As theater companies find new ways to share work from quarantine, Lightning Rod Special is creating an original audio work, SUPERHOST, streaming starting October 28. Conceived and directed by LRS company member Alex Bechtel and collaboratively created by performers working remotely, SUPERHOST is a Halloween audio thriller that unfolds over a series of voicemails to Adrian, the owner of a beautiful Airbnb in rural Maine.
The creators of THE APPOINTMENT and UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME, Lightning Rod Special is known for its provocative and contemplative approach to making original theater. When the Covid pandemic dramatically shifted the landscape of live performance in March 2020, Lightning Rod Special was poised to premiere its newest theatrical work, SPEECH, a poisonous love letter to cancel culture. The run scheduled for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival in September 2020 was indefinitely postponed, along with all of LRS’s other in-person work (and much else!).
As LRS continued to incubate in-person theater projects, the creators also began experimenting in new forms of remote theatermaking. In the summer of 2020, Lightning Rod Special launched a digital performance “gym” on Zoom where performer/creators experimented in devising for the digital realm including podcasts, online video work, and interdisciplinary interactive digital work. From our findings in that gym, LRS decided to pursue making work for the audio medium.
At the beginning of September 2020, just when we would have been premiering their latest theater work, they decided to pose our first audio project dare: to create a devised audio work remotely, finish it by Halloween, and deliver the results to audiences free of charge. SUPERHOST is the culmination of this challenge.
The project launches on October 27 at 5:30pm with a listening party on Zoom. Public release on the Lightning Rod Special website starts October 28.
SUPERHOST by Lightning Rod Special
Conceived and Directed by Alex Bechtel
Sound Design and Engineering by Twi McCallum
Performed and Created by nicHi douglas, Katie Gould, Justin Jain, Jaime Maseda, Bailey Roper, Mason Rosenthal, Scott R. Sheppard, Chinaza Uche, Alice Yorke
For listening party reservations: mailchi.mp/
For wider release on the website: lightningrodspecial.com