Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Submitted for Your Approval: 'Twilight Zone' at the Alban

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

Submitted for Your Approval: 'Twilight Zone' at the Alban

Article excerpt


Applachian Artists Collective presents Selections from The Twilight Zone.

WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday,

2 p.m. Sunday. 7 p.m. November

6 and 7. 2 p.m. November 8. WHERE: Alban Arts Center, 65 Olde Main St., St. Albans TICKETS: Tickets $15. Groups of 10 or more $10 each.

INFO: 304-721-8896 or www.

You are traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound, but of mind. A journey into a wondrous land of imagination.

Next stop: the Alban Arts Center?

Well, yes.

Beginning Friday evening, and just in time for Halloween, Appalachian Artists Collective (AAC) will present "Selections from The Twilight Zone, a trio of live performances based on episodes from the iconic 1960s science fiction series.

AAC artistic director Leah Turley said the idea of doing episodes from the anthology series is something she and the other members of the collective have talked about since the organization was founded on New Year's Eve in 2012.

"There's always a Twilight Zone' marathon on, she said.

Turley explained that she and associate director Emily Basile started talking about staging their own sort of marathon.

The problem was figuring out whether it could even be done and who owned the rights.

First, Turley contacted CBS, which first aired "The Twilight Zone from 1959 to 1964. After several conversations, the television network said they couldn't grant her permission.

"But they promised they wouldn't sue us if we went ahead, Turley said, laughing.

Still, to be on the safe side, the director convinced the network to send her a letter affirming that there would be no lawsuits if they did the show, but being allowed to use the scripts was another matter altogether.

"The entirety of the series is owned by CBS. Turley explained, "But each individual episode, not written by [show host and creator] Rod Serling is owned by the writers. So, after we got CBS to agree not to sue, we had to find one writer whose publisher would say yes.

Their first choice was Richard Matheson.

"He's Emily's favorite author, added Turley.

Matheson, who died in 2013, was a prolific author who worked extensively in television and whose books frequently became films. Some of his best known, include "I Am Legend, which was made into several different movies, "What Dreams May Come and "Stir of Echoes. He also wrote 16 episodes for "The Twilight Zone.

The theater company located Matheson's publisher and estate and then began negotiating for the performance rights.

"We went back and forth for about three months before they came back with something reasonable we could afford, Turley said.

After that, they had to look through Matheson's catalog of scripts and find three episodes that could be pieced together into a shared world and also could be staged live. …

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