Former Hedgerow fellow Mark Swift is making his transition from the stage to the airwaves with his independent company “Oh, The Fool.” The first project of Oh, The Fool is Life In Sonderville, which found its original audience at Hedgerow Theatre Company.
Life In Sonderville is a daunting story to write because of its choose your own adventure nature and will boast a whopping ninety seven episodes. If that already makes your head spin as an audience member, don’t fret: the story is broken down into chapters and each path only takes seven to ten sections to complete. Therefore, a one time listener can fully engage in this dark comedic mystery in just over an hour.
During his time as a fellow, Swift came up with the idea of a choose your own adventure story, bringing an interactive element to both stage and podcasts, and combining the two mediums into performance.
After being given the go-ahead by Producing Artistic Director, Jared Reed, to pen a rough pilot for Life In Sonderville, Swift made the first steps on his new journey.
Thanks to his training at Hedgerow, Swift feels prepared for any eventuality. Having adapted stories for the stage, Swift learned about the importance of being a concise and compelling storyteller.
A particularly useful skill that Swift gained from his Hedgerow experience came from his time as an actor, where he learned the mastery of the verb. As an actor and storyteller, it is more important to show rather than to tell. However, if you are going to say, then emphasize the verbs.
Swift uses these skills in his writing of Life In Sonderville. As the show is written for radio, the visual medium is gone, and since it is a play, there is nothing but dialogue. The result is a dialogue that is active, informative, and most importantly, entertaining.
Currently, Oh, The Fool is running a Kickstarter for the production of Life In Sonderville. With the success of its Kickstarter, Swift hopes to honor his Hedgerow home with the fully first few episodes of Life In Sonderville, later this month to be enjoyed online!