For Nutmeg Junction Season 2 Episode 11, (episode 211) we present the conclusion of the Professor A: Adjunct Professor to the Multiverse story “Dean of Death Part II”. Starring Lana Peck as Professor A, Kurt Boucher as Dr. Robere and Tiffy McKay as Ms. Gentry, the program also stars Jeff Savage in an extraordinary performance as Dean Hewland, also dubbed the Dean of Death!
Added to the program is “A Case of a Little Light Murder”, a Nathaniel and Netta Chance mystery.
Nutmeg Junction: New Old Time Radio Show 2019 In Season 2 Episode 10 (air date 3/30/2019) Professor A: Adjunct Professor to the Multi-verse receives an assignment to track down Dean Hewland, the “Dean of Death”. A beacon from the pod that Hewland had previously used has been activated on a deserted planet Earth in a time line very close to the PRIME time line. Is Hewland still alive and if not, who has activated the beacon?
Listen to the program HERE:
There are no photos during the recording of this episode as we recorded the Space Sentries story first. The Dean of Death is a two part story and Kurt Boucher had to record his lines remotely and Tiffy McKay recorded her narration remotely so when we recorded this story, we focused on the recording aspect only.
Jeff Savage appears as a character in part two of the story.
In prior episodes of our “new” old time radio audio-theater program Nutmeg Junction, we presented the concept of “Space Sentries” which pays homage to the classic sci-fi programs of the golden age of radio. We take the concept into the future in this mockumentary where we imagine Space Sentries as a program that has been updated decades later and the amazing concept they come up with..is that the crew is older.
Rejoin Puffle and Commander (now Admiral) Alx, and Admiral Complication (now Hologram Admiral Complication) and the new crew as they discuss the adventures of the Starship Salisbury! Let’s hope the new team can keep control of the ship!
Season 2: Episode 9.
The original concept of Space Sentries was to pay homage to the sci-fi golden age radio programs of old-especially one program in particular that seemed to use sci-fi jargon instead of great sound effects to indicate it was a space program. Having done multiple episodes with characters Ensign Puffle and Commander Alx with Admiral Complication, we expanded the “universe” to include First Op Gillard, Lieutenant Laurel Yannie (which by now is a dated reference which makes it funnier for us), Beautician Jenny Snips, Doctor Wolfe (whose catch phrase is “Oops”), Ace Grimsely and of course the seemingly mythological enemies;the Galaxons.
The conceit of this “update” is to bring the show forward into the future, and by our standards, bringing it up to 1987. We introduce new characters like Captain Hudson, Lieutenant Fields, Murph, Lieutenant Machinery and a producer and a writer for the program.
This was one of our largest groups recording a show so we took shifts to make sure we could do it right. Kurt Boucher (Commander-now Admiral Alx) was under the weather so he recorded his lines at home and we dubbed him in.
Everyone had the script for the mockumentary portion. When we arrived for the rehearsal/recording, I provided the short “The Vector Theorem” which we recorded immediately thereafter.
We may create MORE Space Sentries stories in the future depending on the availability and interest of the cast but if you have any comments on it, feel free to share!
Written/created and produced by J. Timothy Quirk (c)2019
Space Sentries Theme Song (1 and 2) written and created and performed by Robert C. Fullerton (c) 2019
Professor A‘s adventures continue in Chapter Five: Borrower of the Night! Professor A and Ms. Gentry escape to the planet of an alien world in a mini-universe while Dr. Robere remains imprisoned in the “Welcome Center”,distracting the guard, “Officer Funston” for as long as he can.
We continue the story of this multi-episodic Professor A adventure. Last week’s episode of Nutmeg Junction was Chapter Four and it ended on a cliff hanger. So does this episode!
The premise was established in Chapter Four-that the Uni-Ones came from a different universe and took over this world and began extracting its natural resources and then restricted all access to it from anyone else who tries to visit through the dimensional corridor.
In this episode we learn more from the native inhabitants of the world how the current state came to be.
Our principals (Lana Peck as Professor A, Kurt Boucher as Dr. Robere and Tiffy McKay as Ms. Gentry) return and they are joined by David Robinson, Conrad Sienkiewicz and Olivia Wadsworth.
Olivia was not present at the time of the original recording so Tiffy provided two voices, Ms. Gentry’s and B1067. We recorded Olivia after we had edited the show for radio release so there are actually two versions of this episode, the one with Tiffy playing B1067 and one with Olivia portraying the character. As the character will continue in the storyline, we’ve updated/edited the show with Olivia’s voice but Tiffy’s voice is preserved in case we do a “making-of” episode at some point!
David Robinson joins us for the first time and portrays “Bearnard (Bear) Sable/C9359).. Robinson is no stranger to stage and screen, and he was most recently in The Post (2017)
Conrad directs the episode and returns as a voice actor for the neighbor role which is nice because Conrad and I are neighbors in real life too! Conrad will lend his voice to a Harriet Holmes episode within the next few weeks.
The letters and numbers actually correspond to elements of the story
EPISODE 17: PROFESSOR A (CHAPTER FIVE: BORROWER OF THE NIGHT)
CREATED, WRITTEN AND PRODUCED BY J. TIMOTHY QUIRK
DIRECTED BY CONRAD SIENKIWICZ
PROFESSOR A THEME MUSIC WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY LANA PECK (C)2018 AND USED WITH PERMISSION
NUTMEG JUNCTION THEME WRITTEN AND PERFORMED BY ROBERT C. FULLERTON (C) 2018 AND USED WITH PERMISSION
LANA PECK AS THE PROFESSOR AND OFFICER FUNSTON
KURT BOUCHER AS DR. ROBERE
TIFFY MCKAY AS MS. GENTRY
DAVID ROBINSON AS BEARNARD (BEAR/C9357) SABLE
OLIVIA WADSWORTH AS B1067
CONRAD SIENKIEWICZ AS THE NEIGHBOR
REHEARSED AND RECORDED AT WAPJ TORRINGTON COMMUNITY RADIO
Professor A: Chapter Four-The Welcome Wagon is part of a multi-episode story that ends on a cliffhanger and continues until the next episode (which also ends on a cliff hanger-slightly spoiler alert!)
The topic of “immigration” and detention was prevalent on the minds of the American conscience in July 2018 and I had proposed a story that was, in hindsight, incredibly dark however not as dark as the reality that some in the country faced for the story I proposed was still only about adults and not children who were detained, imprisoned and separated from their loved ones.
I received feedback from the actors that the concepts would work if kept within the prism of the Professor world. At their recommendation, I believe specifically Lana Peck’s (Lana portrays the Professor), I wrote a story that did not take place in America or even Earth but rather on a different world within the multi-verse.
It was the correct decision.
The response back when the script was presented was extremely favorable as it hit the right tone while still presenting difficult and complex themes in a powerful way. The continuation of the story (which is in Episode 17) delves deeper into these dark themes while still keeping the essence of a Professor A story in Nutmeg Junction.
This is a three-actor episode. Lana portrays both the Professor and Officer Funston and her vocal work as Officer Funston is not to be missed. With the echo (reverb) on the vocal track there is an eerie quality in the seemingly gracious words Funston is saying to the visitors. As always Kurt Boucher portrays Dr. Robere and Tiffy McKay portrays Ms. Gentry.
We recorded this episode on the same day as Space Sentries II and was directed by Conrad Sienkiewicz.
We recorded Lana’s Officer Funston voice separately from her Professor A performance and then edited it together.
The quote from Sir Isaac Newton is real.
I am extremely proud with how Episodes 16 and 17 came out and I can’t wait to explore this story further in August.
Episode 16: Professor A: Chapter Four-The Welcome Wagon
Written by J. Timothy Quirk (c)2018
Directed by Conrad Sienkiewicz
Professor A Theme written and performed by Lana Peck (c)2018
Lana Peck as Professor A and Officer Funston
Kurt Boucher as Dr. Robere
Tiffy McKay as Ms. Gentry
Rehearsed and recorded at WAPJ studio in Torrington CT
Additional music and foley sourced by Youtube Royalty free music or otherwise located in the field by J. Timothy Quirk
In which the crew of the space ship “Salisbury” arrives at the Vermilion system to pick up First Op. Gillard who had been on shore leave. But how will the Space Sentry Central Command rocket powered transport vessel dock with the Salisbury’s docking station if there’s no engineer to guide the way? Can Ensign Puffle learn the assignment in time?
In Episode 6 we introduced the idea of Space Sentries which is loosely based/parody of the old sci fi shows that had to substitute techno-babble jargon in the place of a budget for appropriate sci-fi ambiance. Additionally there is one golden age of radio program that certainly hawked a number of products and incorporated them into the stories.
With that in mind, this show is dedicated for the story tellers who learned to utilize the gift of storytelling through toys and imaginative play. The visual on the episode picture is loosely based on old action figure sets of the 80’s so it gives the impression of them without actually looking like any of them.
Once again Space Sentries stars Rich Cyr as Ensign Puffle, Kurt Boucher as Commander Alx and Phil Hall as Admiral Complication. Joining the episode is Dan Willey as First Op. Gillard.
And for a fun treat we also had three more actors join the cast as the voice of their respective “action figures”, Lana Peck voiced “Laurel (Locksmith) Yannie, Tiffy McKay voiced “Jenny Snips the hair stylist” and Sharon Waagner voiced the enigmatic Dr. Woolf saying the character’s most popular catchphrase.
This episode was tricky to edit as there were four separate audio tracks.
Dan and Sharon both rehearsed with the team on rehearsal night but unfortunately had other obligations for recording day so we recorded them separately (on a Wednesday night).
Then I recorded Lana and Tiffy separately as their action figures only had a few phrases. Well technically Lana’s toy only says one phrase and Tiffy’s figure says one phrase but at the hair salon play set there’s an additional sound that has Jenny Snips say “I’m going to need a bigger comb!”
In my formative years I enjoyed the Star Wars action figures and I can assure you, Hammerhead had greater adventures in my charge than he ever got in the movies.
But in this episode there’s a reference to the old MEGO toys because I refer to a vinyl play set like I used to have with the Star Trek bridge and my sister had with a Wizard of Oz play set.
On the day of recording Rich came off work later than expected so i had to record HIM separately.
So this is one episode where during recording, to help everyone know the pacing of their lines, I voiced every single character from the announcer (Conrad) to Puffle, Alx, Gillard, Complication as well as Yannie, Snips and Woolfe and yet no one will ever hear my versions of these characters as I edited myself out and put in the proper voice in.
In total the editing process had four separate vocal tracks then I added the music and sound effects.
For the main recording day, I had help as Rich Boucher manned the controls and ensured the levels of the performers were in the correct range. We look forward to his work in the future if he chooses to join us on future adventures!
Side note: in the future no one will really get the Laurel Yannie reference. Suffice it to say that for a minute in 2018 facebook blew up with people hearing either Laurel or Yannie in an audio file. Given what we were doing with audio files, I felt this is entirely appropriate to name the character Laurel Yannie.
So we will continue to tell Space Sentries stories and build the crew of the “Salisbury”. The ship is named for a town in the broadcast range of WHDD which plays our program Nutmeg Junction on the multiple stations of the robinhood radio network.
Everyone who was involved in this particular episode enjoyed working on it. We’ll be bringing Dan and Phil back on more adventures in different roles.
We have a big summer planned.
EPISODE 15: SPACE SENTRIES II (c)2018
created, written and produced by J. Timothy Quirk
Directed by Conrad Sienkiewicz
Sound Production by Ray Boucher
RICH CYR AS ENSIGN PUFFLE:
KURT BOUCHER AS COMMANDER ALX:
PHIL HALL AS ADMIRAL COMPLICATION
CONRAD SIENKIEWICZ AS THE ANNOUNCER
DAN WILLEY AS FIRST OP GILLARD:
TIFFY MCKAY AS JENNY SNIPS
LANA PECK AS LOCKSMITH LAUREL:
SHARON WAAGNER AS DR. WOOLFE
Nutmeg Junction theme song by Robert C. Fullerton all rights reserved to the performer and used with permission.
Foley and additional music courtesy of Youtube royalty free music
As it was mentioned in Episode 5, we had worked on three chapters of the Professor A: Adjunct Professor to the Multi-verse saga and of course we had the intention to do more. But I found when I edited the show that it sounded best with the chapters at approximately 15 minutes in length (at least for the first two) so we had an extra chapter recorded but not shared with our audience yet.
Secondly, when Olivia Wadsworth came on board I had pitched to her the idea for HER character to be Harriet Holmes. It’s always been my intention for each actor to have a signature role. Some actors may have more than one but I’d like each actor to have episodes where their character is the star. Anyway at the time I envisioned a London tale of Harriet being an actual sibling to Sherlock but found that the tv show SHERLOCK had already put out a story where there was a sister character for Sherlock and it would have seemed too derivative if I tried that too, no matter how I played it.
But as it turned out I also wanted to do a tough as nails Detective character. I have many uses for that character and certainly hard boiled detectives are so ubiquitous in Old Time Radio I’ll have many detectives on the show voiced by many different actors.
Ok, and here’s the thing. I wrote the detective story, finding the lost episode of Nutmeg Junction with a detective without a name. I wasn’t sure what we would call her.
I wrote the opening soliloquy the night before recording and posted it on facebook. This helped Olivia work on and find the voice for the recording session. I finished the story the following day, which was the day of recording, with the final pass completed 15 minutes before i left for the radio station. It’s a tight script that flows very well and there’s very little (if anything at all) I’d change about it.
I cast Jack Sheedy in the role of Lenny Snitchwell. Jack is a writer, an author and editor of a newspaper (Catholic Transcript), and the idea of an “English Major” is a call back to another show that for many years carried the torch of Old Time Radio. Jandi reprises her role of Nonna Hanna.
While we were at the table read, we discussed the fact that the detective didn’t have a name. I believe it was either Jandi or Olivia who brought up the idea of Harriet Holmes. i can not take credit for that at all. But the name fit perfectly and I asked Olivia if she wanted the detective character to be called that. She did.
So that’s how we have Harriet Holmes as a “modern” private eye, not beholden to any Sherlock but understood on her own terms.
Jack did a remarkable job as “Lenny”. He knew the character instantly and gave the right flourish.
The Professor Episode was a lot of fun. This one felt had a lot of comedy thanks to all of the actors in the cast. Everyone has a good line or two including Josh and Jandi as the two humans: Freddie and Alice (which they performed in a cockney accent).
There is only one slight editing mistake I missed in this portion of the show but I will fix it in future editions of the show.
Listeners can expect MORE of Harriet Holmes (she will undoubtedly return in Search for the lost episode part two, and more of the Professor. I plan to have scripts written and recorded this month.
This was an exciting episode and it’s a wonder as it was only the 7th episode that we worked on but it’s very complex and the editing was challenging and ultimately thoroughly rewarding. The end result is a program that took our show to the next level. We released this one as episode as Episode 5 because the lead actor, Lana Peck, has a starring role in Young Frankenstein at Theatreworks New Milford so we wanted to time the release of the show to coincide with that auspicious occasion.
Our episode has a VIP vocal actor Tiffy McKay, who is a children’s book author. McKay’s enthusiasm and professionalism performing as “Ms. Gentry” (and as the passenger who discovers the Prof. A book) ensured her a permanent recurring role in the Prof A stories.
This is the first episode where we do not have a musical guest or VIP interview and went straight for audio theater for the entire episode.
The theme music was created by Lana Peck and it has a wonderful sound effect I used throughout the episode when the Vortex is created. In fact we actually rehearsed and recorded three “chapters” of the Prof A “book” but when music and sound effects were added along with “pregnant pauses” as best befits the storyline, we found only two of the “chapters” fit in the half hour story. Therefore we know we’ll be enjoying more adventures of Prof A, Robere and Ms. Gentry in the future!
Professor A pays homage to the time-traveling parallel world hopping adventures of… well, adventurers who do that sort of thing and certainly the accents used by all the performers identify the region of the world where some of the most prominent characters of that genre were created.
The show was directed by Conrad Sienkiewicz during the rehearsal but I took on “associate director” role during the recording and it demonstrated how much we value having a director separate from a sound engineer.
We had a guest during rehearsal, actor Olivia Wadsworth, who was to be our invited guest for the late April and May episodes. She added her voice along with Rich Cyr and Jandi to the “students” who run away at the beginning of the first chapter. Rich Cyr couldn’t be at the rehearsal but he was there for the recording and he took the photos of the recording that I’ve posted throughout these show notes.
Regarding the Writing:
I wrote the characters Prof A and Robere specifically for Lana and Kurt Boucher respectively. When the script was submitted to Tiffy, Lana and Kurt, I believe all of them individually asked if the roles could be performed in a particular accent and I knew Josh Newey (who portrays Chessman) could do one.
The first “chapter” I wrote as a stand alone and sent it to all of the actors and Director Conrad Sienkiewicz. The challenge there was to create an entire world point of view, the relevant characters and a story with a beginning, middle and end all in about twelve pages which I accomplished. When there was universal acceptance of that script, I took to writing a second and then a third chapter.
Jandi Hanna and Josh Newey (not as Chessman but as a different character) have a marvelous turn in the third chapter of this story which we found will have to be shared when Professor A RETURNS!
For the character of “Chessman” the ultimate idea was to depict a protege of the main time-traveling heroic figure who had gone down what most would consider the wrong road but had his own point of view with a reason for doing the things he does. The backstory for this character was about as dark as I’ve gone thus far in writing. We’ll definitely see more of this character.
For the second “chapter”, note that as with anything, every idea’s already been done at least once. As it so turns out there is a Sci Fi show of a popular franchise which featured a “tardigrade” so it’s somewhat similar to using the “mite” I used for a Demodex Rex in a way but I had not seen the episode (I didn’t spring for the “all access” kind of platform that cost $ so I never saw it) and I wasn’t using the mite in the same way at all and ultimately my story boiled down to just the idea of evolution growing a large mite and the protagonist wanting the eggs of this creature to offer as a trade (which occurs in a third chapter of my story). Interestingly, the tardigrade from that franchise Sci-Fi show was argued as a controversy because of similarities between their use of that idea and a different “gamer” story-line? So my use of having a Demodex (Rex) wasn’t inspired by either item and I doubt anyone who listens to the story would believe it either.
Bearing in mind our radio program pays homage to concepts of Old Time Radio but none of the ideas or stories or characters are copies of any specific character and at best any similarity between any particular character would be a parody.
I relied extensively on the cinematic music found in youtube royalty free music and sound effects found myself and by Tiffy McKay.
I edited a rough draft of the first Chapter (The Fair Trade) and sent it to the group. I received valuable feedback from Lana and Tiffy and reworked some of the music and sound and Josh came in for a second read so I could get the volume more precise.
The second chapter I didn’t have the luxury of time to send out for feedback etc so this portion may or may not require some tweaking at some point but the ultimate idea of this one was fun.