Linfield Theatre podcast productions


Pencil and paper interpretation of “The Deal of a Lifetime” monster by Camille Lubach

Laney Green, Staff Writer

Crushed skulls, encroaching insanity, and commentary on capitalism are all key elements of Linfield’s Theatre department’s most recent podcast production The Deal of a Lifetime.

With in-person activities still heavily restricted, the Theatre department decided to get creative regardless of the limitations. The students found a new way to gain hands-on experience within their major: podcasts. 

The Deal of a Lifetime is the department’s most recent theatrical production. The two-act radio play begins with the following warning: “This podcast contains graphic and disturbing imagery and may not be suitable for all listeners.” Needless to say, you will be hooked.

The play follows the adventures and mishaps of six individuals trapped inside an electronic store in a mall where a mysterious monster is lurking. The play also includes an omniscient narrator that sets the scene and keeps the audience on track. 

This narrative is co-written by Linfield sophomores Helika Campbell and Ellie Gossett. Both students are first-time playwrights and quickly picked up on both the pros and cons of writing a non-visual play. The pair agree that writing a non-visual narrative is arguably harder than writing a play accompanied by visuals. This lack of visuals means the writers have to focus on finding creative yet direct ways to write their script in order to ensure the audience can clearly grasp the story. 

Finding the right descriptions that compel the audience to visualize a scene can be tricky, but ultimately when the narrator exclaims that “the smell of iron and stomach acid hangs in the air,” the situation is overwhelmingly clear. 

Campbell and Gossett also note that writing this style of narrative has the benefit of preying on the audience’s imagination more than a typical play could. “I think [the radio plays] are special in part of the freedom that comes with them. You get to ask for your audience to imagine a lot more,” explained Gossett. For example, the stunt scenes they write are highly imaginative and would be extremely difficult to act out on stage, giving this style of writing a leg up on normal production playwriting. 

Since radio-style script writing only uses words to tell a multifaceted story, the elucidation must be emphasized. While this can cause the story to become more gruesome, it also allows a new and stimulating experience for the listener.

Within the first few minutes of The Deal of a Lifetime, a painfully descriptive scene of a woman getting her skull smashed in by an unidentifiable monster takes place. While listeners hopefully aren’t overly excited by this kind of gore, being left with this image will have them clinging to whatever’s next to come. 

The Deal of a Lifetime is split into two episodes, both of which are currently available for streaming on Spotify.