St. James Infirmary Halloween Extravaganza!

The Willamette Radio Workshop is proud to present the 7th annual Halloween audio theater extravaganza at McMenamins Kennedy School on Saturday, October 31st at 4 and 6 pm. This year’s presentation is an original compilation of stories based on “The St. James Infirmary Blues”, featuring live music and foley, and streaming in real time on the internet. “Tales from St. James Infirmary” is a cross between ER, The X Files and EC Comics, featuring stories of zombies, lost loves, murder and revenge – in other words the perfect Halloween confection. You’ll never be unsatisfied with your HMO again.

There will be two programs with eleven stories split between the two. Here’s the schedule so you won’t miss a thing. All shows are free and open to everyone (who has the guts, that is).

First Show 4pm in the Kennedy School Gymnasium:

  • “St James Sisters” by Cynthia J. McGean. A Civil war tale of Old Man St. James and his seven daughters. Angels of mercy? Well, that’s what they say.
  • “Old Doc Haggard” by David Ian. The old gang is looking for something to do. Too bad they stumble upon the old, burned out infirmary. Nothing could live in there. Could it?
  • “Room 413” our first story from William S. Gregory. Join four nurses as they work the graveyard shift. Something bad needs attention in room 413.
  • “Raising Dan” by William E. Gregory. When you play poker in the bowels of St. James, you’d better be ready to bet your life on it.
  • “Case Study” 720 by Bryan Mackey. A disturbing case awaits Dr. Seward at the original St. James Infirmary in the White Chapel section of London. What could happen here? We visit an old friend in a new setting.

Second Show at 6pm in the Kennedy School Gymnasium:

  • “Delicious” by William S. Gregory. Script voted most terrifying by our dramaturge. Sam just thinks it’s a nice chat with an old friend. See who’s right.
  • “The Reason Why” another by William S. Gregory. Science, fame and fortune are all examined in one moment in time. Have you had your 15 minutes yet?
  • “The Real McCoy” by Angela McKennie. A jazz aged, snappy patter, fun house ride of love, double crossing and the St. James Infirmary. Somebody gets a happy ending.
  • “No Shelter” by Afterhell’s own Joe Medina. Raoul loves Jenny; he’d never do anything to hurt her. Well, Jenny might argue the point. If she could.
  • “The System” by Jan Bear. Every guy has a system. Some work better than others. Some work too well.
  • “Tesla” by Sam Spackman. Where is Jonathan? Who are those men in black? Questions will be the death of you. Haven’t you learned anything?


Tim McKennie, Lindsae Klein, Alyson Osborn, James Dineen, Mark Homayoun, David Loftus, Bryan Mackey, Sarah Rea and Mary Thomas.

Sam A. Mowry is the producer and director.

Cynthia J. McGean is our Dramaturge.

Marty Gallagher- Sound Co-ordinator/Auto harp, David Ian- Foley, Dino de AElfweald- Foley, Randall Howington- Grip/Foley, Lori Day-Reynolds-Mix, Marc Rose- Sound Special Effects and Abelton.

Galen Huckins- Musical Director/Composer. Megafauna and the Classic Revolution are the musicians.

Jeff Hylton-Simmonds- Streaming Mix for Radio 23. Listen in at:

Writers for the full recorded “Tales from the St. James Infirmary” (featuring additional stories) include: Jan Bear, Sandra De Helen, Fred Greenhalgh, William E. Gregory, William S. Gregory, David Ian, Craig Kenworthy, Bryan Mackey, Cynthia McGean, Angela McKennie, Joe Medina, Rolf Semprebon and Sam Spackman. Watch for the full collection of Tales next Halloween on a radio station near you.

Special thanks to Jamie Lawson and Joe Medina/Afterhell, Dry Smoke and Whispers, Jerrel McQuen, Claudine Hemminway, Tapestry Theater and Judy Straasland, West Hills Covenant Church, Filmusik, Classical Revolution, Joanne Gallagher and all our families and friends who make this possible. That means you, you listening audience!

WRW Goes Batty for The Old Church Benefit!

Bats in the Belfry Event Poster

“Bats in the Belfry: A Hair-Raising Fund-Raiser” is a Halloween-themed variety show at The Old Church on Sunday, October 25, at 3:00 p.m. Proceeds will benefit The Old Church attic to provide safer access and upgrades for better stage lighting and improved insulation/ventilation. Don your costume and bring the family for treats, wine, cider, door prizes, and a chance to win a professionally carved pumpkin.

The fun includes music from pianists Michael Allen Harrison and Susan DeWitt Smith, organist Tom Curry, and violinist Ron Blessinger, Director of Third Angle. PSU’s Student Opera Club will perform excerpts from “Maelstrom, A Zombie Opera”.

The Willamette Radio Workshop is happy to be able to add to the festivities by presenting William S. Gregory’s “Room 413,” especially commissioned for WRW’s Halloween show “Tales From St. James Infirmary.”

The cast includes Mary Thomas, Sarah Rea, Lindsae Klein, David Ian, Martin John Gallagher, Dino de AElfweald and Sam A. Mowry.

Advance tickets are $12.50 (adults), $5 (youth 6-17 years), and free (children 0-5 years) from or 503-205-0715; tickets at the door are $17 (adults), $5 (youth 6-17 years), and free (children 0-5 years).

St. James Infirmary Opens Friday

WRW-TVThe unofficial “Audio Theater Month” begins with a preview of Willamette Radio Workshop’s Halloween spectacular, “Tales From St. James Infirmary.”  A special sampler of four of these original stories will be presented this Friday evening, Oct 2nd, as part of the “mediartZ: Art as Experiential, Art as Participatory, Art as Electronic” Kick Off Party @ North Bank Artists Gallery (, 1005 Main St., in downtown Vancouver.  This event is free and open to the public.

Willamette Radio Workshop will be doing these Halloween themed audio drama presentations starting at 6pm and then periodically during the evening.

All original stories from a collection of national and local radio dramatists are loosely based around the Jazz classic “St. James Infirmary Blues”. Friday evening’s plays will include “The Legend Of Old Doc Haggard” by David Ian, “In This Cornered” by Craig Kenworthy, “Leaving You is Hell” by Frederick Greenhalgh and “The Reason Why” by William S. Gregory.

The performance will include live Foley Sound Effects by David Ian and Dino de AElfweald Music and Ableton by Martin John Gallagher and Special Effect SFX by Marc Rose.

Our cast includes Mark Loring, Keith Cable, James Dineen, Bill Barry, Bryan Mackey, Mark Homayoun, Lindsae Klein, Sybil Johnson, Mary Thomas and is directed by Sam A. Mowry.

More “Tales From St. James Infirmary will be presented Halloween night at McMenamins Kennedy School at 4 and 6pm.

Plan 9 Press, Missile to the Moon This Week!

The Filmusik presentation of “Plan 9 From Outer Space” was a smashing success, with a full house for the Friday night show!

The show also got some great press coverage, from the Oregonian and KATU! Check it out:

Live performances add polish to Ed Wood’s ‘Plan 9’ (Oregonian)
Arts scene: ‘Plan 9 from Outer Space’ (

The Filmusik presentation of another 1950s sci-fi B-movie, “Missile to the Moon,” with voices by the Willamette Radio Workshop, is tonight and Friday, June 3 and 5, at the Hollywood Theatre in Portland. Don’t miss it!

Plan 9 Revisited!

FILMUSIK: Plan 9 From Outer Space
May 27th and 29th, 7pm
Hollywood Theatre
Tickets $10 – $8 Students/Seniors

On the 27th and 29th, teams of musicians, composers, voice actors and sound designers are congregating in the pit at the Hollywood Theatre to premiere a new soundtrack to Ed Wood’s botched masterpiece of sci-fi cinema: Plan 9 From Outer Space. The original strings + electronica score is performed live to the film by the Classical Revolution PDX string quartet and Sugar Short Wave. The film is dubbed in the pit by a cast of voice actors from the Willamette Radio Workshop including Todd Tolces, Alyson Ayn Osborn, Mark Homayoun, Chris Porter, David Ian, Scott Jameison, Mary Thomas, Lindsae Klein, James Lawrence, David Loftus and Sam A. Mowry with sound effects and foley by Heather Perkins.

Vampires, UFOs and purple pajama-wearing Aliens loom on the screen as the musicians bow, pluck and pound away furiously at the collaborative composition of Portland based composers Galen Huckins and Sugar Shortwave. Our restored and colorized print of the film provided courtesy of Legend Films. Filmusik promotes live performance over prerecorded media by presenting new venues for musicians and composers.

Praise for Filmusik:

“The effect is surreal and magical, like being inside Disney’s Fantasia. The live voice actors blend their dialog with the orchestra and the visuals to create a once in a lifetime performance”
-Portland Sentinel

“An Absolute Blast”
-Portland Mercury

-Willamette Week

Also part of our 2 film mini series of sci-fi goodness is Missile to the Moon. We are performing this drive-in classic with an original piano quintet soundtrack composed by Scott J. Ordway, putting serious new music chamber music in the ring with space exploitation cinema. More info about the show at our website.

FILMUSIK: Missile To The Moon
June 3rd and 5th, 7pm
Hollywood Theatre
Tickets $10 – $8 Students/Seniors

Filmusik aims to create opportunities for live music and musicians by supporting performers and composers in new venues. Live film accompaniment was once as commonplace as films themselves, and orchestras like our own could be seen in every major city. In the silent film era, Americans had an exposure to live music unrivaled in history. The industry accounted for nearly half of all musician employment and created more original music than ever before (or after). Although the film and music industries have changed dramatically since then, all of us recognize the vibrancy of live music over prerecorded sound, it’s something time and technology will never replace. Our Plan 9 project is one way to reexamine an art-form and look at how we experience live music today. Coincidentally, it’s also the only reasonable way to watch a Flying Saucer zapping a Vampire with its “decomposure” ray.

War of the Worlds — WRW Style!

War of the Worlds, re-imagined by the Willamette Radio WorkshopThe 2009 McMenamins UFO Festival will feature a live radio presentation by the Award winning Willamette Radio Workshop of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. One performance only will be in Mattie’s Room at the Hotel Oregon, 2 p.m. Saturday May 16th, 2009.

The War of the Worlds is regarded as the classic radio drama. The Willamette Radio Workshop has performed this timeless tale on numerous occasions. We have always presented it in the classic Old Time Radio style (OTR), with live sound effects and music. This year we give it the WRW treatment. Creating a blend of the best of the old and new. Our matchless Foley team of David Ian and Martin John Gallagher joins forces with Marc Rose of Dry Smoke and Whispers fame, to create a unique production, true to the original, but original in its own right.

Following in the path of our award winning adaptation of Archibald Macleish’s Fall of the City, join us for a glimpse into radio’s past and future. See what panicked America, launched the career of Orson Welles and proved the devastating power of mass media to an unsuspecting world.

The cast includes Chris Porter, Bryan Mackey, James Lawrence, Todd Tolces and Matthew Richards. Our stage manager is Autumn Lawrence and live sound is by Lori Day-Reynolds.

Original music and sound design by Marc Rose.

Live Foley by David Ian and Martin John Gallagher.

Crowd direction by Martin John Gallagher.

Special thanks to Pat Janowski.

The production is produced, directed and features Sam A. Mowry.

Looking Now for Halloween Scripts!

St James Infirmary Halloween SpecialCindy McGean, WRW’s Dramaturge, writes:

Willamette Radio Workshop is looking for original scripts for the 2009 Halloween show which will be the same format as our MURDER OF CROWS program from some years back. The show will be 2 one hour programs made up of about 8 original scripts all in some way inspired by the blues/jazz classic “St. James Infirmary Blues.” No script should be longer than 15 minutes, but short takes are fine. I am sending along a link to some information about the song and some great examples of the myriad different versions of it (see below). WRW is looking for pieces that are scary, suspenseful, eerie, haunting or otherwise Halloween appropriate. ER meets the X-Files meets EC Comics is how Sam sees the format. We would like first-draft scripts submitted by June 30, 2009. This will allow time for readings and rewrites.

This summer, in place of the summer Writers On-the-air Workshop, WRW will be organizing readings of the scripts submitted for this project. Director Sam A. Mowry will choose from those scripts for the live performances in October.

If you are thinking of submitting a piece, send a short description of your idea to Sam ( or me ( so we have a feel for the ideas folks are working on and can prevent overlap (e.g. multiple zombie scripts). Cindy is also available on a limited basis now and more fully come June to work with any writers who’d like support.

We’re looking forward to the rich and varied stories that we know will spring forth from your imaginations for this project! Here’s the link I mentioned earlier: Honey, Where You Been So Long?

There and Back Again — The Hobbit Returns!

Come join the Willamette Radio Workshop as we make another journey to Middle-earth with “The Hobbit’s Greatest Hits,” our one-of-a-kind adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien classic. The performance is set for 2pm Saturday, January 17, at the McMenamins Kennedy School, part of the annual J.R.R. Tolkien Birthday Celebration. The performance is absolutely free, but remember: when you come to Middle-earth, you too may be called into service!