On September 4, Pigeon Creek will release our virtual performance of "A Twelfth Night Murder, or Is the Knot Too Tight?" by David Taylor Little. We commissioned this play from Little, a playwright and theatre director who previously directed Pigeon Creek's production of Henry VI. The radio play will be a benefit performance in support of Blue Lake Public Radio.
Executive Director Katherine Mayberry posed questions to Little about the radio play.
How did you become interested in writing radio plays?
I actually became interested in writing radio plays BECAUSE of WBLV. My first summer as a faculty member at Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp was in 2009. When I found out that camp had a radio station, I immediately thought it would be a fun idea to do a radio play. But that didn't actually happen until 2019, when we did "Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Speckled Band." I wrote, directed, and performed in that production, and WBLV recorded it and put it on their on demand website. Since then, I've written a holiday radio play called "Christmas Gifts" that was broadcast live on Indiana Public Radio this past December and a second Sherlock Holmes adaptation, "The Adventure of the Diamond Tiara," that was recorded for Zoom and BLFAC's Virtual Summer Fine Arts Festival. I like the form because it can be produced on a low budget and socially distanced, although I became interested in the form before Covid happened. I also like the restrictions that it places on me as a writer. I have to make sure that all visual elements of the story are spelled out in the dialogue because this is an auditory experience. And fictional podcasting is becoming a big thing recently. So the basic radio form from 80+ years ago is making a resurgence through podcasts.
What are the ways in which you wove Twelfth Night and Shakespeare into this script?
Since Pigeon Creek is a Shakespearean company, I wanted to make sure that I gave your actors some opportunities to show off their skills and expertise. So I included portions of 12th Night into the script. That was easy because the mystery happens at a fictional Shakespearean theatre company that is currently performing 12th Night. But I also took some of the themes and ideas from the play itself and included them in the story. One of the main ones I can't discuss because it would give away the ending. But there is also a love letter that is understood to mean one thing when it actually means something else. And I've included phrases throughout the play that come directly from Shakespeare's plays. Some of them will be recognizable to casual fans of Shakespeare's work while others are a little less obvious.
Our Zoom recording of "A Twelfth Night Murder, or Is the Knot Too Tight?" will appear on Pigeon Creek's Youtube channel, with a link on our website's "Current Season" page, this Friday, September 4.