Monday, May 26, 2014
Spotlight On...Charles Battersby
Hometown: Chesapeake City Md.
Education: Degree in Drama from the New School for Social Research
Favorite Credits: Playwright of That Cute Radioactive Couple: A Post-Apocalyptic Comedy, Playwright Topless Go-Go Girls at the Troll Hole, Writer of "Fallout Lore" webseries on Shoddycast.com, Writer/Director of Astonishing Adventures and plays The Scarlet Skunk
Why theater?: Why theater, indeed! "Why theater" grows more difficult to answer each year. My work in other mediums has taken up more and more of my time lately. Fortunately for me, there happens to be a theater in my neighborhood that specializes in nerdy theater. The Brick has a Comic Book Festival, and a Game Play Festival, so I create shows specifically to perform them there, then take the shows to comic book and video game conventions.
Tell us about The Astonishing Adventures of All American Girl & The Scarlet Skunk: Astonishing Adventures is a romantic comedy about masked crime-fighters in 1948. The story and dialog are written in the style of an Old Time Radio drama, and Golden Age Comic Books. All American Girl is a WWII pilot who returns home and wants to keep fighting the good fight, so she takes to the streets and battles evil doers. MEANWHILE: The Scarlet Skunk is a vigilante who's looking for a new partner in his war on crime. Together they fight villains unlike anything audiences have witnessed before! There's romance, comedy and action! It's an adventure so astonishing that it must be seen in order to be believed!
What inspired you to create The Astonishing Adventures of All American Girl & The Scarlet Skunk?: I'm a life-long fan of superhero comics and cartoons. I spent my childhood watching Lynda Carter and Yvonne Craig on TV, so I wanted to be a superhero when I grew up. Warner Brothers has not asked me to write and star in a Catwoman movie (Yet) so I took matters into my own hands. The Scarlet Skunk is a role that I created for sketch comedy shows about twenty years ago (Parts of the outfit I wear for this show are from that original Skunk Suit). I eventually made an attempt to consolidate those sketches into a full-length play called Kryptonite Hearts where I teamed up Scarlet with All American Girl, who was the embodiment of the Classic Golden Age hero. Alas, it didn't quite work, so this new script is about 75% new material that captures the spirit of what I tried to do all those years ago, but hopefully better.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love when it's clear that the people making the show are trying to say something besides "Look how important, and benevolent we are!" It's inspiring any time I see people making art just for the sake of doing the work. People who write a show with no idea of where it'll be performed, or if it will ever be performed, and just do it anyway.
If you could work with anyone you’ve yet to work with, who would it be?: I'm horribly, HORRIBLY shy about that sort of thing and don't want to put anyone on the spot. Suffice it to say that I am stalking several actors, playwrights and directors. Soon they shall know my face… SOON…
What show have you recommended to your friends?: Next To Normal was one that I really wanted people to check out while it was on Broadway. It wasn't marketed properly and you had to see it to understand what it was really about. Oh, and it has a song about superheroes too!
Who would play you in a movie about yourself and what would it be called?: Johnny Depp. It was called "Ed Wood". Story of my life, pal…
What’s your biggest guilty pleasure?: Thousands and thousands of hours playing video games. Games and theater have a lot in common. When a game designer makes a game, it's like they're doing an improvised scene with the Player. They're are an underrated form of narrative art, and the best experiences come when a player tries to pick up on what the Designer wanted to say, rather than just plowing through the mission.
What’s the most played song on your iTunes?: Fun fact about me: I have almost no musical inclinations at all.
If you weren’t working in theater, you would be _____?: Working in video games. Which I already do between theatrical projects.
What’s up next?: I'm looking to do another run of Astonishing Adventures later this year, and I have a secret new video game project that I'm working on too. Shhh…
Direct Link to our fundraising page which runs through May 30th: igg.me/at/Astonishing-Adventures
For more on Charles, visit http://charlesbattersby.com/astonishing-adventures/. For more on Astonishing Adventures, visit igg.me/at/Astonishing-Adventures and https://www.facebook.com/events/258548854331744/