Friday, December 30, 2011

We Bleed for You...Donate Today!

So if you are like me, your inbox and mailbox has been flooded with last minute requests to donate the pathetic remains of your fatigued post-holiday life-savings.  I caved last night and sent a sad little amount to the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago and the Chicago Greater Food Bank.  Worthy causes indeed.  But I also looked back and made sure I gave a little money over the year to the theaters in town whose art makes my life worth living.  It can be easy to overlook how important your charitable contribution to theater can be...we don't have heart-breaking photos of abandoned animals with the sad eyes...we are not saving starving people.  We are a horror theatre company...which seems silly when compared with the big world issues.

But what WildClaw brings to the table does make a difference.  Entertainment.  Imagination.  Creation.  Metamorphosis.  All wrapped up in a spooky, possibly oozing package.

We bring you a thrill that you cannot get in a movie theatre.  We bring you talented artists joining together in a crazed zombie Voltron to deliver something unique:  Horror on the Stage.

Now here's the ask....we desperately need you to make that happen.  Donate a little or a lot today.  It is easy.  I promise...an in return, WildClaw will bleed for you.  How many charities can make that promise?

In 2012, we will be doing monstrous things:  Kill Me opening February and a Spring Benefit Party. We plan to do some damage at C2E2 as well. Our Masque of the Red Death event will be back followed by  an epic world premiere in the Fall.  Then we start off the holidays with our Fifth Annual Deathscribe Event on the first monday of December.  Bigger. Badder.  Bloodier.  Bring it on.

So give a little or a lot.  $10 buys makeup for one actor.  $75 pays for some postcards.  $150 buys five gallons of stage blood.  $600 pays for a designer.  $1000 covers our rehearsal space for a month.  Every bit helps.

So shake your penny jar and check the couch cushions for your missing pocket change.  We will take it.  And thanks for making our 2011 an amazing year for Wildclaw.  

WildClaw Theatre.  Storytelling is in our Blood.

-Aly Amidei
Artistic Director...  

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Creepy Gifts for Your Favorite Creepers


Haven't found the most special gift for your most special person? Check out these horror-centric gift ideas!

Horrortalk.com suggests....

Horror-movies.ca suggests
...

Fearnet.com has oodles of suggestions...

Now get shopping!!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

H. P. Lovecraft In Comics



Concluding a series of shows about H.P. Lovecraft, Alex Fitch talks to three creators who have recently penned comics inspired by his monsters and scenarios. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning talk about adding a Lovecraftian twist to Marvel Superheroes in their titles Realm of Kings and The Thanos Imperative, which feature alternative versions of Captain Marvel and the Avengers possessed by the ‘Many-angled Ones’. Also Ed Brubaker discusses Fatale, his latest collaboration with artist Sean Phillips, following SleeperCriminal and Incognito, which mixes noir storytelling with occult ceremonies and tentacle faced Nazis.
8pm, Sunday 18th December, Resonance 104.4 FM (London) / streamed at www.resonancefm.com / extended podcast after broadcast at www.panelborders.wordpress.com

Thursday, December 15, 2011

St. Nicholas...get your spooky holiday theatrics on...

Our good buddies over at Seanachai' are closing a spooky yarn this weekend.  You should see it and then have a beer in the awesome pub at the Irish American Heritage Center.

ST. NICHOLAS
By Conor McPherson
Directed by Matthew Miller
Performed by veteran actor Steve Pickering
in the SeanachaĆ­ Theatre Company space:
The 3rd Floor Theatre at
The Irish American Heritage Center
4626 North Knox Avenue

TO BENEFIT SEANACHAƍ THEATRE COMPANY AND SHANGHAI LOW THEATRICALS

December 1-18, 2011
Thursdays, Fridays & Sundays at 8:00pm
Saturdays at 5:00pm & 8:00pm
Tickets $20
For tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or
Click here for more information.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wishing you a Horror-ible Holiday

If you're like me, you might go crazy this time of year remembering which of your friends you should wish a "Merry Christmas," and which get "Happy Hanukkah," and is it Merry Kwanzaa or Happy Kwanzaa?
Now that Repeal Day 2011 is over, there's only one celebration that really matters: don't neglect the Elder Gods or you'll piss them off.

This elegant holiday card, designed by WildClaw's own Mr. Charlie Athanas, will appease the gods if you send it to all your friends and family. You can get them here, and don't forget to take a peek at the other WildClaw designs. Great stocking-stuffers, yall. Wait, do tentacles wear stockings?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Studies in Scary - Pan's Labyrinth

Scooty B and I took in 2006's Pan's Labyrinth, written and directed by Guillermo del Toro, a little while back. As usual, Scott had already seen it and I was a viewing virgin. I remember seeing the previews for Pan's thinking, "Wow, that looks magical/whoa, that looks insane!" Twas both...

SPOILER ALERT! This conversation divulges in detail many of the scary twists and turns of the film. If you haven't seen Pan's Labyrinth, you probably won't want to read this!

Scott: When Pan’s Labyrinth first came around it was billed as a horror fantasy. Two hard genres to pull off well, and it seeks to do both. Does it live up to that?

Casey: There are certainly elements of both genres, for sure. The most horrific parts of the film, to me, were the occurrences of violence against humans by humans, of which there were MANY. Really, there was so much graphic military violence and torture, I was sick. I think the suspension of disbelief by a character in a completely surreal situation defines fantasy for me, and there’s plenty of that, too. When you saw the film for the first time, what was your impression?

S: I thought it used fantasy and horror as mirrors for each other. Humans all have both hopeful and dark fantasies. Horror can be gruesome but can reveal unexpected beauty and magic. So, I think the film successfully uses both genres to elevate each other. It has its fairy tale elements, and it’s got its blood and gore, and setting all of this off is the reality of the war. Really there are few things in real life that are as horrific and fantastical at once as war is...a very real phenomenon that people caught in the midst of must ask themselves, “Is this real? This must be a bad dream.” It’s a real nightmare, a fantasy gone wrong.

C: Well put. It’s extremely unsettling, and to grow to care for and root for Ofelia, and know that she and her mother are in constant danger in their own home, is so nerve-wracking. Yeah, the intense violence devastated me, it really stuck with me.

S: Yeah, the violence done by and to the Captain is so extreme. It’s amazing, he gets stabbed, gets his face ripped open, gets drugged, and he just keeps coming. Like a fascist Michael Myers. Now THAT’S scary, the fascist that won’t die.

C: Right?! He’s terrifying.

The fantasy world that Ofelia discovers is so strange and threatening, and yet it becomes her safe haven, her escape, and ours too. Gosh, and I just have to say (did I just say gosh?) that Doug Jones is so, so wonderful. Having met the man (and now finding myself in complete, bashful awe of him as a performer and a person), I find his performance all the more impressive. He has a tough task - he’s the monster yet we have to accept him and want Ofelia’s destiny to be fulfilled through his orders. He’s so expressive, you just want to get closer and get in tune with him.

S: AND he plays double-duty as the Pale Man, who became an iconic monster overnight.

C: Yes! When did you make me watch that scene? Months before I watched the film, yes? God, that scene is SO frustrating. I really started losing my shit when she ate that grape! You broke the only ruuuuuule, child! Kind of biblical, huh?

S: But remember, that girl was sent to bed without her supper. And those grapes looked really good. Also, come on, when you’re that age, you do stupid stuff. You expect to sneak a snack consequence-free. You do not expect to be eaten by a monster with eyes in his hands. But I digress. You mentioned that Ofelia’s “safe haven,” the Faun’s world, is every bit as dangerous as the real world. Why do you think she prefers the fantasy world?

C: She’s sad and lonely and feels abandoned, ignored, threatened. It’s her escape and it’s AMAZING. It’s a bright spot in such a grim place. They’re holed up in the woods, there are rebels in their midst and she’s on a short leash. And there isn’t another person there her age, she has no friends. It’s like a crazy dream, come true. And I also think magic is hopeful.

Ofelia is one of a few characters taking major risks in the film, putting her life on the line for what she believes in. Mercedes and the Doctor have put themselves in grave danger. The Doctor’s last line resonated with me - “But captain, to obey - just like that - for obedience's sake... without questioning... That's something only people like you do.” - it’s a thought that runs through my mind often. What a struggle life can be sometimes, choosing what’s right over what’s easy, or deciding to do what you believe instead of what you’re told. It feels very relevant to me right now.

The color blue figures prominently in the film, I seem to remember. What other stylistic or aesthetic elements stuck out to you?

S: It’s a film of excesses. Everything is lush and magnified, even in the bleak settings. The Pale Man’s feast is abundant. There is an overwhelming amount of those giant cockroach-rolypoly hybrids in the frog’s tree. One image in particular that stands out to me is the mother’s troubled labor; Ofelia comes in the room and finds her stained with what looks like a gallon of blood, she’s slick with it. Guillermo del Toro is a master of that, knowing exactly how far to push an exaggeration.

The color blue does figure in prominently. It feels as though it takes place underwater. Which makes sense, as everyone - rebels, fascists, and innocent bystanders alike - is suffocating.

C: And the score is so grand, operatic. It’s a gorgeous adventure. I nearly tossed my cookies watching it, I was so tense, but it was gorgeous.

S: Thank you for saying “tossed my cookies.” You’re gorgeous.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Holiday Horror Gift Guide...

So we here at Wildclaw believe that you should give the gift of horror this holiday season.  Here are a few ideas:

For your techno-geek brother:
Jason Voorhees Flash Drive...  By Hemingwayfun!

For the wine-lover...
Tentacle wine-stoppers by Dellamorte & Co.

For that  snowboarding teenage boy:
Cthulhu Ski-Mask by Knotty Fingers!

For that teenage girl:
Cute Pink Octopus necklace by Donna the Dead!

For your mom:
pretty pendant by Red Robin

For the ironic hipster:
Subversive T-Shirts by Dark Cycle Clothing!  I am fond of Shark on a Bike.

For the friend who thinks everyday is Halloween:
An awesome mask by Peruresh!

For the College student:
Awesome Horror Posters to put up instead of  black light posters...by Artwork by Vlad!

Your favorite Hell Hound:
Get your beast some schoolin' at Animal Sense!

Your potentially homicidal co-worker or boss:
Help them calm the killer within with some Yoga classes at Om on the Range!

Your Narcissist Younger Sister:
How about a private photo shoot with Austin D. Oie!

For the Foodie:
Horror themed plates and mugs by Folded Pigs!

For the Gamer:
Check out the RPGS for the Dresden Files by Evil Hat!

For your Twi-Hard Niece:
Twilight Dolls by Tonner Doll Company!

For your office grab bag:
A gift certificate to the yummy Sazon Light meal plan for a week!

For the Theatre Lover:
Get them tickets for the DCA Storefront.  We heart them.

Take them to Blue Man Group...

For the Fitness Lover:
How about a membership at the swankiest David Barton Gym!

And don't forget you:
I adore these silicon 'cut throat' necklaces.  I wear mine all the time.  Get one from Von Erickson's Lab!

And FINALLY...don't forget to give a little gift to Wildclaw!  By giving a little (or a lot) to us you will help support our mission to bring horror to the Chicago Stage!  It is a gift that will keep on giving...and quite possibly bleeding.  Donate now!  Any amount is welcome and will help!


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Black Box Acting Studio...learn how to act good.

So you have seen our shows. (If not...stop and mark your calendars for Kill Me opening on February 13th!)  Many of our actors and even one of our directors have attended or teach at Black Box Acting Studio.  Recent Deathscribe 2011 Judge, Audrey Francis is co-owner along with The Revenants' favorite zombie, Laura Hooper.  Classes begin in early January so check them out  and sign up.  It would make an excellent present for someone in your life..make your inner zombie your outer zombie...a sensitive zombie able to access deep honest feelings and embrace their desire for brains with their whole body and emotional core.

Save Evil Squirrel Comics!...because they are awesome!

This is my new comic store.  I heart it! Why?  Friendly dudes.  A nice subscription serviceKnitting Night. Kid's Movie Club,  A mutual love for horror....did I mention a Knitting Night?  Well you should check it out.  Its right around the corner from the Mayne Stage (where we rocked it at Deathscribe a few days ago) a hop skip and jump from the Morse Redline stop and close to our good good buddies at the Lifeline TheatreEvil Squirrel Comics is in a bit of financial woesomeness and I really don't want another awesome comic book store to close yall.  They are amazing community centers to meet people and share ideas, as well as being the place that I buy my floppy cartoon fix.  We need local businesses like Evil Squirrel.  So stick it to the Barnes and Noble Man...buy your comics, games, t-shirts, and toys from a friendly awesome local business like Evil Squirrel! 

Also...TODAY there is a Groupon Now!  And it is new comic day!  Weeee!  Ask for suggestions when you get there and you can get yourself a sweet comic or pick up a few Christmas presents.  I recommend Locke and Key...or Swamp Thing.  I am planning to pick up DC Super Pets, Patrick the Wolfboy, and Tiny Titans for my nieces for Christmas.  And perhaps a Munchkin game for the teens?  And don't forget a plushy Cthulhu...

Here is a clip of our good buddy and recent Deathscribe judge, Brian Kirst of Big Gay Horror Fan, interviewing Evil Squirrel's owner! 
And their most recent you tube video....

Here is an letter from the super-nice and well-mustachioed owner Sparky Bobby King about some upcoming fundraising events for the store.  Please attend or just drop in the store and show the love by dropping some green.


Store Update "Save the Squirrel Week"

If you haven't heard yet we're in danger of closing. Our landlord has been very lenient with us the past few months, but as we get closer to the end of the year he does want the back rent we owe. We've been busy, we're making some money, but not enough to be able to pay him, a few other bills that have been on hold and stay open. So we decided a few weeks ago that we would have to close our doors after the New Year.
After we put our announcement up on Facebook,  we’ve had dozens of calls asking us to stay. Can we host a fundraiser? Can we cut peoples discounts and if we do that is it worth you staying open? The answer to those questions were all yes, and we have been lucky to have help from all of our amazing squirrels to put together "Save the Squirrel Week" starting on December 11th. We will have a weeks worth of events to tantalize, titillate and hopefully persuade a few of your dollars into our donation buckets.
Kicking of the events will be Sunday, December 11th's Super Hero Bingo at our Favorite bar The Glenwood. Located right down the street from Evil Squirrel Comics it's the ultimate place to come dressed up as your favorite super-hero, play a little Super-Hero Bingo and win some Amazing prizes, and, all of the work, performance and gosh darn love have all been donated to help keep the Squirrel Alive. That's right folks... Super-Hero at The Glenwood.
On Tuesday, the 13th, we will be heading down to the Original Mother's bar on Rush & Division to party hardy with the band Idle Spies and She-nanniga Comedy Winner's Michael Larimer and Anish Shah.
Wednesday, December 13, we have the great fortune of Mind Crusher Tattoos offering Limited Edition Evil Squirrel Tattoos at a price of $30. We are incredibly lucky that Mind Crusher is going to be donating the WHOLE $30 to the shop. Mind Crusher Tattoos is located at 6705 N. Clark Street and on Wednesday they are open from 11am until 11pm. Even if you don't end up with a Limited Edition tattoo that day, you should check these guys out. Great pricing and fantastic work!!
Thursday, December 14, we are having a Craft War with The Glenwood's Stitch and Bitch Crew. Did you know that The Glenwood has a knit night the same day and time we do?? We did and challenged them to war. December 14th will go down in history as the day that Evil Squirrel Comics knit more scarves in one night than The Glenwood Crew. Whichever team knits the least amount of scarves has to buy the other team a shot, but there are no losers in this war. All of the scarves made will be donated to Emmaus Ministries. So it's time to choose sides true knitters; whom will you stand behind, Evil Squirrel or The Glenwood??
And, Saturday, December 17th ends the weeklong festivities at Lifeline Theater. The Theater has generously donated its space for am Evil Squirrel Comics Variety show, Featuring a bevy of talent including Burlesque, Magic and Musical Acts.
We hope to see you at some of the events we have planned. Stay tuned for more... Sparky Bobby King

Monday, December 5, 2011

Deathscribe 2011 tonight at 8pm! Who will get the bloody axe?

It's here.  We teched all weekend....the pieces are killer.  My knuckles are swollen from foley work (pounding on cellar doors, pounding on various fruits and vegatables, pounding on pillows....etc).  Tonight we descend upon the beautiful Mayne Stage for an amazing evening of live horror radio.  It will be a classy night of chaos.  Please join us for the fourth annual Deathscribe Horror Radio Play Festival!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

MEET THE DEATHSCRIBE 2011 FINALISTS (Part 5 of 5)

We needn't look far for our fifth and final Deathscribe finalist. Matthew George lurks in Chicago. I was going to say something about the long, dark, winding corridors down which this Deathscribe dwells, but Chicago is laid out on a grid. Very few twists and turns. Streets at right angles, perfectly straight, in some cases for miles and miles. Driving down a street in Chicago might just make one feel like they're in an episode of the Twilight Zone...the street goes on and on and on until the vanishing point and beyond, without end. In FALLING APART, a drive that goes on too long lands a young couple in the company of an older pair who are most certainly not what they seem. Audrey Francis directs this eerie trip down the strangest of rabbit holes.

FALLING APART
Written by Matthew George
Directed by Audrey Francis

WildClaw: Where Horror is concerned, what does radio give us that visual media cannot?

Matthew George: There really isn't another medium that can so directly activate the imagination like radio. You have to actively participate to make the world work. How terrifying is that, that you're the only one who can see what you're seeing. What else is like that? And man, to make it a horror play, to have you be truly alone in your experience, with no escape to shut your eyes to make it go away. It's like a little monster is born in your head that might never go away. I HAVE CHILLS RIGHT NOW.

WC: "Falling Apart" creeped us out. What is it about "Falling Apart" that creeps you out?

MG: On a macro level, I'm terrified of the things we can't change. On a micro level, I think old people in rocking chairs are up to no good.

WC: What's the sound cue in your piece that you're excited to hear in foley?

MG: Someone getting hit in the head with a shovel.

WC: What difficulties does a 10-minute constraint present when writing, especially where horror and/or radio are concerned?

MG: Well you have to move more quickly, this is a truth. I found it helpful to think more about atmosphere and tone -- what tools do I have to make a whole world known instantly? How can I use words and sounds to transfer feelings, emotions rather than thought? I think my goal was just to create something unsettling that lingers once the sound stops. It's like cheating, but without cheating.



Matthew George is a recent graduate from Yale University with a B.A. in American Studies. His play Cow Play was performed at the 2011 NY Fringe Festival and was runner-up for the National Student Playwriting Award for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. His play Commandments was performed by the Yale Dramatic Association in the winter of 2010 and was part of the Attic Theater Company's Emerging Playwrights program in New York this October. He also co-wrote and performed in the original musical extravaganza Cold Turkey, which was seen in Ars Nova’s 2010 ANT Fest. This past summer he was a member of the Core Company at the Orchard Project, a summer theater workshop run by The Exchange.

Audrey Francis has acted, directed and taught in Chicago for over 7 years. She is also one of the proud owners of Black Box Acting Studio. Audrey is a graduate of the School at Steppenwolf, where she now teaches both the Meisner Technique and Text Analysis. She is a Jeff Nominated actor who has worked at The Goodman, Victory Gardens, Writer's Theatre, Northlight, Pine Box Theater and Steppenwolf. Audrey was most recently seen as Julia in Want and Frankie in Where We're Born at Steppenwolf. She's appeared in multiple independent films, commercials, webisodes and television shows including: The Promotion, Dustclouds, Donnie Brasco- The Documentary and the NBC series ER. Directing credits include: Life & Limb and The Most Liquid Currency in the World (Pine Box Theater); The Sugar Syndrome (Chicago Dramatists); Master Harold and the Boys (a.d. Steppenwolf) and Sexual Perversity in Chicago (U of C). Audrey is a graduate of Colorado State University with a degree in Journalism.

A Very Carrie Christmas

Attention Chicagoans! Tomorrow, Sunday, December 4th, Camp Midnight presents "A Very Carrie Christmas" at the Music Box Theatre, 2pm. Featuring all kinds of good stuff, including a moderated Q&A after the film with Carrie co-star Piper Laurie.

What a perfect Deathscribe appetizer!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Hammer Films Launches Poster Site

Hammer Films has launched a poster page for their films! They are UK quad versions of some of their classic films.