The popular podcast “Welcome to Night Vale” can be a little hard to describe. It takes place in a fictional desert town with stories told through a community radio station.
“We say it’s NPR from a town where all conspiracy theories are true,” cast member Meg Bashwiner says. “In Night Vale all of the mundane is extraordinary and all of the extraordinary is mundane.”
They bring that bizarre mix of horror and humor to Birmingham’s Lyric Theatre Wednesday, July 10th, as part of their latest live show tour. This show is titled “A Spy in the Desert.” Bashwiner spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.
How the stage show differs from the podcast:
“We are obviously thinking about what the audience is seeing. What the audience is feeling. How we can use the benefit of being in a room together. We have the option to use physical comedy … This show is about a spy in the town of Night Vale and what that means for the characters in Night Vale to be dealing with a spy who is a collector of secrets. So there is a big deep, dark secret in the show that the spy is after. We use an audience member in the show which is something new for Night Vale.”
How being married to co-creator Joseph Fink affects the podcast’s story:
“Joseph and I spend a lot of time together. We work together. We’re married. We live together. So we talk together a lot. We make a lot of jokes and so some of those jokes will end up in the podcast. Also I’m not going to take credit for the storyline of Cecil and Carlos, but their relationship kind of progressed in the same way that our relationship had progressed.”
Bashwiner’s favorite proverbs, which she performs on the podcast as the Proverb Lady:
“I love ‘All tattoos are temporary.’ I think that one’s really funny. I like ‘To quote the great Herman Melville, “Call me.”‘ That one I found very funny. They’re a fun little joke that I basically just do a cold read of every two weeks. I just get sent that script and then I read it through and I just try to make it funny.”
Developing a potential television version:
“With any great story it can be told across many mediums. We have ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ the podcast. We have ‘Welcome to Night Vale’ the novels. We have the script books. We have the live show. So this would just be another endeavor at telling this story. The live show has a visual aspect. If you look at the novels, there’s illustration. A TV show would just be another stab at it, another way of telling the story.”