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Nightmare Scenario, The Raven, and “The Secrets of the Greaser Hotel”


We stitch together a dozen strangers’ bad dreams to create a Frankenstein’s monster of the collective unconscious; actor Tony Tsendeas shares his annual recitation of Poe’s The Raven; and author Jonathon Scott Fuqua takes us inside his book, The Secrets of the Greaser Hotel

The radio piece, Nightmare Scenario, was created in 24 hours at the 2010 Megapolis Audio Festival in Baltimore.  Willing participants were invited into a sound booth to recount their worst nightmares. Producer Aaron Henkin recorded the accounts and then sliced and diced them into one single, bizarre homunculus of the collective unconscious.  

Edgar Allan Poe

Actor Tony Tsendeas has been channeling the spirit of Edgar Allan Poe on stage for many years and, since 2004, that spirit has been channeled through the airwaves with his annual Halloween reading of The Raven on the Signal. But how does a young actor find himself portraying the mysterious, morbid poet? Signal producer Lisa Morgan is on the case.

Tony Tsendeas channels Edgar Allan Poe

What if, instead of glass slippers, Cinderella discovered that she possessed a mutant superpower, a la The X-Men?  And what if, instead of a house, she toiled away in a creepy boarding house with all the charm of The Stanley Hotel from Steven King’s The Shining?  And what if, instead of a fairy godmother, she had a talking, shape-shifting pet cat?  Allie Argos is the hero of the new novel, The Secrets of the Greaser Hotel, and yes, she’s got all that going on – and more.  The author of the book, Jonathon Scott Fuqua, talks with The Signal’s Aaron Henkin.  

a conversation with author Jonathon Scott Fuqua

Aaron creates and produces original radio programs for WYPR. His current project is the neighborhood documentary series, Out of the Blocks, which earned the 2018 national Edward R Murrow Award. His past work includes the long-running weekly cultural program, The Signal, and the Smithsonian Folkways Recordings series, Tapestry of the Times. Aaron's stories have aired nationally on NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered, PRI’s Studio 360, & The World.