In May 2005 my family and I moved into a new neighborhood. It is a suburb of the city where I was born and raised but I was unfamiliar with the area. Over the following ten years, strange and unusual things occurred, not only in that house, but also all around us. The one thing that stood out to me was the amount of road kill - dead animals. It seemed to be everywhere and not just dead animals on the road, but dead animals that had been hit so violently that their entrails laid strewn behind the mutilated carcasses like party favors. Vultures surrounded the carcasses and stared from the tree-lined winding country roads, creating an eerie, dark feeling. I started researching the area and was shocked by the dark history that surrounded it, including my neighborhood, that had a bizarre and twisted recurring theme - death.
One night I was talking with an actor/movie director friend of mind and I was telling him about the community and all the strange things that had happened there and recounting some of the bizarre incidents that had happened to me and my family since purchasing the house. In the ten years we were there people moved out or their homes were foreclosed on, or they simply just left. The houses sat empty for years - nobody ever moving in them again. I told my friend it would make a great horror story.
That conversation stuck in my head and sort of created a life of its own. It grew and grew and I set out writing it down - in the form of short snippets, designed to be bite-sized pieces suitable for audio theater. I had completed the third script and became so spooked out (I was still living in that house) that I put the series aside for about six months. After finally leaving that area, I sat back down and resumed my writing, feeling stronger and more secure!
I had no doubt who I wanted to cast as the lead character - veteran actress, Dahjn Maria Gomez (pronounced: Don), as Lisa Sheraton. I was also certain I wanted writer/author Siara Tyr to play the role of Lisa's daughter, Brittany Sheraton. When both artists agreed, I found a sound engineer and The Burbs was born.
My plan was to write six episodes per season and to firmly keep each episode at ten minutes only. No more, no less. I understood that people are busy and don't usually have an hour to sit and listen to an entire podcast at one time. So I wanted them to be full of content but contained. I committed to writing three seasons and would take a look at the direction of the production then and decide whether I would keep going.
Wow. If I'd only known!
October 2016, The Carmen Online Theater Group celebrated its one year anniversary and entered its SIXTH season! The Burbs now boasts a cast of sixteen; a deliciously diverse mixture of seasoned, veteran actors, voice actors and new comers to the biz. They are dedicated, loyal, hard-working group of wonderfully talented artists.