Chattanooga Now 'Welcome to Night Vale' breaks down all the walls

Chattanooga Now 'Welcome to Night Vale' breaks down all the walls

July 9th, 2019 by Barry Courter in Chattnow Outabout

Meg Bashwiner is a writer, performer, emcee, tour manager and producer. She plays the roles of Deb and Proverb Lady for the hit podcast "Welcome to Night Vale," and will be the emcee for "Welcome to Night Vale Live" when it plays at Walker Theatre on Thursday, July 11. / Photo by Hunter Canning

Photo by Hunter Canning

If you go

› What: “Welcome to Night Vale World Tour”

› When: 8 p.m. Thursday, July 11

› Where: Walker Theatre inside Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

› Admission: $30, $40

› For more information: 423-757-5580

You can get a pretty good idea of just how popular the "Welcome to Night Vale" podcast is by reading the FAQs page on its website.

There are about a dozen questions and answers about things; for example: "Can I send you my ideas for your show?" "How do I get my music played on The Weather?" and "It's my birthday/my friend's birthday, can you mention my/their name in the podcast?"

The answer to all of them is no, by the way, but because the Q&As are there, you know they get the questions a lot.

"It's completely incredible how engaged our fans are," said Meg Bashwiner.

"We feel really lucky that we have fans who like the things that we like to make. We didn't expect to find an audience as engaged and interesting as the ones we have. They are terrific fans who have created a community based around the art that we make."

She is a writer, producer, tour manager, performer and emcee for the podcast that has expanded to include several books and a touring production that will be at Walker Theatre on Thursday night, July 11, to present "A Spy in the Desert." There are even plans to turn it into a television show.

Like the podcasts, which are posted on the first and 15th each month, it is set in the fictional town of Night Vale. It's a town where just about every conspiracy theory is real, and where all kinds of strange things happen.

The tour will feature Cecil Baldwin as Cecil, the voice of Night Vale, Symphony Sanders as Tamika Flynn and Bashwiner as Deb and the Emcee, as well as surprise guests playing fan-favorite characters. Disparition will provide live music and special musical guest Dane Terry will join the tour as The Weather, which is the musical portion of each podcast.

Terry will also perform a version of his acclaimed podcast "Dreamboy" as the opening act.

The live show is an entirely new script written by creators Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor. Bashwiner said it is a stand-alone story that will never be heard on the podcast.

She said the performers onstage all have a script that they follow closely, but there is no wall between the audience and the actors.

The live show is a drama in the form of a community radio show, and it promises to "continue with the Night Vale tradition of finding new and unexpected ways to incorporate the audience into the story. And a secret will be shared at the end of every show," she says.

Contract Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.