My Radio Drama Portfolio

Shoestring Radio TheaterShoestring Radio Theatre is a San Francisco-based, non-profit radio drama company (founded in 1988 by Producer Monica Sullivan) whose productions have aired locally, nationally and internationally. The program has aired in the Bay Area on various stations over the years and debuted on the Public Radio Satellite Network (which reaches hundreds of public radio stations across the country) in 1993.

I was heavily involved in the Shoestring troupe for about 10 years. In addition to writing, directing and producing plays, I served as a Senior Associate Producer & Webmaster, which entailed publicizing and promoting the show and developing its web site (http://www.shoestring.org).

Below is a list of productions which I have written, directed and/or produced—and instructions on how to listen to them.

  • You can listen to my full-length plays when they air in rotation on Shoestring’s weekly schedule.
  • You can listen instantly to several of my shorts and comedy sketches by using the embedded audio player controls below. (Look for icons like this: Example Icon)

Full-Length Plays

Each weekly episode of Shoestring Radio Theater is about 30 minutes long, so a full-length play is either a self-contained story of under 30 minutes or a 60-minute story which airs in two parts. I was involved in the production of all kinds of plays across multiple genres. I wrote many of the plays I directed, but I also directed movie adaptations and original plays by other authors.

Number 13
Co-writer, 1991, 30 min.
A research chemist experimenting on animals has the tables turned in this thriller set in England during World War II. The play originally aired locally on KUSF and KALW (San Francisco) in 1991. Subsequently, the drama was picked up by The Radio Works for broadcast on their U Network of over 50 stations in more than 25 states. Via the Canadian organization, La Bande Magnetique, “Number 13” also has aired in Canada, Africa, and Australia. In November, 1992, the drama aired in Belgium during the Radio Arts Festival. The play debuted on the Public Radio Satellite Network in August, 1993. “Number 13” was read live on stage twice in 1994 at charity events in San Francisco.
Fall, Don’t Splat
Writer/Associate Producer, 1993, 30 min.
Inspired by “Wayne’s World” and the Bill & Ted movies, this slapstick comedy chronicles the turbulent skydiving expedition of Man and Dude, two goofy Los Angeles airheads. The play premiered locally on KUSF in February, 1993 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in November, 1993.
Natural Selection
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1993, 30 min.
A crazy judge presides over the zany process of jury duty selection at Berkeley Municipal Court in this courtroom comedy with more than 25 speaking parts. The play premiered locally on KUSF in December, 1993 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in April, 1994.
Sci-Fi Comedy Extravaganza
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 30 min.
This comedy special, which premiered locally on KUSF in May, 1994 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in October, 1994, features three sketches with a science fiction theme:

  • Captain’s Log, Accidental
    The crew of the starship Exitprise encounters one obstacle after another while attempting to deliver a vaccine to plague victims in this 12-minute “Star Trek” spoof. Captain’s Log, Accidental
  • Mysteries of the Universe
    A tabloid TV news series examines the eternal question: which came first, the chicken or the egg? (6 minutes) Mysteries Of The Universe
  • Remote Control
    When an alien species detects life on Earth, they send their top cultural anthropologist to investigate. Will he decide to make contact? (10 minutes) Remote Control
All’s Fair In Love, War & Backgammon
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 60 min.
A romantic pentangle and a vicious serial killer make life complicated for five friends competing in a World Championship Backgammon Tournament being held in San Francisco. This murder thriller, which at the time was the first play Shoestring had post-produced digitally by computer, features startlingly complex sound effects and cinema-quality production values. The play premiered locally on KUSF in November, 1994 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in January, 1995. It also aired on KPFA-FM, Berkeley in February, 1995.
The Woman In White
Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 60 min.
In the year 1850, Sir Percival Glide has returned to England from Australia to claim his inheritance: the London estate of Blackwater Park. But wait! He’s an imposter—a greedy psychopath with a thirst for death! This chilling gothic melodrama (adapted by Monica Sullivan) is based on the 1940 film, Crimes At The Dark House, itself an adaptation of Wilkie Collins’ The Woman In White. The play, which was was a National Federation Of Community Broadcasters’ Golden Reel Nominee For Best Radio Drama Production Of 1995, premiered locally on KUSF in March, 1995 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in May, 1995.
Dead On Arrival
Director/Associate Producer/Adaptation, 1995, 60 min.
Accountant Frank Bigelow is trying solve a murder: his own! In a race against time, Bigelow travels from San Francisco to Los Angeles to unravel the tangled web of dishonesty and deception that will reveal his killer. Adapted from the classic 1949 film noir, D.O.A., “Dead On Arrival” premiered locally on KUSF in June, 1995 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in September, 1995.
Deadline Dilemma
Director, 1995, 30 min.
The pressure is on for Rebecca Star to solve the case of a vicious double homicide. The problem: her four prime suspects—a priest, a psychic, an actress and a talent agent—all claim to have done it. Can Rebecca determine which suspect really is guilty of the crime before time runs out? This comedy—written by Carol Costa—premiered locally on KUSF in September, 1995 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in October, 1995.
Dear Ray, Why I Hate You
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 60 min.
When San Francisco businessman Ray Pacer meets the woman of his dreams, he thinks he has found the road to happiness. But then the romance turns sour, and Ray finds himself on a different path, one which is bumpy, winding and quite treacherous. This psychological drama premiered locally on KUSF in October, 1995 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in November, 1995.
The Brian Situation
Co-writer/Senior Associate Producer, 1996, 60 min.
Brian Nelson—10 years old, hyperactive and retarded—has been living on the streets with 17-year-old run-away Kristine Hammond for nearly two weeks. Where is his family and why aren’t they looking for him? The paths of two dysfunctional families cross and collide in this intense drama, which premiered locally on KUSF in March, 1996 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in April, 1996. (Co-written by director Nico Pemantle.)
Red Menace From Beyond The Stars
Director, 1997, 30 min.
Is Walnut Creek, California being invaded by aliens or is eight-year-old Tommy Lucero’s hyperactive imagination just getting the best of him? This sci-fi comedy, set in the late 1950s, answers the question. “Red Menace” premiered locally on KUSF in August, 1997 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in September, 1997.
Sisters In Blood Only
Director, 1997, 30 min.
When an old college chum is accused of murder, archeologist and part-time crime fighter Richard Becker dons his magic shroud to find the real killer. Episode #1 of the “Shroud” series, this 1940s-style radio noir premiered locally on KUSF in August, 1997 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in September, 1997.
A Lover’s Sacrifice
Director, 1998, 30 min.
While exploring a Mayan ruin in Mexico, two young lovers—an academic archaeoastronomer and a free-spirit surfer—discover that there’s a fine line between mythology and reality. The play premiered locally on KUSF in April, 1998 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in May, 1998.
A Four Star Murder
Director, 1998, 30 min.
Wisecracking private investigator Slick Bracer is hired to solve the murder of a wealthy Metropolisville restauranteur in this witty film noir parody—the first in a continuing series of “Slick Bracer” adventures. The play premiered locally on KUSF and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in June, 1998.
The Tall Thin Short Fat Man
Director, 1998, 30 min.
In episode #2 of the “Shroud” series, archeologist and amateur sleuth Richard Becker dons the mantle cloak of illusion to solve a string of baffling jewelry store robberies. This superhero yarn premiered locally on KUSF in July, 1998 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in August, 1998.
The Case of the Kidnapped Canine
Director, 1998, 30 min.
When the FBI, Interpol, and local police can’t solve a string of dognappings in Metropolisville, the latest victim hires Slick Bracer, wisecracking P.I. extraordinaire, to find her beloved Bichon Frise. This comedy-mystery (episode #2 of the “Slick Bracer” series) premiered locally on KUSF in July, 1998 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in August, 1998.
The Mystery of Some Murdered Guy
Director, 1998, 30 min.
When Slick Bracer’s new partner is murdered, before he can even report for his first day at work, the wisecracking P.I. extraordinaire vows to use all his wits and sarcasm to apprehend the killer. Episode #3 of the “Slick Bracer” series, this comedy premiered locally on KUSF in October, 1998 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in November, 1998.
Island of the Gods
Director, 1998, 20 min.
While exploring a foreign planet, a team of archaeologists discovers ancient ruins on a deserted island. But is the island really deserted? This sci-fi thriller answers the question; it premiered locally on KUSF in October, 1998 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in November, 1998.
Defaced
Director/Adaptation, 1999, 30 min.
When the Medford Police fish a mutilated body out of the Rogue River—a young woman whose face is missing—they begin to wonder if there’s a connection to a respected professor of medicine, whose own daughter recently lost her face in a car accident. Adapted from the 1959 French horror classic “Les Yeux Sans Visage” (“Eyes Without a Face”), this chilling thriller, set in Southern Oregon, premiered locally on KUSF in April, 1999 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in May, 1999.
Intercom
Director, 1999, 60 min.
What could be worse than carpooling to work every day with an annoying windbag who drones on and on about her favorite movie stars, her retired husband, and her gardening projects? Well, for one, mysteriously hearing her every word on your apartment’s intercom in the wee hours of the morning while you and your pregnant wife are trying to sleep. This intimate character study premiered locally on KUSF in April, 1999 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in May, 1999.
The Most Dangerous Game
Director/Adaptation, 1999, 60 min.
A private luxury yacht is shipwrecked off the coast of a remote island, and the sole survivor, world famous hunter Robert Rainsford, manages to swim to shore. On the island, he unexpectedly discovers an old fortress owned by the enigmatic Count Zaroff, a fellow hunter who offers Rainsford food, shelter and the chance to hunt the most dangerous game. Adapted from the classic tale by Richard Connell, this classic drama premiered locally on KUSF in June, 1999 and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network in July, 1999.
Say Goodbye
Director, 1999, 90 min.
They say that fate is in the stars, that each of our years is planned ahead and nothing can change destiny. Is that true? How many time have you said, “I wish I could live this year over again?” This is the story of a woman who made such a wish at a magic time, when the new year of a new century was just beginning. Now that wish is coming true—actress Sheila Page is going to live the last year of the last century all over again … but will she be able to change destiny and save her husband from a fatal gunshot? This “Rod Serlingesque” melodrama has aired on KUSF and the Public Radio Satellite Network.
The Chase
Director, 2000, 60 min.
Drifter and World War II veteran Chuck Scott thought he might get a modest reward when he returned the lost wallet of Miami gangster Eddie Roman. Instead, he gets drawn into a nightmarish world of love and death. This noir thriller, set in 1946, has aired on KUSF and the Public Radio Satellite Network.

Shorts & Comedy Sketches

When a finished Shoestring play runs shorter than the program’s usual duration, the show typically adds a short production to the end of the episode to fill in the runtime. Writing, directing and/or producing shorts, especially comedy sketches, was one of my favorite things to do with the troupe. All of my shorts aired locally on KUSF and nationally on the Public Radio Satellite Network (and a few on KALW).

The Bed
Writer, 1991, 3 min.
A comic vignette in which a little boy embarks on an expedition to explore his bed and gets trapped under the covers.
Run, Don’t Walk
Writer, 1992, 4 min. Run, Don’t Walk
A comedy sketch in which Los Angeles airheads, Man and Dude, face the challenge of trying to rent a movie.
Skip, Don’t Jump
Co-writer, 1992, 5 min.
A comedy sketch wherein Los Angeles airheads, Man and Dude, try to alleviate their perpetual boredom by visiting a new basketball gym.
Table For One
Associate Producer, 1993, 5 min.
A comedy sketch about a diner at a restaurant who gets more service than he can handle.
The Society of People Who Overthink
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1993, 4 min.
A comedy sketch in which the founding members of a support group for overthinkers try to hold a board meeting.
Have A Nice Day
Writer, Associate Producer, 1993, 7 min.
A comic vignette which features a businessman late for a meeting getting stuck in a phone booth.
Chit Chat
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1993, 4 min.
A comedy sketch in which a mysterious government bureaucrat is interviewed on a radio talk show.
Coming Soon
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1993, 3 min. Coming Soon
A mock movie trailer which spoofs “Jurassic Park”.
The Boy In the Moon
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 8 min. Boy In The Moon
A bedtime yarn in which a grandfather tells his young grandson the story of how the moon came to be.
Department of Overreaction
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 3 min. DOO
A comedy sketch chronicling the misadventures of a mild-mannered shopper in a crazy department store.
More Chit Chat
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 4 min. More Chit Chat
A comedy sketch which finds “Chit Chat” host Trudy Smith interviewing the U.S. Postmaster General about a new U.S. Post Priority Mail Service.
Eggplant Is Funny
Co-writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 4 min. Eggplant Is Funny
A comedy sketch in which “Chit Chat” host Trudy Smith interviews two renowned scientists about the latest research on vegetables.
Privacy
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 6 min. Privacy
A comedy sketch in which an elderly couple mail orders the Juice-O-Matic TurboJuicer and attempts to enjoy it in the privacy of their own home.
A Bird In the Hand
Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 4 min. Bird In The Hand
A comedy sketch in which “Chit Chat” host Trudy Smith interviews three people who claim to have proven some age-old proverbs.
1,000 Voices
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1994, 4 min. 1,000 Voices
A comedy sketch featuring renowned voice-over actor Sir Nigel Debernard discussing his 20-year acting career on the BBC with radio host Clarence Rhodes.
B.O.A.
Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 90 sec.
Writer Nico Pemantle’s spoof of the Shoestring radio drama “Dead On Arrival”.
Call-Dumping
Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 3 min. Call Dumping
A comedy sketch in which the phone company reveals its newest calling feature.
Yet More Chit Chat
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 90 sec.
A promotional spot for Shoestring’s web site in which “Chit Chat” host Trudy Smith interviews a special guest.
Surf, Don’t Slip
Writer/Director/Associate Producer, 1995, 60 sec.
A promotional spot for Shoestring’s web site in which Los Angeles airheads Man and Dude try to alleviate their perpetual boredom.
Psychobabble
Director, 1998, 4 min
A comedy sketch written by Nico Pemantle in which a battle of oversized egos erupts when Doctor of Psychology Jamison and Doctor of Psychology Winston meet for a simple cup of coffee.
Job Interview
Director, 1998, 5 min. Job Interview
Joan Resnick’s job interview at the Donosio Meat Company is anything but business-as-usual in this comedy sketch written by Frank Munnich.
A Good Job Is Hard To Find
Director, 1998, 10 min.
In this comedy sketch, it’s five years from this Monday … and for Richard Hall it’s his first day of work at Allied Surveillance in his new job as Personnel Manager. Did we mention that it’s Monday? It’s gonna be a doozie.
Little Dreams
Director, 1998, 5 min.
A chilling “Rod Serling-esque” short which explores what really is going on at the seemingly noble “Society for the Preservation and Endurance of Marine Life”?
Real History: The Birth of Psychoanalysis
Director, 1999, 5 min. Real History – The Birth of Psychoanalysis
A comedy sketch in which writer Frank Munnich explores the beginnings of Psychoanalysis as Og, a Cro-magnon man, visits his therapist, a Neanderthal.
Real History: Albert Schweitzer’s Charity Clinic
Director, 2000, 4 min. Real History – Albert Schweitzer
This installment of “Real History” — written by Frank Munnich — provides a startling look back at the charity clinic of Dr. Albert Schweitzer, renowned the world over for bringing free medical care to the poorest reaches of Africa in the first half of the 20th century.
Crunchy Frog ComedyCrunchy Frog Comedy is a comedy troupe I founded in 1998 to produce audio shows for the web, everything from short comedy sketches to full-length plays. In addition to running the troupe, I wrote many of the scripts, directed and produced all of the productions, and designed and developed the show’s web site, where you can listen to the episodes listed below.

If a Tree Falls
Listen NowWriter, Director, Producer, 1998, 17 min.
A collection of Monty Python-esque comedy sketches.
Psychobabble
Listen NowWriter, Director, Producer, 1998, 16 min.
A collection of Monty Python-esque comedy sketches.
Message from God
Listen NowWriter, Director, Producer, 2002, 11 min.
Gilbert Jennings gets the surprise of his life when he finds a message on his answering machine … from God. Even more surprising is what happens when Gilbert returns the call.
The Boy with Bionic Socks
Listen NowDirector, Producer, 2003, 26 min.
Simon Lebopowitz is more than your run-of-the-mill teenage boy thanks to a pair of bionic socks which give him amazing crime fighting abilities. But will Simon’s socks be enough to help him thwart the evil plans of the notorious international criminal known as The Mime?