The Bull Crow Project: Episode THREE!


Tune in.  Press play.  Enjoy theatre.

More theatre for your ears is here!  Episode 3 of The Bull Crow Project is available now!

The Bull Crow Project - Episode Three: Best Show Ever

Episode Three: Best Show Ever

Written by Ted Brengle Produced & Directed by Joshua Ellison Sound Design, Recording & Editing by Maxwell J. Shults Featuring Performances by Ben Kirberger, David Wesley Mitchell, Stevie Chaddock, Christopher Waldron, Paul E Martinez, Joshua Ellison, & Maxwell J. Shults

Join your hosts The Big Blogowski and The Nooob as they torment their favorite racist 15-year-old on XBOX LIVE, discuss the latest scandal to rock the world of video games, and, as always, open the Mystery Box. Not for the faint-hearted, true believers! Episode #128!

*Please be aware that this episode features adult language and content* ________________________________________________

The brainchild of company members Joshua Ellison and Maxwell Shults, The Bull Crow Project premiered in September and represents just one of the many ways Tympanic is now delivering theatre directly to you throughout the year!  We couldn't be more excited to be offering this free content to listeners in Chicago and beyond!

Tympanic is currently hosting its Season 8 Pledge Drive: Weird In Spirit.  Every penny that we raise goes a long way toward helping us to keep producing the staged work we're known for and continue to expand free, direct-to-you projects such as this podcast.  We're incredibly grateful for any gift you can give -every dollar truly counts- so please take a quick moment to give now by clicking here:


What exactly goes into the creation of one of Tympanic's aural plays?  We sat down with Assistant Literary Manager and the author of this episode, Ted Brengle to discuss:

What to you is the value of 'aural theatre?'  How is it similar to or different than staged theatre?

I'm actually a big fan of radio plays. I spent Sunday afternoons as a kid listening to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and the Star Wars radio adaptation on NPR Playhouse and learned early on that you can do an awful lot with a couple people just talking to each other--which is one of the big points of similarity between writing for the stage and radio. Both prioritize conversation and language, and put a lot of responsibility in the hands of the actors to deliver the goods. Very few places for an actor to hide on stage or in front of the mic.

Did you approach writing this play differently since it was intended to only be heard, not seen?

I knew from the very beginning that I wanted to do a fake podcast, so form pretty much followed function there. Many podcasts are conversations, punctuated by rants, which is actually a short description of the structure of a lot of drama, I suspect. Whether or not you can see what everyone looks like is kind of of beside the point. The real action takes place in the livid air between the characters. If we did our jobs right, the audience can pick up all our cues (the actors' and sound designer's subtle ones and my script's thudding ones) and paint the picture in their own heads better than we could if we mounted it on a set.

How did you come up with the concept?  How does it tie to this season's theme of 'the swamp?'

Honestly, is there anything more swamp-like than the Internet? As hard as this might be to believe, I actually wrote this script [for the project] more than a year ago, after--what I thought at the time--was a bad week on the Internet for civility and society. Oh, to be young and naive again.So, while I'm sure this piece now plays like a Law & Order episode, self-consciously speed-rapping a bunch of juicy headlines, when I wrote it I had never heard of Anita Sarkeesian, Zoe Quinn or Gamergate. And now here we are. I take neither comfort nor pride in being prescient here. Read the comments section of your average cat video on YouTube and try to maintain any faith in the future of human interaction, decency and sanity. I love the Internet (and have played video games since the bloody Atari 2600), but there is your swamp. Now, if you will excuse me, I think I see someone gently opining online that the final episode of the new Battlestar Galactica isn't one of the ten most insulting things ever foisted on the American public, so they must now be shown the limitless depths of their ignorance.

Finally, other than Bull Crow, what excites you about the remainder of Tympanic's season?

I can't wait for the Spring show, Today We Escape, and not just because I have a play in there. It is a festival inspired by Radiohead's album OK Computer, and I think is going to blow people's socks off. I've been sitting in on the auditions, have read the scripts and met several of the directors, and there is just an awesome assembly of talent there. I can't wait.