From late September, 2011, we bring you this special episode of Radio Free Charleston which was a major departure from our normal format. This show is a documentary following the 2011 revival of the Dan Kehde/Mark Scarpelli musical, Jack The Ripper. Produced by The Contemporary Youth Arts Company, this daring and complex piece of musical theater was pulled together in less than six weeks. Included in the show are interviews with Dan and Mark, intercut with “fly-on-the-wall” footage from the rehearsals leading up to opening night.

We also dug into our archives and included footage of the original production from 2008, starring Ryan Hardiman. This is rare video that had never been seen by the general public before.

In this episode of RFC you will see the newer incarnation of the show come together from on-book readings at local churches to the building of the set to the final blocking and staging during tech week. It’s a look inside the creation of a unique original work in the Charleston, WV theater scene. Some of this show was recorded as late as one day before it was originally posted online. We managed to get this show finished and online in time to promote the opening of the show later in the week.

I spent several weeks attending rehearsals with my camera, shooting loads of Cinéma vérité footage of the cast and crew preparing for their big night.  Almost seven years later, it’s cool to have a record of the hard work that went into this production.