The Tome of Terror Returns

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“We’re going to skip ahead to the dismemberment,” director Ari Herbstman said at an Oct. 21 rehearsal. Mare Freed raised a rusty hatchet. On cue, she brought it down viciously – on a pumpkin.

So begins Danielle Dreilinger’s article on Boston.com about The Post-Meridian Radio Players, a novel group of radio dramatists gearing up for Friday’s spooky holiday. Foley Artists and voice talent join forces to bring the chills and thrills into your living room, and what talent indeed:

Stephen King meets Garrison Keillor in “Tomes of Terror III,” the fourth Halloween “staged-radio thrillology.” The show – which is produced for a live studio audience and will be podcast, but not broadcast – includes an episode of the classic radio sitcom “The Baby Snooks Show,” a creepy folktale, and “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Edgar Allan Poe.

Tomes of Terror III embraces the classic tradition of spooky stories on Halloween night. As my colleague Doug Zanger and I have talked about in the past, radio is one of the great strongholds of oral narrative. While not as popular stateside as it once was, this type of entertainment still has quite a following overseas.

I am quite a fan of well done audio dramas ranging from the classic programs of the ’30s and ’40s like The Shadow to the more modern efforts of the BBC such as The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. (Trivia note: while you may have seen the big budget film or read the books, The Hitchhiker’s Guide had its genesis as a radio program. It was not until years later that Douglas Adams novelized it.) I also agree with the article’s author that we will see an increase in this sort of entertainment driven by iPods and other personal audio devices.

Stay Tuned for a very special Halloween post tomorrow!

Photo courtesy of WxMom, used under its Creative Commons license

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