The Gray Area Season 2
Season 2 Episode Guide — Including Phase II!

Season 2 Episode Guide — Including Phase II!

July 28, 2020

Welcome to the Season 2 Pass page! Thank you so much for being a listener and for supporting our program. We've just released the Phase II episodes. Here is an episode guide to help out subscribers.

First off, if you're not a subscriber, to instantly access all the available episodes -- there will be a total of nineteen as we release these -- you will need a Season 2 pass.  You'll only be paying a flat rate of $20, which will be good during the entire duration of the release. That's it! No extra costs!  We like to keep things simple. You'll get 400 extra minutes of material and nearly 1,000 pages of scripts, as well as immediate access to all Season 2 episodes before release!  Upon payment, you'll get a username and a password that you can use on Podbean or any podcasting app to access all these goodies.  You'll also get access to all of the scripts, as well as our special behind-the-scenes podcast, Inside the Gray Area

We've been releasing Season 2 in three phases. The third and final phase will be sometime around October.  Your Season 2 pass will be good for all of this.  Because we've released a lot of content, here is the episode guide -- along with links to Inside the Gray Area and the scripts -- so that you can navigate through these pages. We'll offer an updated version of this page when we release Phase II. Again, your season pass is good for the entire run!  And we'll make sure you are updated when the next batches get released.  Thanks again for supporting independent audio drama! And if you have any questions about the program or are interested in chatting, please don't hesitate to reach out!

PHASE I (Released to Premium: April 10, 2020):

7. Living Creatures: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
8. Dearer than Earsight: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
8.5. Our American Cousin: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
9. The Demon Hunters: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
9.5. The Head Doctor: (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)

PHASE II (Released to Premium: July 28, 2020):

10.1. Paths Not Taken: Where Are the Lads of the Village Tonight? (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.2. Paths Not Taken: The First Illusion (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.3. Paths Not Taken: Same Age Inside (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.4. Paths Not Taken: Unfound Door (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.5. Paths Not Taken: Canny Valley (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.6. Paths Not Taken: Too Hard a Knot (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
10.7. Paths Not Taken: Shadows Have Offended (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)
Standalone Episode: The Yellow Wallpaper (Episode) (Script) (Inside the Gray Area)

PHASE III (Projected Premium Release: October, 2020):

11. West with the Light
12. Marching Orders
13.1. Pattern Language: The Tainted Grimace
13.2. Pattern Language: Not a Frown Further
13.3. Pattern Language: An Iris for Emily
13.4. Pattern Language: Mirrors of the Soul

Script - “The Yellow Wallpaper”
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Script - “The Yellow Wallpaper”

July 28, 2020

Read the script for "The Yellow Wallpaper"

Script - “Paths Not Taken”
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Script - “Paths Not Taken”

July 28, 2020

Read the script for "Paths Not Taken."

Inside the Gray Area: “The Yellow Wallpaper”
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Inside the Gray Area: “The Yellow Wallpaper”

July 28, 2020

Writer and showrunner Edward Champion talks about his audio drama adaptation of the famous Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story. He discusses his great love for the Gilman story, the rarity of art that is still vivacious a hundred years later, Knut Hamsun's Hunger, writing this adaptation while stuck on the season finale, writing the script in two days, why he sometimes writes fast, his gratitude to Jack Ward and the Sonic Society, breaking the rules of Sonic Summerstock Plyahouse (with Jack's approval!), why he cast two actors as The Woman, casting Zack Glassman in a dramatic role to give him an opportunity to flesh out his acting chops, on not boring your actors, splitting up the Woman's lines into narration and dialogue to tighten pacing, recording “live drama” with four actors at once, technical difficulties in postproduction, painstakingly erasing punk bands who were playing loud in the rehearsal space we rented, using iZotope RX and Accusonus to surgically repair audio, how to be faithful to the source while deviating it, the challenge of taking an 1892 story and making it sound as if had been recently published, the use of this audio drama adaptation in classrooms, other audio drama adaptations of “The Yellow Wallpaper” (Campfire Radio, Suspense), using Shepard tones for sound design, adding comedic moments to help the listener get through the dramatic intensity, the disheartening ease with which he was able to address 1892 patriarchy in 2019, references in the show to James Joyce, Ulysses, “A Painful Case,” mixing in Republican men in the background, the great lengths he went to record wallpaper, when other sounds work better in audio drama than real world, why tea keeps cropping up in these radio plays, the reluctance of stories to reveal the truth of parents screaming at their kids, the birth scene, adding a slightly incestuous element to the John and Jenie relationship, pindrops and whooshes as transitions, making the baby of shifting ambiguous age to reflect motherhood as a metaphor, “blessed little goose,” the great energy and commitment that Nicole Papadoupolus and Katrina Clairvoyant brought to The Woman, adding a rumbling earth theme to much of the sound design, the use of metal clanks to reflect The Woman's mind, Beyonce and the cocktail party scene, why Michael Saldate is a great collaborator (and Mike's innate sense of knowing when to camp it up), Doppelgangers, David Lynch, “the baby is fun” vs. “the baby is fine,” coming up with Betty Crocker mantras, recording natural brush sounds in Prospect Park, why he used an 8-btt video game sound for the transformation, why GPS mantras are creepy, why the yellow wallpaper became a literal character, and bruising himself while recording body drop sounds. (Running time: 18 minutes, 46 seconds)

The Yellow Wallpaper
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The Yellow Wallpaper

July 28, 2020

During the Season 2 sessions, we recorded this bold adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s famous short story with many of our Gray Area regulars. This radio play honors the text, but is set in the present day, addressing #metoo and the oppressive demands upon women. (Running time: 31 minutes, 42 seconds)

Adapted from the Charlotte Perkins Gilman short story, produced, and directed by Edward Champion

CAST:

The Woman: Katrina Clairvoyant and Nicole Papadopoulos
John: Zack Glassman
Jenie: Devony DiMattia
The Child: Devony DiMattia
The Wallpaper: Pete Lutz
The Guests: Michael Saldate, Charly Saccocio, and Edward Champion
The Voice: Carol Jacobanis
Mary: Belgys Felix
The Nurse: Argyria Kehagias

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who reads too many books.

Music licensed through Musicfox.

Image licensed through Getty.

Thank you for listening!

Inside the Gray Area: “Shadows Have Offended”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Shadows Have Offended”

July 28, 2020

In our final dip into the “Paths” story, writer and showrunner Edward Champion discusses Marc Maron, why coffee is important, how the pandemic forced him to serve as singer, Robert Frost, balancing the personal with the political, why the conceptual thrust of The Man in the High Castle is problematic, uprooting the white male “Johns” of 20th century Northeastern literature, John Irving, the Scott Baio Memorial Bridge, the creative process of writing stories to find ideas that work better in other stories, cannibalizing from unpublished material, the influence of dreams, how a passage in John Knowles's A Separate Peace inspired sound design for a scene, why New Hampshire was the setting, writing a counternarrative to Richard Ford's Frank Bascombe novels, usurping the white male storytelling template to tell meaningful stories of outliers and POC, searching for music tracks that were similar to Leroy Anderson, the Kennedy assassination, his uneasy relationship with footsteps in audio drama, sticking with the first person as much as possible in audio drama, “Peat Bog Soldiers,” on being fond of therapy, the value of therapy in understanding human emotions, stylizing quick character reveals, family funerals, the invaluable Vincent Fallow as German consultant, how an early scene in John Carpenter's Halloween inspired the rain-based sound design during the driving scene, ghosting, an actor who was highly disturbed by the material, why there are so many “fucks” in Chelsea's reaction, Martin Luther King, the considerable detail he went into for the kitchen sound design, finding intense moments in kale, why the great Julie Chapin epitomized the warmth and tenderness of Grandma, how J.K. MacCauley got the role of Grandpa, channeling the 20th century voice, Jerry Lacy's classy response to a casting invitation, Anthony Bourdain, Horace Fletcher, T.C. Boyle's The Road to Wellville, Santayana, Gertrude Stein, Richard Aldington's Death of a Hero, World War I, how he channeled personal experience for the Chelsea dinner scene dynamic, The Last Puritan, Chelsea's dormant literary knowledge, state schools vs. Ivy League universities, the lack of empathy towards those who come from low-income backgrounds, how Ivy Leaguers and the rich refuse to consider intelligence from lower income groups, writing the World War I monologue, the chemistry between Katrina Clairvoyant and Tanja Miljovec, recording most of the Chelsea/Maya dialogue on Columbus Day Weekend, how Tanja's screaming got him in trouble with lawyers, his relationships with scholars and academics, being an autodidactic, how a real-life fire in his apartment inspired sound design, Neil Sheehan's A Bright Shining Lie, the Buddhist crisis during the Vietnam War, deliberately casting audio drama staples for the epic, the operatic nature of the story, Sergio Leone, orisons, voices from the heavens, secular prayer, why Peter Coleman is a great actor to work with, casting comedic actors in dramatic roles, why challenge and pushback is essential to making art, recording stunt driving in Connecticut, the Hindenburg blimp, callbacks to “Buddies for Hire,” the influence of Chaplin's famous speech in The Great Dictator, recording pickup lines during a pandemic, recreating conversations from “Fuel to the Fire,” July 4th barbeques, finding voice actors by doing karaoke, when Zack Glassman learned that he was very funny as The Receptionist, holding on laughter while recording comedy, and the importance of crying sometimes while editing. (Running time: 37 minutes, 14 seconds)

 

10.7. Paths Not Taken: Shadows Have Offended
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10.7. Paths Not Taken: Shadows Have Offended

July 28, 2020

In the final part of the “Paths” saga, Chelsea and Maya struggle in their forties to keep their relationship alive as they initiate a fateful but necessary Thanksgiving meeting with Maya’s grandfather — a stubborn and “old-fashioned” World War I historian. Meanwhile, the disastrous political trajectory of the parallel universe encroaches upon deeply personal and deeply fatal territory. (Running time: 84 minutes, 55 seconds)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion

CAST:

Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant
Maya: Tanja Milojevic
Grandpa: J.K. McCauley
Grandma: Julie Chapin
The DJ: Peter Coleman
Emma: Colette Thomas
Alicia: Elizabeth Rimar
Scarlett: Jessica Cuesta
GPS: Carol Jacobanis
Thomas: Phillip O'Gorman
The Guard: Graham Rowat
Rick: Michael Hisry
The Detective: Phillip Merritt
News Leeches: Pete Lutz, David Nagel, Morgan Corcoran, and Edward Champion
and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

Additional Voices: Dylan Reed and Christian Caminiti

German Consultant: Vincent Fallow

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who will instantly sing numerous Paul Williams songs if you mention The Phantom of the Paradise to him in person.

The “Paths Not Taken” songs were written and performed by Edward Chmpion

 

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.

Thank you for listening!

Inside the Gray Area: “Too Hard a Knot”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Too Hard a Knot”

July 28, 2020

Writer and showrunner Edward Champion continues the deep dive into the “Paths” saga and discusses his happy red shoe collection, the decision to split the original Part 6 into two parts, realizing during the ending that there was a natural ending point for Part 6, helping the listener follow a very complicated plot, alternative universes, keeping a story ambiguous enough to be interpreted, a small continuity error that he'll need to clear up in Season 3, the setup for how people travel through the portals, The Receptionist vs. Janet in The Good Place, his huge admiration for D'Arcy Carden, how class and servants are depicted in British vs. American narratives, the careful work done with Katrina Clairvoyant to ensure that the two Chelseas were distinct, hot dog buns, standup comedy filler, why gusto is important in a performance, encouraging Zack Glassman to perform more “Ohs!” as the Receptionist, why he feels superheroes are a cheat in fiction, the “six travelers,” how Liz Rimar developed a younger and older version of Alicia, religious cults, NXIVM, when people are talking about someone while failing to acknowledge that the person is actually right there, cinnamon whiskey, why his writing is more punchy about people's dietary habits than he is in his regular life, Memphis Bleek and various hip-hop figures, why the 4th of July line is more important than you realize, burying references to later stories in dialogue, why actors are cast in multiple roles, the inconveneince of mortal limitations, and playing guitar for the series. (Running time: 20 minutes, 44 seconds)

 

10.6 Paths Not Taken: Too Hard a Knot
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10.6 Paths Not Taken: Too Hard a Knot

July 28, 2020

Back in the original universe, Scarlett and Alicia contend with another version of Chelsea and conjure up a plan to get the two Chelseas back in their respective universes as they face the danger of a seemingly innocent benefactor gone rogue.(Running time: 24 minutes, 16 seconds)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion

CAST:

Chelsea: Katrina Clairvoyant
Alicia: Elizabeth Rimar
Scarlett: Jessica Cuesta
Jill Swanson: Ingeborg Reidmeier
and Zack Glassman appeared as The Receptionist

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who holds open doors for people just before he enters a happening establishment.

The “Paths Not Taken” songs were written and performed by Edward Chmpion

Incidental music licensed through Neosounds and MusicFox.

Thank you for listening!

Inside the Gray Area: “Canny Valley”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Canny Valley”

July 28, 2020

The discussion continues with Part 5 of “Paths Not Taken.” Over a few glasses of scotch, writer and showrunner Edward Champion discusses how he broke his own rules with “Paths Not Taken,” the tricky nature of sustaining momentum for feature film-length radio plays, wrangling 290 tracks of audio, why Maya and Chelsea aren't prominent in this episode, the importance of worldbuilding, why Urbana is mispronounced, the problems with Harvard men, the blind spots of “smart” people, why Ingeborg Reidmeier is brilliant and why she got the lead role for this story, asexuality, sexual kinks, connections to “The Demon Hunters,” gorilla glass, how Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs biography was used for research, the crossover between wingnuts and innovators, the creation of the engineers, gender parity in storytelling, responding to the techbro culture of Silicon Valley, on having to scrap outrageous fictitious news items because they came true, working with the great Carol Jacobanis, contemplating a second term of Trump, on using government audio clips for drama, Years and Years, Russell T. Davies, the family of Apotheosis engineers, screwball comedy directors from the 1930s, the problems with dystopian fiction, pushing back against the flaws of The Man in the High Castle and The Handmaid's Tale, the Ted Sarvas Easter egg, why you should never mess with a writer, how a typo in the script presented a creative opportunity, Terry Gilliam's Brazil, why the Southern preacher appeared on the newscast, the amazing Luvelle Pierre, how The Golden Girls became a great source of inspiration during recording, “dollface” and James Cagney, A Tale of Two Cities, Dorothy Parker, history as a series of cycles (Vico!), whether or not revolution is a viable option in America, Margaret Atwood, the Mannstein Plan, creating a flowchart of multiple universes, Fringe, inventing “smart paper,” creating security safeguards from the imagination, being inspired by the cage from “Once Upon a Time” and “Fallout” in The Prisoner, Lane's alleged illiteracy, unreliable characters, the dark web, the difficulties with growling stomachs in audio drama, William Gibson, John Carpenter's Escape from New York, how to insinuate a larger world with a small detail, the problems with continental breakfasts, the joys of Jewish culture, The South Beach Diet, researching Tony Danza, improvising interruptions during recording, the Futurama connection to electromatter, why all the women swooned for The Receptionist during recording, Being There, Cormac McCarthy's The Road, The Wizard of Oz as a story template, how Sam Raimi also uses the Oz “returning home” template, the use of anagrams, the unanticipated influence of Doctor Who's anagrams, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, the Megaphone VST plugin, what he recorded to make the door smashing sound feel right, paying homage to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, social engineering and hacking, the alternative Brianna (seen previously in “Loopholes”), why “maybe it's the pipes” is a silly cliché, coming close to recording on a gun range, capitalists who profit on people's dreams, the vacuum monologue, and encouraging weird intensity in actors. (Running time: 33 minutes, 45 seconds)

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