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Done! Off the Pipes, an audio drama, is finished at 114 pages December 1, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Playwriting, >> Radio Drama.
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Monday evening, 30 November, Off the Pipes was uploaded to the NaPlWriMo site (http://www.naplwrimo.org/OffThePipes). The main character is Franks Curts, a quarterback for the American football team, the Rivermen, in the Industrial Football League. Curts had been bothering me to write his story for four years.

The NaPlWriMo seemed a fine opportunity to get the broad parameters of Curts’ story in place. On 1 November 2009, I began writing his story. At that time, I only knew two things about him: 1) He felt he was the only member of the Rivermen capable of winning a championship for the team; and 2) Years earlier, the only previous opportunity to win a championship was lost when the team’s kicker, stoned out of his mind on crack, missed an easy field goal as time ran out.

Thirty days and 114 pages later, the first draft of Off the Pipes was finished and uploaded. The play is written for audio and intended to be performed live. Irrespective of the quality of the draft, and the amount of writing still to be done on the script, a couple of valuable lessons were learned or reinforced:

  1. A lot of writing can be done in a modest period of time;
  2. Self-editing can be wholly, or, at least, largely, turned off; and
  3. Writing for audio is a phenomenally flexible means for telling stories and developing characters.

Hoping everyone’s holidays are joyous,


Cross-posted from British Theatre


Off the Pipes and other work may be found at Scribd at:


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Lit Between the Ears – Final rehearsal before Teen Cafe on Wednesday 4 November November 3, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Playwriting, >> Radio Drama, audio theatre, radio play, spoken word.
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Late on Monday evening, cast and crew wrapped rehearsals for the Wednesday 4 November performance of Lit Between the Ears – The Plays of William E. Spear. The show is 7:00PM at North County Branch Library in Clinton, New Jersey USA.

Four plays will be premiered:

  1. Swing for the Fences;
  2. The Table;
  3. Celebrating Johnny Parks; and
  4. It Suits Her.

Open to young people in grades 6 through 9 and their families. Registration begins Wednesday, Oct. 28, 9 a.m.

Stop at the library, at 65 Halstead St. in Clinton, or call 908-730-6834.

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LA TheatreWorks: The War of the Worlds and The Lost World tonight – Saturday 31 October! November 1, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Radio Drama, audio theatre, radio play, spoken word.
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This Halloween (Saturday, October 31) from 10 pm – midnight on 89.3 KPCC, L.A. Theatre Works will air a sci-fi double bill:

The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells was adapted by Howard Koch and stars John de Lancie, Meagan Fay, Jerry Hardin, Gates McFadden, Leonard Nimoy, Daryl Schultz, Armin Shimerman, Brent Spiner, Tom Virtue and Wil Wheaton. Originally performed by Orson Welles and his Mercury Theatre of the Air, War of the Worlds is truly the mother of all space invasions, offering a rare combination of chills, thrills and great literature. Join actors from Star Trek and Star Trek:The Next Generation as they recreate this classic radio thriller. The breathless pace and convincing details make it clear why the 1938 broadcast of an “eyewitness report” of an invasion from Mars caused a nationwide panic. Stay tuned after the show for a post-performance interview with Leonard Nimoy.
The Lost World by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, adapted by John DeLancie, stars Josh Clark, Kyle Colerider-Krugh, Peter Paige, Kirsten Potter, Kate Steele, Tom Virtue and Kenneth Alan Williams.  The Lost World is a rollicking adventure that follows a scientific expedition deep into the Amazon jungle – right back into the time of dinosaurs and cavemen. Before Jurassic Park, before Indiana Jones – there was Sir Arhur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World!  Also: Learn about L.A.’s very own prehistoric explorers with a sound-rich tour of the Dinosaur Lab at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

The broadcast can be heard locally in Southern California on Saturday from 10 pm to midnight on KPCC 89.3 FM, and can also be streamed on demand at http://www.latw.org/.  Both productions are directed by Star Trek: The Next Generation’s John de Lancie.

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WRW Halloween show Tales From The St. James Infirmary Saturday October 31 – Today! October 31, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Radio Drama, audio theatre, radio play, spoken word.
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From our friends Cynthia J. McGean, Sam A. Mowry, and the Willamette Radio Workshop:


WRW Halloween show

Tales From The St. James Infirmary


Saturday October 31 from 4 &6 pm


McMenamins Kennedy School

5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.

Portland, OR 97211




as performed live by

The Willamette Radio Workshop

Trick or Treating from 4:30 ’til 6:30 p.m.;

Live Radio shows at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.


All ages welcome; kids with adults only.

 Bring your kids-in-costume for trick or treating so you enjoy a handcrafted ale, wine or spirit as you wander the halls together! Afterwards (before they get too far into their bags of loot), have dinner at the Courtyard Restaurant, which has a kids’ menu — nothing like a grilled cheese sandwich or a corn dog followed up with candycandycandyyeeahhhh!!!!!

After trick-or-treating, check out two free performances of “Tales from the St. James Infirmary” performed by Willamette Radio Workshop. The shows will begin at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.. Complete information at


The show will stream live at:

Streaming Mix for Radio 23. Listen in at:


Actual start times may vary.

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NaPlWriMo: Off the Pipes October 31, 2009

Posted by William Spear in >> News, >> Playwriting, >> Radio Drama, audio theatre, radio play, spoken word.
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Our entry in the 2009 National Playwriting Month (NaPlWriMo) is Off the Pipes. Summary follows:

Off the Pipes (tentative) is about Frank Curts, a quarterback in the Industrial Football League (IFL). Curts is an accomplished quarterback but has never won the league championship. The closest he got was early in his career but a last second field goal bounced off the goal posts – the pipes, as they are called – and was missed because the kicker was high on crack. Curts will remember this forever.

Many years later, Curts’ career is ending when he’s injured during a pre-season game. The team assumes he will retire and it immediately signs a young player to replace him. Curts announces he intends to rehabilitate his injury and rejoin the team during the season.

The new quarterback rallies the team with a style of football that taps into the strengths and skills of every player. It is no longer Frank Curts and 25 other teammates. Unexpectedly, the new quarterback leads the team into the championship game. Curts watches the season from the sidelines. Privately, he tells friends he could still win any game at any time.

During the championship, with the team losing, the new quarterback is hurt. Curts has one last chance to win the championship which has eluded him. He puts the team in a position to win and in comes the same field goal kicker who, in a crack induced stupor, missed years earlier. Despite Curts’ protests and claims of contiuned drug use, the kicker swears he gave up drugs long ago.

But this is Curts’ last chance to win a championship and he does not want lose again. Does he think the kicker is clean enough to win the game? Will Frank Curts actually believe his teammate is Off the Pipes?

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