped by the technical complexity of the production. Matthew and Talia — our musician and artist, respectively — turned in perfectly suited material with very little guidance from me. Likewise, Shannon, Kell, Tony, and Kevin had such great instincts that I can hardly claim to have directed them at all. And I wish you could have seen Matt and Michael zipping around to create some of the most bravura sound effects sequences we’ve ever attempted.
Ideally, hearing this show will be like seeing your favorite band in concert and realizing that their talents are not dependent on studio magic. As you’re listening, we want you to think, “Wow, they really did all that live?” (For this show, even our pre-recorded effects were cued in real-time by the intrepid Mr. Sefton.) My hope is that the project stands as a testament to the spirit of Chatterbox, sound-based storytelling, and the power and potency that lie dormant in your radio.
My other hope, of course, is that it scares the hell out of you.