The Gray Area Season 2
Script: “Marching Orders”
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Script: “Marching Orders”

June 12, 2021

Read the script for "Marching Orders."

Inside the Gray Area: “Marching Orders”
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Inside the Gray Area: “Marching Orders”

June 12, 2021

In this behind-the-scenes commentary, showrunner Edward Champion discusses "Marching Orders." Subjects discussed: foolish optimism, Anthony Powell's A Dance to the Music of Time, the vast historical plan for Season 3, the thrill and challenge of writing historical dialogue, how George Dangerfield's The Strange Death of Liberal England served as an influence, Rebecca West's The Return of the Soldier, PTSD and World War I, the literary style that might have been if modernism had never happened, approaching reputation as a theme, working against the "fast dialogue" style, dance and animals, inventing a character's political perspective from reading, writing too many British characters, Anglophilia, Leonard Rossiter, the amazing talents of Rob Garson, listening to hundreds of pop songs in 1911 to find the right one, frustrations about copyright, the difficulty of finding a horse carriage sound divorced from 2021 sounds, Captain Finney in Barry Lyndon, thieves and gentlemanly language, the failure of time travel stories to address cultural differences, the Terminator movies, writing letters to critics as a teenager, Joe Baltake, getting in trouble in high school because of a Terminator 2 script, the naivety of life before World War I, why memory injections are plausible, balancing gravitas and quirkiness, Gene Wolfe's influence, the references to Prince Keval, how an accident with a light fixture determined the sound design, Fugazi, deliberate references to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, and efforts to mimic the Blakes 7 teleporter effect. (Running time: 19 minutes, 29 seconds.)

12. Marching Orders
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12. Marching Orders

June 12, 2021

In 1911, a young British gentleman dukes it out against the austere whims of his Edwardian-minded father. But two travelers reveal that his role in the universe is much bigger than he could have ever imagined. (Running time: 15 minutes, 16 seconds.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Thomas: Philip O’Gorman

Ramirez: Charly Saccocio

Harris: Michael Saldate

Malone: Robert Garson

The Guard: Graham Rowat

and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

 

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who lost a drinking bet and spent an entire day singing “Where Are the Lads of the Village Tonight?”

Script — “West with the Light”
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Script — “West with the Light”

June 12, 2021

Read the script for "West with the Light."

Inside the Gray Area: “West with the Light”
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Inside the Gray Area: “West with the Light”

June 12, 2021

In the middle of a snowstorm, our showrunner Edward Champion discusses making "West with the Light" (a sequel to Season 1's "Waiting Room"). Topics include why Chris Smith is the cat's pajamas, how Octavia Butler and Champion's grandmother served as the inspiration for Virginia Gaskell, the overarcing storytelling strategy, why you can't put characters in limbo too long, keeping your actors interested in roles, breaking the show's monologue rule, honoring the smarts and the dignity of older characters, stylizing audio callbacks and scene motifs, the influence of The Prisoner, visiting Portmeirion, animals and morality, planting storytelling clues and Easter Eggs, how Zack Glassman modulated his performance for each iteration of the Receptionist, Champion's love of birds, how people travel through the dimensions, having actors recite poetry, the importance of World War I, Paul Fussell's The Great War and Modern Memory, Small Wonder, attempts to find music rights, plausible character behavior in relation to spectacular occurrences, why muttering is essential, Dickens and self-education, explaining the electromatter scanner, Milton, fajitas, why people who work in bars and restaurants are smart, pushing back against stereotypes, cheesy puns, high school English teachers, "demon" as a term of art, Target's use of "guest" instead of "shopper," the commonalities among extreme political ideologies, Beryl Markham and aviators, West with the Night, Hemingway, Clarence in It's a Wonderful Life, and why you often find the best dramatic moments in comedic actors.  (Running time: 26 minutes, 55 seconds.)

11. West with the Light
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11. West with the Light

June 12, 2021

Genius writer Virginia Gaskell fends off boredom (and the Receptionist’s peppy interventions) while trapped in the waiting room, but a number of unexpected new visitors provide vital new clues to her purpose and journey. (Running time: 21 minutes, 43 seconds.)

Written, produced, and directed by Edward Champion.

CAST:

Miss Gaskell: Chris Smith

Audrey: Amanda Rios

Romero: David Ault

The Fajita Demon: Pete Lutz

The Cunning Demon: Leanne Troutman

The Traveler: Jared Raman

and Zack Glassman as The Receptionist

 

Incidental music licensed through NeoSounds

 

Sound design, editing, engineering, and mastering by a bald man in Brooklyn who sometimes chats with the soft-spoken frozen peas that are parked in his freezer.

 

Thank you for listening!

 

 

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: December, 2020):

[October 12, 2020 Update: Due to the unanticipated complexity of the sound design, we're going to be releasing Phase III in the public feed in early 2021. We anticipate finishing this and releasing this -- along with all the bonus material -- for our loyal Season 2 subscribers in December, 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)

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