In R4 news: July 2014

Short Story Project

Back in May, a few of our readers met ​ at the ICRT studio to record voice track​s for a few​ Great Western Short Stories ​.​
I’ve been listening to those audio files and pairing the​m​ with some Great Western Music ​ in preparation for the mixing process which will start in a few weeks..
The folks at ICRT are especially keen on our Sherlock Holmes story: A Scandal in Bohemia.​ They recommend creating a series and the Holmes/Watson stories of Arthur Conan Doyle could be a good choice.

Incidentally, Pat Woods and Charlie Storrar read our Ignatz Ratzywatzky’s adaptation of the SCANDAL aloud at the Taipei Literature Festival on August 2 at Huashan Park.

Promotional Video Project

Meanwhile, William Openshaw of the RR video-recording division has been working on a video of our WasteLand performed at the April Aside @ The Red Room​.​ He and I will meet in August to take the next step towards a functional promotional video for R4.

The R4 Portfolio

Lastly but not leastly, with a deeply appreciative bow to Roma Mehta: the R4 portfolio has passed the design/development stage and gone to the Printers! Looking forward to putting that item ​to work making ​good​ connections ​with potential clients​.

(c) Copyright 2014 Red Room.  Material on this site is the property of contributing members of the Red Room Community. Please do not copy any part of this publication. Thank you.

R4 Updates, May 2014

RRRR-wasteland-0314An historic piece of 20th century Modern poetry was heard as never before at ASIDE @ The Red Room on March 29, 2014.

Four readers, accompanied by a sound effects operator presented TS Eliot’s The Waste Land for an audience of appreciative listeners.
TS Eliot wrote this opus using a wide variety of voices and each R4 reader developed several for the occasion.

The Waste’Land was read by: Marc Anthony, Andi Smela, Charlie Storrar and Pat Woods. They were accompanied by Trevor Tortomasi on Sound Effects. Videographer William OPENSHAW was on-hand to record the event and has subsequently met with the readers to shoot close-ups for use in future editing.

R4 revived their adaptation of TREASURE ISLAND for a public audience at the new branch of the public library near ShiLin Summer Residence on Sunday, April 26. The show was well-attended by persons of all ages.

R4 readers Marc Anthony, Sarah Brooks, Jenny and Conrad Green, Mark Lipsey, Nate Murray and Naden Rowe brought the story to life. Accompanying  sound effects were ably provided by Pat Woods, who also voiced several characters.
Plans are underway for future R4 presentations at the library.

May 18, 2014

R4 Reader Rick Brundage and Ruth Giordano Director spent a few satisfying hours last Saturday in the ICRT studio. Rick teaches in the History Department and coaches the public speaking program at Taipei American School. R4 followers might remember Rick for his rendering of the title character in DRACULA last fall. On Saturday he read Edgar Allan Poe’s short story of horror and madness, “The Black Cat”.

Then, Ruth took a turn at the studio mic, reading Shirley Jackson’s story “The Lottery”. This story was first published in the New Yorker magazine in June of 1948. In addition to numerous reprints in magazines, analogies and textbooks, it has been adapted for radio, live television, a ballet, two films, a TV movie, an opera and a one-act play.

The Short Story Project is scheduled for two more days in the ICRT recording studio this month. Our head writer and dramaturg, Ignatz Ratzkywatzky carefully considered the unique qualities of our most dependable readers and chose a story for each from the wealth of Western short story literature. Murray Richardson was assigned a story by Nathaniel Hawthorne (author of The Scarlet Letter, The Marble Faun & numerous others) and Mark Lipsey will read a selection from the collection of Damon Runyon stories, (it was Runyon whose stories inspired the creation of the musical “Guys and Dolls”). Next week R4 is scheduled to record “A Scandal in Bohemia”, one of Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, with Pat Woods and Charlie Storrar reading.

The R4 creative team will be out of the country for the months of June and July, preparing sound cues to enhance the voice tracks of the above mentioned recordings and planning their third season.

Ruth Giordano

Aside 5, a magical evening, March 2014

As I sat here contemplating about Aside 5, I realized that the definition of the title changed for me this time around. The last Aside event was simply to set “aside” the more free-spirited people and magnify my hopes in becoming one of them in the future. But in Aside 5, I felt as if the purpose of the event was, for me, to push “aside” all my expectations and stereotypes I had developed in my mind and be exposed, once more, to the necessary facets of life. It was as if I was to experience a rebirth and see the world for the first time again.

The mini-capsule of renaissance started with Josh Drye, a musician from North Carolina. When Drye came on to the stage, he simply took out his guitar and spoke a bit about the fundamentals of his music. He said that in his home region, they like to use one basic chord as the background chord. After this brief introduction, he quickly began to perform. He sang songs he composed and songs by other people—all of them were the songs of the Appalachians, best known as bluegrass. But even though they were all very pleasing to the ear, I still craved the sound of the banjo. In my mind, bluegrass just did not make sense without the sound of the banjo. It is no wonder why babies cry when they are pulled out of their mommy’s belly; the frustration at the unfamiliarity of their surroundings is so overwhelming that the only rational response is to lash out and cry.

I was already screaming like a maniac inside (“Where the heck is the banjo?!”) when comedian/storyteller, Charlie Storrar, confided in the audience, “I went through a process of rebirth myself.” It was as if Storrar’s message was directed at me. For a second, I saw a halo light up above Storrar’s head. But then, he said, “I am a Reborn Sinner.” And poof, there goes the halo. Before Storrar became the man he is today, he was Celibate Charlie. Storrar was trying to woo a girl with a box of cheap chocolates at fifteen. And to please her even more, he followed her into her Christian faith—but the moment he stepped foot inside the church, he decided to fall in love with Jesus instead.

Storrar loved being a Christian, but he also admitted that dedicating himself to God did not help him get over his need to “fill that void” and he constantly needed to patch it up “with his right hand.” And so at around the age of thirty, he decided to leave the Christian faith and finally will himself to sin again. Storrar’s story sounded too much like a bad joke to be true—“a British walks into a church with a box of cheap chocolates in attempt to seduce a girl, but was, instead, seduced by Jesus the man Himself.” All that is missing here is a rabbi.

I was having difficulty wrapping my head around the concept of being seduced by something abstract and conservative when Tina Ma, the Red Room Muse, walked in gracefully with a gu zheng and helped to demonstrate this seduction right away. The beginning of Ma’s music was very meditative. But as she began to pepper in a narrative about spring—“the mating season,” all one could think about was “sex.” It was as if Ma had grinded up all the Viagra she could find in the drug stores and just decided to sprinkle all the love dust onto the Red Roomers while casually playing her gu zheng.

Tina Ma’s performance was very creative, but I would have to say nothing could be more creative than what the Radio Redux group had to bring us that night at Aside 5. The Red Room Radio Redux group (R4) had always presented spectacular dramas in the past. But this time, the writer of R4 transformed T. S. Eliot’s poem “Wasteland” into drama form. Four actors—Marc Anthony, Adrianna Smela, Charlie Storrar, and Pat Woods—whispered, and shouted, and danced, and raged throughout the entire poem. R4’s mission is to introduce Western canon to its audience; not only have they done a great job this time, they have changed my perception about how a poem should be read. By having four people act out “Wasteland,” the R4 group had successfully portrayed the diverse themes of confusion and personas in the poem.

R4, Tina Ma, Charlie Storrar, and Josh Drye—seeing these four amazing artists at Aside 5 was like seeing a big yellow submarine in a bottle. And after this thought came to my head, I had one final revelation. I am very thankful that I had discovered the Red Room; because of the Red Room, I would not have to travel very far to see the world, the world would all be there with me in this one cozy space.

Wendy Wan Yi Chen
Class of 2014
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature National Taiwan University

(c) Copyright 2014 Red Room.  Material on this site is the property of contributing members of the Red Room Community. Please do not copy any part of this publication. Thank you.

From: Red Room Radio Redux, March 2014

TS Eliot’s WASTE LAND like you never imagined it! R4 company members Marc Anthony, Andrianna Smela, Charlie Storrar & Pat Woods, accompanied on noisemakers by Trevor Tortomasi entertained the ASIDE V @Red Room audience on March 29 with a unique rendition of this historic piece of Modernist Poetry.

FROM THE DESK OF Ignatz Ratzkywatzky, dramaturge, writer, and originator:

T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land: A Radio Drama probes the mystery of existence, the angst of the human heart and the marvelous irony that our dread of death celebrates our elation and passion to live.


R4 has been honored with an invitation to perform at a new branch of the Taipei Public Library, in Fulin Park near the Shilin Summer Residence. We have chosen our adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s TREASURE ISLAND for this venue. This script has plenty of action and colorful characters.

The library is located at:
No.15 Zhongzheng Rd. Shilin. (The main entrance is on Fulin Road.)

Car parking is available under the library.,121.532786,17z?hl=en

Sunday April 26 at 1:30 PM. Admission free. Performance in English. Running time: approx. one hour

THE SHORT STORY PROJECT. Several company members are already preparing to record short stories chosen specifically for them from the canon of Western literature. Authors such as Ray Bradbury, Earnest Hemingway, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Shirley Jackson will be represented. Music will be selected from the time period of the piece and, of course, noises will be generated. These recordings will go into post-production (adding music and sounds) at the ICRT-FM100 studio in August.

The Company takes a break for the summer months, while our Head Writer composes a new script. Under consideration: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Around the World in Eighty Days, and much more!

In October, we’ll hear R4’s recording of DRACULA over the airwaves.

Stay Tuned!

Performers, Aside 5 @ the Red Room, March 29 2014

Saturday, March 29th, 2014 Time: 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Red Room’s fifth exclusive event, where five artists share their most imaginative, courageous and inspiring performances.




David Gentile came to Taiwan years ago to study Chinese and Kung Fu, then ended up graduating from the Chinese Dept. at NTNU this past Summer. He traveled throughout the US before coming to Taiwan, and has always enjoyed coming up with little one-two line rhymes about the strange, beautiful, or troubling people, places, and things he encountered along the way.

“The poems started to become a way for me to impermanently document my experiences and even influenced the way I saw the world. Places became references to epic lines with names like “The Dog-Rocket House” or “The Dust Palace” that echoed the feeling of the abandoned hotel in the Lost Boys. People around me started to have nicknames so colorful and fitting that they sounded like the cast of Dick Tracy villains, and even the simplest of tasks were a mix between everyone’s own unique dog commands and rhyming slang. Basically, we got in there like swimwear, and now I have a whole new time zone…”



Charlie Storrar is an editor and comedian based in Taipei. He spends his working hours thinking of puns for headlines and his evenings performing stand-up and improv. He is the host of the regular comedy quiz night Charlie Storrar’s Death Panel.


How I Became a Born-Again Sinner (shared at the recent Story Slam)

Charlie Storrar <>



Josh Drye is a classically trained guitarist, composer, and songwriter that is putting most of his concentration now into the study of song form as it has evolved through the ages. He studied classical guitar and composition at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and then moved to New York City where he worked as a side man for various ensembles in Brooklyn and Manhattan, composer of theater music for productions as diverse as Shakespeare to Pinter, rehearsal accompanist for musicals, and could be found most Thursday nights belting out Irish music at Paddy Reilly’s. He has lived in Taiwan for a little less than a year. He has great taste in sweaters and vintage antiques. He doesn’t like ceramic cats, though, or baseball, so kindly refrain from asking him about either. It’ll just be awkward.

Performance Statement: 

I hope to present a few of my favorite songs. I want to pick them apart for you and show you how they work, then put them back together and spin ’em so you can see them in motion and understand what’s happening. Songs are one of the most ancient and instinctual forms of human expression. Each one carries with it a wealth of images, symbols, stories and emotions that all mean something different for each person but can still create a shared collective catharsis. I am going to play a few songs from different time periods, styles, and cultures to show that, no matter how large the gap is of time or space, we all have felt and hopefully always will feel the same big emotions about love, life, friendship, death and everything in between.

Josh Drye ‪<>


Red Room Radio Redux (R ​4)​ has been commissioned to present a reading of ​ T. S. Eliot’s​ The Waste Land, ​widely regarded as one of the most important modern poems of the 20th century.  For this special reading of the poem, The Waste Land has been adapted for four voices with live sound effects and accompanied by the music by influential contemporaries of the poet: Stravinsky, Schoenberg, Berlin, Ravel, and popular music in London at the time. The readers feature Marc Anthony, Andrianna Smela, Charlie Storrar, and Pat Woods, and is directed by Ruth Landowne Giordano. The text is rich with dramatic situations, dialogs, lyrics, foreign languages and the inner workings of the poet’s mind during a time of rapid social changes. This will surely be a unique approach to this historic piece.​

From the desk of IR

T.S. Eliot’s Waste Land : A Radio Drama probes the mystery of existence, the angst of the human heart and the marvelous irony that our dread of death celebrates our elation and passion to live.

Red Room Radio Redux <>



Like most artists, in younger days Tina was a Taiwanese hippy, rebelling against anything that interfered with her free will. She loved playing the guitar and learned American music while participating in all the social movements when Taiwan was seeking its identity in the early 80s.

After 30 years, she knows that the voice and sound must come from her own ground and soil now.

Having explored different art forms, she has finally chosen telling Taiwanese stories through songs from the ancient Chinese to current days, and to follow her bliss…

She likes to see herself as someone who uses this ancient musical instrument – moon guitar, to share shamanic spirits from nature and folklore of the mother earth. The instrument is two stringed, but says a lot in a simple ways, as most of life’s wisdom does.

Tina 是她英文名,





ICRT FM 100 will air our story on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24 at 9:00 PM and again on Christmas Day 12/25 at noon (Taiwan Time).

This recording was made late in the year 2012 featuring voices of Mark Caltonhill, Murray Richardson, Marc Anthony, Ben Gagnon, Reider Larsen, Angela Utschig, Manav Mehta, Sarah Brooks & Taili Huang. Recording mastered by Liu Ping.

You can listen live at ICRT FM 100 on the dial or online at Click on  LISTEN or “Listen LIVE!”

(c) Copyright 2013 Red Room.  Material on this site is the property of contributing members of the Red Room Community. Please do not copy any part of this publication. Thank you.

Wendy Wan Yi Chen, November 2013

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
A RRRR adaptation by Ignatz Ratzkywatzky

On ChrRRRR xcarol shows 2013istmas Eve, Ebenezer Scrooge and Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s underpaid clerk, are the only two people that are still not at home celebrating Christmas. Bob Cratchit is still working away at his ledgers, and on the other hand, the only reason that Scrooge is not celebrating is because he despises this holiday, the joys of the Christmas carols teeming outside his house are unbearable nightmares to his ears. The only music to his ear is the sound of his underpaid clerk mumbling out the numbers while working on the day’s accounts.

“Humbug!” Scrooge says of Christmas and it emphasis on charity. When a gentleman knocks on Scrooge’s door to inform him that he is gathering donations for the poor, Scrooge responds that the poor and the ill-stricken can go to the workhouses and prisons for shelter and care.

Consumed by greed, Scrooge is no longer able to comprehend anything beyond their materialistic values. And he does not realized how damaging this is until the ghost of Jacob Marley, Scrooge’s old business partner, appears to him in the middle of the night. Marley’s apparition is wrapped in chains and weighed down by padlocks, cashboxes, and many other other objects that symbolize the heavy burdens of greed. Marley has come to warn Scrooge that if he does not change his avaricious ways, he would suffer a worse fate than Marley. The only hope and redemption Scrooge has, Marley says, is to receive visits from three ghosts–the Christmas Spirit of the Past, the Christmas Spirit of the Present, and the Christmas Spirit of the Future.

After the ghost of Jacob Marley disappears, Old Scrooge is confronted one after another by the three ghosts of Christmas. The Christmas Spirit of the Past takes Old Scrooge to visit his past, and Scrooge is reminded that he was happy once and loved by a woman–but those were quickly taken away when young Scrooge became a greedy businessman. Then the Christmas Spirit of the Present arrives and brings him to see Bob Cratchit’s disabled son, Tiny Tim. Scrooge seems to have regained his compassion but he stands helpless as he finds out that Tiny Tim is also slowly dying. Old Scrooge cries and begs for help, but the grim Christmas Spirit of the Future silently creeps in and shows Scrooge the crude reality of death. Just as Scrooge is becoming overwhelmed with trepidation, he wakes up to find that he is still in his bed. Will Scrooge remember what he has just seen? Has he learned anything from the three Spirits of Christmas?

Come to the Red Room Theatre to find out!

Wendy Wan Yi Chen
Class of 2014
Department of Foreign Languages and Literature
National Taiwan University

Red Room Radio Redux Updates for September 2013

Oct 23: The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe

Rehearsals have begun for I. Ratzkywatzky’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s ”Dracula”, but we can’t have a show without some technical assistance!

Sound Operator Urgently Needed. Must be able to follow the action on stage and run cues on a computer (click open an audio file, fade volume in/out) according to Director’s hand signals. Attend a few rehearsals and all performances. (or share the position)

Box Office Receiving & Acknowledge reservation requests via email, respond to questions regarding time, place, appropriate audience, etc. Attend performances (or find suitable substitute): greet people, take money,  make change record attendance)

Liaison to Educational Institutions: Work with Producers to compose appropriate letters of introduction and inquiry. Follow up with emails, phone calls, appointments.

Carpenter (does not need to be highly skilled) We need a small free-standing door that will open and close with practical doorknob that will turn & latch, also a deadbolt & Hasp for padlock installed. The entire unit should be approximately 40 x 50 cm. Expenditures for materials will be reimbursed. Labor compensated by free tickets for life. (of the door)

  • Post-production is nearly done for our recording of Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth, (made at ICRT FM-100 studios last spring). Broadcast dates TBA.
  • The 2012 recording of “A Christmas Carol” will re-air on ICRT FM-100 in December 2013. Dates to be confirmed.
  • Dickens’ A Christmas Carol LIVE: casting has begun. Interested actors should send audio files to
    Look for us in the October edition of Centered on Taipei!

A brand new website for Red Room 介紹全新的紅房網站

Screen Shot 2013-07-16 at 12.24.37 PMRed Room has a new website Our events have been developing at such a rate, each event needs space of its own in which to regenerate and evolve. Our old blog has been absorbed into this new website and it’s a clean new interface that allows you access to all of Red Room activities.

We have also created an online forum <> which you can join by registering on the site.  Use it to  share information about your own events and activities with the Red Room community. For those who just love to help the Red Room, please share your unique talents and skills with the Red Room community by signing in to volunteer The Red Room is an open platform for new opportunities and expanding horizons and you are a vital part of this movement.

It is still a work in progress and as you continue to use it, it will continue to grow with you. We will keep refining it to fit all that you want it to be. Your input is valuable to us! We will welcome suggestions on how to make it more useful and functional. Drop us a line at to share your ideas.


紅房擁有新的網站 (。我們的活動發展的越來越有規模,每一個活動需要它自己的空間來再生及發展。我們的舊部落格已經整合進入這新的網站,且現在是更清爽新的界面讓您可以更方便瀏覽紅房活動資訊。

我們也建立了線上論壇 ( 請您註冊與加入。用它來跟紅房社群分享關於您自己的活動與進行計劃。給熱心想幫助紅房的朋友們,請麻煩您填寫志工名單 ( ,不吝告訴我們您獨特的專長和天分。


R4 Wrap for May 2013 – Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Macbeth

Having rehearsed our original adaptation on Sunday afternoons in the month of April at the Learning Kitchen, we recorded the vocal tracks for future broadcast on Saturday, May 4 at ICRT FM100 studios in XinShuang. We were finished in a reasonable amount of time (six hours) and all seemed pleased with the day’s work.

After the recording date, our cast list shifted, as there were three members who would not participate in the live performance, scheduled for May 19 at the NTU College of Medicine. The new cast met on Sunday, 5/5 at LK where we were accompanied by our “Noisemakers”, Sherry Li and Evelyn Philbrook (pictured above).

Between 5/5 and showdate, there was one Sunday: we worked in the venue at NTUCM, “The Small Round Theatre”. It was  a “dress rehearsal” only roughly speaking, as we still had details to work out. But it’s often been noted that, in the world of radio drama, detailed planning and carefully noted instructions can be a more efficient means to a successful end than repetitive rehearsal.

We presented our Macbeth twice on Sunday May 19th, the first house was nearly full, only a handful of empty seats. The second house was half-full: still a decent turn-out. We have noticed before that the Sunday evening show is not a good “seller”.

Back at the studio during the following week, Ping Liu and I edited our six-hour taping session down to approximately 45 minutes. Music and sound effects will be added when I return from my summer in the States. I’ll spend time over the summer reviewing the music selections we used for the live show and expanding on them. (More music is used in a radio rendition, overall, than a live show.) Sound effects for the broadcast rendition will be found in the ICRT sound library.

The broadcast of Macbeth has not been yet been scheduled.

I’ll be in the States from early in June until mid-August and I plan to put in time preparing for Dracula. I want to be in touch with prospective cast members, as it may be possible to make some casting decisions with the help of the internet and audio files. More about that in my next post.

We are growing fast! Our sustainability will depend on some more help behind the scenes. This month we welcomed an extremely valuable Project Manager Jen Wen and it is fortunate that she has been able to find assistance among the Red Room community members. We also attracted a young audio technician but it looks likely that he will be unavailable in the fall. Our wish list, for personnel, includes: Audio Technician & Photographer/Videographer. It’s been strongly suggested that we contact area schools as likely venues with enthusiastic audiences. This calls for a Liaison to Educational Institutions. a person dedicated to communicating with the English departments in the various area schools.

Can you help out? contact Ruth at