Good News and Bad



Hi, Tony. I heard Mama give you her recipe.  She doesn't do that, you know, unless she really likes someone. I'd say you made the grade.


I'm glad. I like your mother, Sally.  


Oh she is...salt of the earth. I just didn't know what I was gonna do if I didn't get home for a spell.


Puts things in perspective some times, that's for sure.


I had an important decision to make Tony, and, well there's just somethin' about the land, the air, Mama,.. it made it all fall into place for me.


Feel like talking about it?


(calling out)
Sally? It's June on the phone from Milford-Haven!


Oh, fiddle.
(calling out)
Did something happen Mama?

Probably the most salient thing to share about this episode has to do with the overall pacing of the ongoing radio drama. This episode is “false slow” so that the next one could be “true fast.”

Like anything organic, an ongoing drama needs to ebb and flow, with rising emotions at one point, and then a settling back into calm. There are choices to be made when it’s time for an increase of tension. Shall it be sudden, like a lightening strike? Shall it be slow, like a gradually building mud slide? Shall it be a deep rumbling underground or a clap of thunder from overhead?

As these metaphors indicate, the setting, and the connection to nature, is a key part of Milford-Haven. (Spoiler Alert: this is a clue about what happens in the next episode.)

I must add that none of these intentions and subtleties can reach the audience without the talent and expertise of marvelous performers. In this episode you’ll hear several of our cast members at their best: happy, sad, upset, disappointed, content, and concerned, with every shade in between.

This episode does deliver both good news and bad to some of the characters. For Tony Fiorentino and Sally O’Mally, this is a peaceful time of visiting with Sally’s mother in Arkansas. As Sally says, “something about the earth. . .” is soothing to her, and helps her to make a momentous decision. Tony somehow feels it too, happy to be there in a supportive role, and very happy to be enjoying some homemade cooking.

Miranda Jones gets exactly the good news she has asked for: an out-of-town commission. Already this good news is a challenge, in that she has to leave town immediately, and she has to travel to Alaska and doesn’t yet know what she’ll need to pack, now how she’ll make arrangements while she’s away.

But Cynthia Radcliffe gets bad news when Zack calls to say he needs some time away from her. Her anger and disappointment is not enough to guilt Zack into changing his mind. And now comes an interesting plot twist. While he experiences relief at getting away from home, and eager anticipation of reconnecting with Miranda, he doesn’t know Miranda will be gone by the time he arrives. This intertwining of plot lines is another key to writing an ongoing drama. Each character must authentically follow his or her own impulses and goals, and at the same those pathways must intersect in order to reveal the story’s underlying themes.

One more interesting element is the internal bad news/good news some characters are experiencing. Some are cavalier about how their actions affect others. Zelda McIntyre , for example, is only interested in servicing her own ambitions, regardless of how this may inconvenience or even hurt others. But others have a moral compass, as when Kevin reveals to Susan that he feels his employer is asking him to ignore rules and good business practice.

Of course the biggest news is delivered in the last line of the final scene of the episode . . . but I’ll let you listen to that for yourself.

So now . . join us for Season 2 by downloading the episode or subscribing to Season 2, tune in to your favorite device, and join us in . . . Milford-Haven!

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