Great Northern audio productions
being broadcast and podcast
Starting Friday, March 27, four Mark Time Radio Shows will be broadcast on the Midnight Audio Theatre, which comes out of WCBE in Columbus, OH. The show is on at Midnight, so it’s actually Saturday mornings, but there we are. They will be playing four of our works over the next four weeks. You can go to the source and listen to the stream at http://wcbe.org/, or you can pick it up on their podcast anytime at http://midnightaudiotheatre.com. We thank them for supporting the audio medium, and for playing our stuff for you.
Here’s the schedule of what’s playing when:
03/27 - Villains on Parade, featuring Wally Wingert and Chuck McCann
04/03 - Thwack that Dirigible, featuring Wally Wingert and Gordon Smuder
04/10 - The Learning Curve, featuring David Ossman and Wally Wingert
04/17 - Space Girl, featuring David Ossman, Phil Proctor, and Melinda Peterson as SpaceGirl.
And thanks for David Farquhar for making several more of our works available for listening at the Moonlight Audio Theatre podcast as well. Some of them are free to hear, and some others are in their Premium Episodes list. Either way it’s another way to listen to the Great Northern Audio Theatre brand of new and different audio. Our Three Wizard Tales collection is one of their Top 25 Free Shows. So, have at it.
Jerry was interviewed recently by Stuart Flynn for his science fiction blog: SCY-FY: THE BLOG OF S. C. FLYNN. Take a look at http://wp.me/p4T72p-fc. See what he has to say about podcasting and his radio show, Sound Affects, and about the work that Great Northern Audio has been doing for 20 years.
HEAR Now Festival
We at Great Northern Audio are planning to be at the National Audio Theatre Festivals HEAR Now Festival the weekend of June 11-14. If you’re interested in audio theater, audiobooks or other kinds of audio storytelling, this is the place to come. There will be lots to listen to, lots of interesting people to talk with about audio fiction, and presentation of the new Mark Time Awards for audio drama. Find out more at http://www.hearnowfestival.org.
The Partial Secret Untold History
and Production Notes of
The Mark Time Radio Show
As Produced by Great Northern Audio Theatre
by Brian Price
Last July Jerry Stearns and I wrote and produced the last Mark Time Radio Show (Cyber Bob and Digital Nymph starring David Ossman), performed at CONVergence 2014 in Bloomington, MN. We didn’t think much about it. We just did the show (a month or so of developing the script over Skype, casting the usual suspects, one-and-a-half rehearsals, a half cue-to-cue and then hitting the stage in front of 500-600 people). We didn’t discuss that we’d come down to having produced 19 years of science fiction satire shows together. But I was thinking—well, that’s a body of work. That’s a lot of stuff.
I don’t think either of us has listened back to the entire canon, one after another from beginning to end. I don’t think anybody has. I wondered if all those shows sounded any good? Did they make any sense? Did they march off into some greater cosmic scheme? Most importantly, did they make anybody laugh? They were supposed to make people laugh.
So, I’ve decided to try a little exercise and listen back to each Mark Time Radio Show (listening to one per day for the next 19 days, starting November 18, 2014) like I’ve never heard them before, and then comment on each one, say what I liked, what I would’ve done differently, what I remembered, soulfully thank every actor that ever lent their precious time and talent to the show and quote maybe some favorite lines.
These will all be posted on the Great Northern Audio Facebook page, and collected on this website.
Cyber Bob and the Digital Nymph
Yes, we’re sad to say this was the last dangerous Mark Time Radio Show. We’ve been doing them for 17 years, and it’s time to move on. ● This time David Ossman of the Firesign Theatre returns one last time to the live raucous stage to play Cyber Bob, who leaves his position as cart-wrangler at the Mart to lead a digital expedition into the digital glade in search of the beautiful yet elusive Digital Nymph. There's a history between the two, and they are not playing...well, they are playing games...and when the Nymph asks, "Do you want to take the leap?" There's only one answer for an old campaigner like Cyber Bob. (See more...)
Also on the playlist is A DAY AT THE LIBRARY where they answer that electric question, "What would be the first thing you'd make with a 3D printer?" A 1958 Ford Edsel, of course. We also find there are other things we can make to enhance our 3D lives.
Both pieces recorded live before a very appreciative geeky audience at Convergence 2014, Bloomington, MN. We give heartfelt thanks to the convention for their support all these years. Especially we thank the Main Stage crew and the ASL interpreters for helping to make the shows possible. We’ve had a terrific ensemble cast, and some great guest stars over the years. We hope you’ve had as much fun listening to them.
Available for download at ZBS. To be broadcast on Sound Affects on December 7, 2014.
Mark Time Award
The Truth: Biological Clock
Written by Ira Gamerman
Produced by Jonathan Mitchell
New York, NY
Alone in the Night
Electric Vicuna Productions
Written & Produced by Jack Ward
Michael L. Stokes, Production Engineer
Halifax, Nova Scotia
The Legend of Springheel’d Jack
Wireless Theatre Company
Written by Gareth Parker, Robert Valentine
Producers, Robert Valentine, Gareth Parker, Mariele Runacre-Temple
The Perhapanauts: Monsters Among Us
Written by Todd DeZago, w/Elaine Lee
Produced by William Dufris, Lance Roger Axt, Elaine Lee
There’s a lot of audio theater out there on the web. I tell people there’s probably more audio theater being made now than there was during the heyday, the Golden Age of Radio. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it isn’t. It’s certainly true that there’s a bigger variety of works available now. Science fiction and Fantasy are a very large percentage of what’s new in audio drama, partly because it lends itself so well to the medium.
We would like to thank the Geek Partnership Society (GPS) for their generous sponsorship for a dozen years or so, and thank CONvergence for their support in giving us a stage to present the awards and a chance to spread the word that there’s a lot of good audio stories out there. Please give it a listen.
The Mark Time Radio Show
Great Northern Audio has presented the Mark Time Radio Show each year of the Mark Time Awards - though they are related by name, they are really separate events. We have another coming for CONvergence this year, as well. Keep an ear out for Cyber Bob and the Digital Nymph, coming this summer.
Also this summer, Decoder Ring Theatre has taken six of our Mark Time Shows and reproduced them in their own grand manner for the Summer Showcase series of Mark Time Show Time. Check those out, too. They are really fun, if I do say so myself.
However, after this year we will be giving up our place on the schedule of CONvergence. This will be our last dangerous Mark Time Radio Show. It is time for us to move into new ventures and other efforts dear to our hearts. We thank all of you for listening to these shows. We will have new and more ambitious works to come, so keep checking back here for those.
We are also hanging up our stewardship of the beloved Mark Time Awards. It has been a great honor to keep them running since their inception. We have given the reins back to the owners of the character of Mark Time. We don’t know what will happen to them, but we certainly hope they continue - I would love to keep being a judge. I have loved listening to the hundreds of entries all these years. I’ve learned a lot. And if we have encouraged some of you to try to make your audio theater better, then we have succeeded in what we set out to do. We encourage you to keep making great SF audio, and to keep sending it to us here at Great Northern. Jerry still has a radio show to broadcast them on (Sound Affects: A Radio Playground on KFAI), and he’s always looking for new material. We’d love to hear what you think about all this. Comments can be sent through Facebook and Twitter.
Our digital warehouse space is limited and all Mark Time Bundles downloads have been slashed and must go:
Did we say? MARK TIME FIRESIGN THEATRE GUEST BUNDLE - was $39.42, that´s crazy, now $34.95.
The MARK TIME GUEST STAR BUNDLE - was $19.42 now a ridiculously low $14.95.
and The COMPLETE MARK TIME RADIO SHOW COMPLETE BUNDLE - (was $59.42) -- 15 years of science fiction satire and lunacy performed on a live stage in front of a live audience for just $52.95. That includes 14 shows plus a number of audio shorts.
Here´s what some of Mark Time´s favorite professional guest performers have had to say:
"The collection of CDs you guys have done over the years at the Con embody some of my favorite live performances (and the few opportunities to play in other writers´ work!)"
-- David Ossman (Firesign Theatre)
"The most fun I´ve had in 20 years."
-- Michael Sheard (Dr. Who, The Empire Strikes Back)
"I´m not putting that bucket on my head."
-- Wally Wingert (The Tonight Show)
"That´s it. I don´t want to play the dwarf anymore."
-- Cyber Bob (Cyber Bob and Silicon Kid)
"You can´t have two Scotsmen in the same play. It´s just not done."
-- Phil Proctor (Firesign Theatre, Rugrats)
"It´s ok, Philip. I´m sure they´ll do better the next time."
-- Melinda Peterson (Cagney and Lacey, MacGiver, JAG)
"Look, really, the dinosaurs aren´t mine."
-- George Leroy Tirebiter (High School Madness)
Yeah, we do make them available for sale, but all of these have been on many peoples’ podcasts for years, so it’s not like they aren’t out there to find. This is just the high-quality audio files with a CD cover PDF file included.
While we’re on the subject of ZBS, we’re broadcasting their latest Jack Flanders story, Dreams of Tiffany Blue, on Sound Affects: A Radio Playground on KFAI community radio. It’s January 5 and 12, 2014. If you missed one, they’re kept in the archive on the KFAI website for two weeks.
AND, a wonderful ZBS series called Saratoga Springs is being made available for listening by the online news-site, Saratoga Wire, along with a nice writeup about Tom Lopez, the talent behind everything ZBS.
And finally, all the Mark Time Radio Show CDs are available at Uncle Hugo’s Science Fiction Bookstore, in Minneapolis, including the latest ones - Jokes in Space with VIllains on Parade, and Thwack That Dirigible with SpaceGirl, which aren’t available on CD anywhere else. CDs specially made for Uncle’s.
Mark Time At Convergence 2013
The Mark Time Awards were presented at Convergence 2013 on July the Fourth. See an entry below for a list of the winners. And many thanks to the Geek Partnership Society for their continuing support of the Mark Time Awards and other events. But that wasn't the only remarkable thing that happened to audio theater at Convergence.
Attending the convention were several of the current Mark Time and Ogle Awards winners, including Jonathan Mitchell of The Truth, Jeffrey Gardner and Clayton Faits of Our Fair City, and Domien de Groot and Eline Hoskens of Audio-Epics in Belgium. And it gets better. Also around for the fun were several past Awards winners, such as Fred Greenhalgh of FinalRune, Scott Hickey of The Grist Mill, Matthew Beaudreau of Aural Stage, Jeffrey Adams of Icebox Radio, and Cayenne Chris Conroy of the Teknikal Diffikulties podcast. Oh, and Brian Price and Jerry Stearns of Great Northern Audio were there, as usual, to start it all off with the Mark Time Radio Show.
Sitting: Brian Price, Jerry Stearns, Richard Fish, Kris Markman.
Front row standing: Domien De Groot, Jonathan Mitchell.
Second row: Eline Hoskens, Peter van Riet, Jeffrey Adams, Scott Hickey.
Third Row: Jeffrey Gardner, Clayton Faits.
Back Row: Fred Greenhalgh, Cayenne Chris Conroy, Matthew Beaudreau.
Since there are so many of these audio type people attending Convergence lately, Fred, Matthew and Jeff Adams decided it was a good idea to hold a party… for the whole weekend. So they initiated the Mark Time Broadcast Central party room on the fourth floor. That was the official title, anyway. But throughout the weekend we all came to call it just Room 404. It seemed such an appropriate number.
Up in 404 they set up a makeshift recording studio, with microphones, sound deadening backdrops, sound effects inputs and recording devices. And they invited anyone dropping by to take the opportunity to see just how much fun it is to record your own audio drama. They handed everybody a script, assigned parts, put on the headphones, and gave them their cue. If you'd like to hear some of the results, Fred uploaded them to SoundCloud, and you can give a listen at: https://soundcloud.com/marktimebroadcast .
Besides the above mentioned audio people hanging around 404 you could find Monique Beaudreau, Matthew's wife (who designed the poster identifying the room as Broadcast Central), Dave Irwin, the sound effects artist for Icebox Radio, Peter van Riet, the composer for those marvelous Audio-Epics productions, Dr. Kris Markman, who often sits in with Great Northern to help present the Mark Time Radio Show, Chase Peterson, who is an inestimable MT Show production assistant, and Brian's daughter, Eleanor Price, who is Great Northern's most valuable critic, and has composed and performed the music for several Mark Time Radio Shows. It gets to be quite a gathering.
Fred posted a few photos from Convergence that you might find inspiring.
And that's the point. Convergence has become a place where audio theater producers and participants can meet, have fun, and make contacts that wouldn't happen otherwise. More than one collaborative production has come out of meetings at Convergence over the past few years. And more were talking about it this year.
The Mark Time Radio Show
As has been mentioned, we present the Mark Time Radio Show just before the Opening Ceremonies at Convergence. It's an original science fiction / fantasy comedy radio show from the Great Northern Audio Theatre. This one is loosely related to the convention's theme of British Invasion, and is titled The Sword in the Couch. (36 minutes) Picture a Victorian mansion as you would find on Summit Avenue in St. Paul. The lights are coming on in the third floor apartment, the one with the turret on the southwest corner. Urban fantasy in a TV sitcom.
War of the Worlds contest
Convergence Programming Head Craig Finseth came up with the idea to celebrate this year’s 75th Anniversary of the Orson Welles’ broadcast of the War of the Worlds by holding a contest and invited people to make a tribute show. With a maximum length of 15 minutes, and only a few other criteria, they wanted story options to be as open as possible. You can hear all the entries on the contest website at: http://waroftheworlds75.com/submission/. Look under Matt’s Sat Feed to hear them all.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
All in all I’d say it was a very successful convention for audio theater. Many panels on audio subjects such as productions styles, voice acting, podcasting, and writing for audio. How does that sound to you? Registration for Convergence 2014 - A Midsummer Night’s Dream - is still at its lowest cost. See more at http://www.convergence-con.org/. Who knows who might be there.
Mark Time Radio Bundles from ZBS
This year marks the 15th anniversary of the coveted Mark Time Awards—the only awards given annually to honor the best in science fiction and fantasy audio theater. (Meatball Fulton has a lifetime achievement award from Mark).
Each year Jerry Stearns and Brian Price of Great Northern Audio Theatre have celebrated the celebration by writing and producing their own ridiculous sci-fi satires performed before a live audience just preceding the awards ceremonies. These silly shows have always been well received and under distributed.
But right now you can download them ALL from the fine folks at ZBS. All highest quality audio at 320 kbps, with PDF covers and liner notes.
- $ 59.42 ($91 originally)
For the first time ever—the compete package of Mark Time shows in one place for one low price. Space travel, time travel, kids, monsters and inflatable dreams—no subject was left unscathed—though we promise few Tribbles were harmed during the recording of these shows.
Peter Galaxy / Tell Them NAPA Sent You
Martian Trombone / High Moon / Wizard Jack
Super Pal / Jewels of the 11th Generation
Cyber Bob / The Learning Curve
Jokes In Space
Villains on Parade
Thwack That Dirigible
- $ 39.42 ($65 originally)
David Ossman of the legendary Firesign Theatre and in reality, Mark Time himself, was often on hand to celebrate the celebration. His talented friends and compatriots, Phil Proctor and Melinda Peterson, made wonderful appearances as well. Besides, if Santa Claus lived in outer space he probably would look and sound a little bit like Mark Time.
Cyber Bob / The Learning Curve
Jewels of the 11th Generation / Super Pal
Martian Trombone / High Moon / Wizard Jack
Peter Galaxy / Tell Them NAPA Sent You
- $ 19.42 ($30 originally)
Over the years Mark Time has played host to some wonderful guest stars: Michael Sheard (Admiral Ozzel of Stars Wars), the grand dame of fantasy—Jane Yolen, the Voice of the Tonight Show—Wally Wingert, and the amazing voice talent Chuck McCann (CooCoo for Coco Puffs).
Peter Galaxy / NAPA (David Ossman & Michael Sheard)
Martian Trombone / Wizard Jack (David Ossman, Phil Proctor, Jane Yolen, Melinda Peterson)
Villains on Parade (Chuck McCann & Wally Wingert)
SpaceGirl: Downloading the Legacy
The Mark Time Radio Show at Convergence 2012 was a huge bit of fun. We had a terrific cast, lots of sound effects, and an enthusiastic audience. We marked the convention theme of “Wonder Women: women in science fiction” with a female heroine played by the fabulous Melinda Peterson. And we celebrated the 15th Anniversary of the Mark Time Awards with two members of the Firesign Theatre in the cast; David Ossman and Philip Proctor always add performance excellence to a production.
Linda Kim Shelmerdine discovered her powers as a teenager, when she was a turmoil of solar and hormonal flares. Now she occasionally feels her age, and she’s tired of the way everyone seems to perceive of superheroes saving the world, always in it for themselves. Meet Dr. Creep, the Super Villain, and Senator Mulder Hack, chair of the joint joint sub-sub-committee, and the magnificent Hungarian Dwarf Parade, who are watching over SuperGirl’s personal affairs.
Available now as a download from ZBS.
The Cast: (above, left to right)
Gordon Smuder (Transylvania TV)
Tony Brewer (sound effects with Brian Wesley)
Music by Eleanor Price.
Sound by Jerry Stearns and Kris Markman.
Produced by Jerry Stearns and Brian Price.
David Ossman - Mark Time himself