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Who’s listening?
Advantages and Pitfalls of Wireless Audio

March 19th, 2021

“I do community theater, and all muting and unmuting is done from the tech booth. Well, every once in a while, if the tech person can’t mute an actor’s mic right away when they leave the stage, the audience catches them saying something like, ‘Well, I really f****d THAT up!'”

The above account, courtesy of Buzzfeed’s “17 Seriously Cringeworthy ‘Forgot To Turn The Mic Off’ Stories,” is one of many that deals with the ways wireless audio has complicated life in the 21st century.

Likewise, the Cosmopolitan article “11 Zoom Confessions That’ll Have You Double-Checking Your Mute Button” features stories about sounds not-intended-for sharing. In one, a contributor relates what happened when she took her laptop to the bathroom only to discover afterward that the “video was off, but audio was on.” Then, to make things worse, she adds: “The meeting was recorded.”

Equally embarrassing, a piece in Elle titled “The Most Embarrassing Zoom Fails People Have Suffered In Quarantine,” relates one of the downfalls of Zoom’s active-speaker mode (which expands your video to full screen whenever you speak). The article includes the confession of a zoomer who writes: “I accidentally burped, and the main screen went to me.”

Yikes!

As an antidote for such cringe-worthy stories, the latest installment of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre’s “The Play’s the Thing” explores how unintended transmission could actually be a good thing. You can check it out by clicking the player below or by finding Prime Stage Mystery Theatre on Apple,  Audible,  Deezer,  Libsyn,  Spotify, or the podcasts page at PrimeStage.com.

Give it a listen. If you like what you hear, be sure to spread the word … just be sure to mute that mic when you’re done.

The Sound’s the Thing:
Audio Clues on Mystery Theatre

March 12th, 2021

In Francis Ford Coppola’s film The Conversation (1974) surveillance expert Harry Caul (Gene Hackman) becomes obsessed with a cryptic recording that he believes suggests a young couple is in danger. Similarly, in Brian De Palma’s Blow Out (1981), sound engineer Jack Terri (John Travolta) investigates a mystery by listening to a recording made at the scene of a crime. And even master sleuth Sherlock Holmes demonstrates the importance of audio clues in the story “The Speckled Band” (1892), when a whistle emanating from a closed room leads him to the solution of one of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s best-known mysteries.

In each one of these cases, investigators follow clues they cannot see, which brings us to the questions August LaFleur posed at the end of last week’s installment of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre: “What is the alternative to looking?” and “What does one do when one doesn’t see?”

The answers, as LaFleur says, “should be obvious.”

You can hear this week’s episode by clicking the player below or by accessing it and all past episodes via AppleAudibleDeezerLibsyn,  Spotify, or by going to the  podcasts page at  PrimeStage.com.

But listening isn’t the only way you can join the investigation. Each episode concludes with a prompt that invites listeners to submit suggestions and comments about the mystery via the contact tab at the Prime Stage website or through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

The world is full of mysteries. Here’s one we can solve together.

Onward!

Prime Stage Mystery Theatre:
“What’s the alternative to looking?”

March 5th, 2021

The image at left is from the recently restored film Sherlock Holmes (1916), starring William Gillette in the first-ever screen portrayal of the master sleuth. The film is currently streaming on Apple TV.

There’s more than one way to find a missing person, but could you do it without actually looking? This week’s episode of Mystery Theatre invites you to consider not one but two prompts that could lead to solving the mystery:

“What is the alternative to looking?”

“What does one do when one doesn’t see?”

Those questions may sound like zen koans, but if you consider the details presented in “The Play’s the Thing” (the latest installment of Prime Stage Mystery Theatre) you might find the answer is entirely practical. And if you know that answer … or if you have a general suggestion about how to find lost things without running in circles, send us your thoughts via PrimeStage.com/contact. (You can also reach out by clicking either the email or Facebook icon in the upper right corner of this webpage).

Prime Stage Mystery Theatre is available just about anywhere you get your podcasts, including AppleAudibleDeezerLibsyn, and Spotify. Check it out … and if you like what you hear, please remember to rate, follow, and tell your friends about the show. Doing so increases our visibility and helps bring new eyes and ears to Prime Stage’s virtual season.

And in the end, you might just find that listening is a good alternative to looking.

I’ll meet you there!

Nightmares and Mysteries:
Prime Stage Mystery Theatre – Season Two

February 23rd, 2021

Heard about the actor’s nightmare? It’s a variation of the dream in which you find yourself completely out of place and unprepared for a given situation. You know, like being in the produce section of a grocery store, standing behind a stack of vegetables and hoping no one notices your naked. Or perhaps it’s the covid-era dread of sitting in a crowded classroom and realizing you’ve left your mask at home.

In the actor’s nightmare, a performer stands clueless before a packed house, unable to remember a single line of dialogue.

The dream is so prevalent among actors that Christopher Durang devoted an entire play to it, fittingly titled The Actor’s Nightmare.

The premise also provides a central conflict in Season Two of the Prime Stage Mystery Theatre podcast, which returns February 25 and continues with new installments each Thursday in March. Titled “The Play’s the Thing,” this new story reunites the characters from Season One’s “A Knavish Piece of Mystery” and pushes them into a puzzle featuring a performer who goes missing on opening night. And yes, before it’s over, one of the characters will stand clueless in the footlights.

You can read more about the show at Tribe-Live or the Prime Stage website, where you’ll also find links to last season’s mystery. The podcast is free, made possible by support from listeners like you. If you like what you hear, consider helping to ensure future podcasts by becoming a patron. And please remember to rate, follow, and tell your friends about the show. Doing so increases our visibility and helps bring new eyes and ears to Prime Stage’s virtual season.

And keep in mind, since each PSMT episode ends with a question or prompt regarding the story’s mystery, you’re invited to chime in by leaving a comment at the Prime Stage website or Facebook page. Listener feedback played an exciting role in Season One, and we’re hoping to build on that spirit of interaction in Season Two.

Prime Stage Mystery Theatre is available just about anywhere you get your podcasts, including Apple, Audible, Deezer, Libsyn, and Spotify. Each installment runs about fifteen minutes, so you’ll be able to fit them in between trips to the produce section or crowded classroom.

Just remember to dress accordingly … and I’ll meet you there.