Chris: in charge
Skeleton Life: Originator of the Skeleton Theatre concept. Designer of the arm/servo structures, creator of the audio, scriptwriter, programmer for the animation, owner of the house where Skeleton Theatre exists.
Real Life: Sound designer and composer for live theatre. Married to Maia.
Skeleton Life: Technical Director for Skeleton Theatre. Designed and built the original stage structure with Bill. General manager of the project.
Real Life: After many years as a policeman, Dave has gone back to theatre production full-time. Working as a carpenter for the Seattle Children's Theatre, he also moonlights as a set designer and lighting designer for plays in the Northwest. Dave excels at the sculpting and detail painting work for the Skeletons, as well as script work. Dave and Chris know each other from Cornish College of the Arts...way back in the '80s.
Skeleton Life: General carpentry and stage work, clean-up pinch hitter, video and lighting producer (read: he supplies lots of that gear). Ken was a HUGE work force for ST-2009, coming up from LA for 3 weeks of pre-Halloween work. For 2010 and 2011 Ken was in charge of all of the video gear for "The Death Of Rock". He also shoots about 95% of the still photos you see on this site. Crowd control on Halloween.
Real Life: Ken is a law enforcement officer (a C.H.iP.) in Los Angeles, California. Married to Tina. Chris, Maia, Ken, Case and Tina know each other from work at The American Repertory Theatre in Boston. Chris helped Ken drive all of his possessions across the country when Ken moved from Boston to LA in 1997.
Skeleton Life: Ann was kind enough to jump in with both feet when Michael offered to design lights for "The Death Of Rock". They've worked together often and so work together well. The first year she got rained and hailed on, and a bunch of equipment was dicey...yikes. And STILL she came back with Mike for 2011! The two of them are definitely a huge asset for getting the show up on time and looking good.
Real Life: Ann is a professional stage manager and lighting designer in Seattle.
Skeleton Life: Lighting designer. Designed and built the original stage structure with Dave, designed the light plot and did most of the initial light programming for ST-2006. He's now in New York at Columbia University pursuing an advanced medical degree.
Real Life: Anesthesiologist. Used to be a professional lighting designer and co-wrote a textbook on light design. Knows Dave from working on many plays together in Seattle.
Skeleton Life: Electronics guru. Worked on the 2007 and 2009 shows doing lots and lots of soldering, prototyping, and general carpentry/props work. In 2007 fixed a fogger, made the light sabers light up. In 2009 helped enormously by finishing off most of the relay (and other actuator) boxes. Also shoots a lot of the video of the live shows.
Real Life: Retired from INTEL in 1997. Father of Chris and Jen.
Brooke: (not pictured)
Skeleton Life: Painter, skull finisher, archival photographer. Helped wherever needed in the crucial crunch time as the show loomed in 2006. Painted the "Skeleton Theatre" bone sign on the proscenium arch - while it was hailing! Finished up the outer surface work (drywall mud) for the Peter Graves skull last year. Took some of the photographs seen on this site.
Real Life: College student. Daughter of Charlie, sister of Sam.
Skeleton Life: Carpenter, stage crew. Case is one of the few people doing this who is a professional doing exactly what she does here. She does lots of building, light gear hanging, camera work, and show running backstage.
Real Life: Case is the head of the stage crew for the Seattle Repertory Theatre. This means she runs the backstage for the Rep's live shows. Hence, she is VERY valuable for Skeleton Theatre! Case, Ken, Chris and Tina all worked together in Boston at The American Repertory Theatre.
Skeleton Life: Animation specialist. Built most of the arms in 2006 with Keith. More involved in 2007, working on stage remount, new 120 amp power drop for more lights, and again, animation. For "The Death Of Rock" Charlie helped out again with some more skeleton movement and even ran one of the live cameras for a night.
Real Life: Charlie really is an automation specialist, having designed (among other things) the swinging action of the low bridge to West Seattle. Neighbor. Knows Chris and Maia through Laurie, and got pulled in to the build in 2006 due to a random phone call approximately 1 week before Halloween. Father of Brooke and Sam.
Skeleton Life: Cris came aboard in 2010 to stage manage "The Death Of Rock", a position which she reprised in 2011. I can't tell you how helpful it's been to have a pro calling the show instead of me trying to pay attention to the script while watching everything else.
Real Life: Cris is a professional stage manager based in Seattle.
Skeleton Life: Carpentry, fabricating, heavy tool loaning. Very helpful in 2008 with mast work for The Cursed Rage. Also sings on the "Bottom of The Sea" pirate song. For "The Death Of Rock" he voiced the interviewer in the "Beyond The Music" videos.
Real Life: Computer programmer, works for Starbucks. Married to Laurie.
Skeleton Life: Programmer, sensors installer. Single handedly programmed all of the interfaces to take information from the show computer and turn it into real-time position information for the skeletons on stage. Unfortunately, most of this effort in 2006 was in vain, due to lack of reliable control over the pneumatics and sensors in the cold. Re-designed and re-programmed for 2007 for more reliable (read, working) position control. Also programmed the interface for the mini-skeleton programmer for arm movements, new in 2007.
Real Life: Programs for Google. Classic fresh-out-of-school wunderkind programmer. Cousin of Chris, married to Rachel.
Skeleton Life: Lighting designer for ST-2009. Also did carpentry and wiring work that year. His photo shows him striking the new mast for "The Intrepid" with a chain, after which he ground it with an angle grinder and burned it with a torch. Just so it would look convincingly old.
Real Life: Knows Chris and Dave from working around Seattle in the theatre community, including designing sets on a show that Dave worked on and running the sound for the Seattle Children's Theatre in the Alvord Theatre. Is currently attending Tisch in NYC as a lighting designer, and we got him first!
Skeleton Life: Ilah has known how to work a screw gun since she was five. This is mostly due to Skeleton Theatre. She helps out with tool transport for the build crew, and craft services with Maia, and she's beginning to help her big sister Suscha with shooting the "Making Of" videos.
Real Life: Ilah is a student, daughter of Chris and Maia, sister of Suscha.
Skeleton Life: ST-2009 was Jen's first year working on Skeleton Theatre. Built the rigs for the Kraken - lots of air movement to inflate cilia and giant teeth. Also soldered some of the many relay boxes used to complete electronic circuits to make things move. In 2010 and 2011 built a lot more electronic things - relay control boxes, lighting dimmer packs, color scroller power packs. She also drew the t-shirt graphic of the skeleton band posing. Oh, and she built the fretboard animation for the skeleton guitar players and ran the backstage part of the show with Case.
Real Life: Works for Intel in Oregon. Sister of Chris.
Skeleton Life: Animation specialist, pneumatic installer, welder. In 2006 made most of the arms with Charlie, as well as installed the pneumatic ram sensors under the stage to move the skeletons back and forth. Designed the "nod" mechanism for the skeleton heads and welded up the prototype, later copied by Dave for the other skulls. Paint detail, skeleton dresser. Came back for one long and very effective day in 2011, getting Stu the Drummer's arms put together.
Real Life: Programs for Microsoft. Lives 2 blocks from Chris and Maia and just stopped the car one day to see what was going on. Got sucked in - akin to disappearing down a whirlpool.
Skeleton Life: Carpenter, and excellent cook. In 2006 worked mostly on logistics, getting people where they needed to be when they needed to be there. Ran the Skeleton Theatre household while Maia was outside on crowd control. Helped strike (take down) the stage. In 2007 more involved - putting up the stage and lighting positions and being craft services for build days. For "The Death Of Rock" ran the front of house live camera feed.
Real Life: Laurie is a local stage and screen actress. Works on school based projects in support of her kids. Knows Maia through schools where kids are attending. Married to Darren.
Skeleton Life: Site Manager. Makes sure nobody starves and keeps communication lines open. Runs Front-of-House on show nights. Worked with Tina to design and produce the commemorative t-shirts for ST-2006. Again with Tina, silk-screened all of the 2010-2011 Bonaparte shirts and laminates (show badges).
Real Life: Works on grants and contracts at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Married to Chris.
Skeleton Life: Came on strong in 2008, after showing up one day in her car and asking if we needed help. We always need help. Did lots of carpentry, including building one of the crows nests.
Real Life: Drives a mini-cooper, always a good thing.
Max (Lady Max):
Skeleton Life: Started helping us in 2010, doing some building for "The Death Of Rock" and then running one of the live camera feeds. Came back in 2011 for more of the same - including building the confetti cannon that shot leaves!
Real Life: Runs heavy equipment in the construction world.
Max (Little Max):
Skeleton Life: Helped with some of the stage build for "The Death Of Rock" in 2010 and 2011. We call him "Little Max" since he's younger than "Lady Max", but predictably as he's growing up he's getting taller than her.
Real Life: Son of Dave, see above.
Skeleton Life: After seeing the second year of "Pirates Of The Scary Beings" Michael volunteered to design lights for the next show (since our previous lighting designer went to NYC). Bringing Ann with him to help, and an ETC light board from the Seattle Children's Theatre, Michael designed some fantastic looks for the two years of "The Death Of Rock".
Real Life: Production Manager for the Seattle Children's Theatre. Professional lighting designer for dance and theatre.
Skeleton Life: Graphics work. Sketched and painted the comedy and tragedy masks on the proscenium arch for the 2006 show. Helped with general build at crunch time near the end.
Real Life: Graphic designer. Married to David.
Rita: (not pictured)
Skeleton Life: A special shout-out to Rita, our dramaturg. Since we first decided to go with original material in 2008 (Pirates Of The Scary Beings) she's been giving our scripts a professional read-thru. She usually only gives a few notes, but they're always insightful and they always help the story along.
Real Life: Rita is a professional director based in Seattle.
Skeleton Life: Lighting Designer, ST-2007. Stepping into the void left by Bill when he went to NYC, Ruth brought her considerable theatre and dance lighting background to the project. Copious notes taken during a listen through of the tracks made for a fantastic design that year.
Real Life: Freelance lighting designer. Runs the technical theatre program at a high school in Redmond. Worked together with Chris and Dave for several years at the Intiman Theatre, ages ago.
Skeleton Life: Sam, like his father Charlie and sister Brooke, is now helping with Skeleton Theatre. 2011 was his first year, when he came over and worked with Vincent on getting some stage pieces up and painted. Great to have the extra help!
Real Life: Sam's a student, and is the son of Charlie.
Steve and Karla:
Skeleton Life: Steve started showing up to help around 2008, the first year of "Pirates". He helped build the ships and then took a lot of pictures and video during show nights. In the picture with him is Karla, his wife, who helped Maia out with kid wrangling and front of house for the first two years of ST. They know Maia and Chris through their kids going to school together.
Real Life: Steve works for Boeing and his family has now - unfortunately for us - gone back to live and work in his native Australia.
Skeleton Life: Suscha has been helping since the very beginning of Skeleton Theatre - since it happens at her house. She helps as a general runner when things are being built, but her biggest contribution has been in the area of video. Suscha has shot far more video than anyone else, mostly posterity footage (build and behind-the-scenes) and also some show footage over the last couple of years. She also was the main presenter of the 2008 behind the scenes featurette for "Pirates Of The Scary Beings".
Real Life: Suscha is a student and is the daughter of Maia and Chris, sister of Ilah.
Skeleton Life: General carpentry and stage work, painter, front of house. Arrived late in the process with Ken, due to having a day job in Los Angeles. Put the deck on the stage with Ken, and built the curtain and back wall in 2006. Spearheaded design of the commemorative t-shirt for ST-2006. Worked Front-of-House with Maia on Halloween. Except for when she performed emergency skeleton repair during the show (Boney's arm flew off...twice).
Real Life: Tina works at Dreamworks Animation. Married to Ken. Chris, Maia and family stay at Ken and Tina's house when they visit L.A. Ken and Tina also flew up to Seattle for three work weekends to help Chris build his recording studio several years ago.
Skeleton Life: Vincent jumped in with both feet in 2011. He came over and helped for a few hours building and painting set pieces, mostly working with Sam, and then on the second show night he shot a lot of video.
Real Life: Vincent is a student, and is the son of Richard.
Real Life: In real life all of these gentlemen are fantastic professional actors whom I've been honored to work with on various stages in Seattle. Most of them have worked at the large theatres in town, as well as in Los Angeles, New York and elsewhere. Their roles in Skeleton Theatre are with their pictures. Unfortunately we didn't get pics of Hans and Brad when they were over recording so those pics are from shows they've been in around town.
Mr. Parker, the Dead Wisdom Simon Chuckabone
Real Life: In real life most of these people are professional actors. MJ, Auston, Billy Joe, Khanh and Corinna are people I've worked with at the theatres around town, and Billy Joe is also leader of the band "The Dusty 45's". Basgeige was voiced by Dave, who you can see way up this page as one of my main co-conspirators, and Darren (also further up the page) voiced the interviewer on the videos. Kurt is the Artistic Director of A.C.T. theatre in Seattle and was kind enough to be our Narrator. On the musical end, Ian is a fairly major deal in the financial planner world - but is also a great guitarist. Richard has shot a bunch of video for us over the years and for this show played some awesome harmonica on the songs...he works for King County Metro and is the father of Vincent (above).
Auston Billy Joe
Stewart Boniface - the drummer Nero Tarsus - lead singer
Real Life: In real life these guys are professional actors I've been lucky enough to work with around town, and they did Great at the session! This is the first time we've recorded all the voiceovers in one day. Logistics were challenging: I wanted to record everyone at once, so we set up mics in four rooms to record eight people. That way I could keep good audio separation and process the voices differently for the Skelenauts, the Control Room, the Monkey and the Video Conference.
Scheduling was a BIG challenge, but the entire cast showed up at 11a.m. on a sunny friday in August and we laid down the show in two hours. If you've ever done VO work, you know how fast that is, to record a twenty minute show in two hours. It's nice to work with pros.
Actor names are in Bold. If you're doing the math and counting seven people when I mentioned eight, I was the voice of Nova the monkey.
Dr. Glauben Totenkopf Maj. Steven Heartless