SHE controls the radio station of the fascist regime in power. SHE's also the star of the broadcast. From the studio, SHE performs the only form of entertainment left for the people, except, of course, for those in the camps. The studio abounds with music and oysters. But in the camps people die from torture and starvation, or live through hell. The camps house society's misfits and members of the Movement, the underground revolutionaries intent on overthrowing the government.
Tonight, SHE's realm feels different. The bombs sound closer. Time moves faster. But SHE will finish her radio show, and it will be her finest. If executing every number in the broadcast means some people need to die, so be it; it is a small sacrifice. The citizens need her and she will not let them down.
In pre-COVID times, ERA commissioned playwright, lyricist, and actor Nancy Bell to develop a play. However, the pandemic began before our workshopping did, prompting us to develop the work into a radio play. We rehearsed outside or via online video chat. We created a recording studio spread throughout a living room, dining room, stairwell, and den. We separated the recording booths with clear shower curtain liners and peppered the house with air purifiers (we'd turn them on and off between takes). Everyone had their own pop filter and headphones. We'd only recorded a few people at time, so scene partners acted with each other over time and space. And of course everyone wore masks unless they were recording in that moment.
We are in the process of recording vocals and instruments one at time, except for drums and bass, which have already been tracked at Native Sound in St. Louis. Musicians with home recording studios will send in their takes digitally.
It all felt a little insane, until it didn't. Now it feels like - this is how we make theatre.
Written by Nancy Bell. Music composed by Joe Taylor. Lyrics by Nancy Bell.
Director: Lucy Cashion
Mixing: Joe Taylor
Stage Manager: Miranda Jagels Félix
Assistant Stage Manager & Intern: Spencer Lawton
Production Managers: Will Bonfiglio, Lucy Cashion, & Joe Taylor
Artwork: Martin Brief
Anthony Kramer………..Max & P.A. Voice
Additional Vocals: Taylor Tveten
Piano: Audrey Morris & Joe Taylor
Bass: Andy Hainz
Percussion: Dustin Sholtes
Saxophone: Austin Cebulski
Violin & Guitar: Kevin Buckley
Clarinet: Jacob Stern
Accordion: Audrey Morris
Foley: Lucy Cashion & Joe Taylor
Recorded by Joe Taylor at Kid Scientist Studios & David Beeman at Native Sound Recording on Cherokee St., USA
SHE will be released as an album for digital purchase in March 2021. Release details will be posted here and on our social media pages as they become available.