Tales from the Black Vault

A Lovecraftian Audiodrama Anthology

About Us


Ancient, alien gods rising from the deep. Blood-soaked sacrificial altars. Townspeople half-transformed into ghastly fish. These are just some of the horrors that populate the works of horror master H. P. Lovecraft.

Tales from the Black Vault is a free horror audiodrama podcast inspired by these disturbing stories. Every episode brings listeners into a new world of terror, fully brought to life with dialog, scoring, and unsettling sound effects.

The podcast is improvised (yes, really!) in the studio by The Black Vault, a troupe of experienced theatrical improvisors who have been frightening audiences with improvised Lovecraft since 2012.

Try listening to one of our episodes... if you dare.

Episodes


New episodes of Tales from the Black Vault came out every two weeks in early 2015. You can subscribe to the podcast via iTunes or RSS, or listen to individual episodes below...

The proud son of an old, philanthropic family befriends an enigmatic patient in one of their mental hospitals... who delivers him a dire warning.

A jaded French circus performer encounters the legendary "Night Circus", a shadowy world of superhuman entertainers -- what lengths will he go to so that he may join them?

A young college student goes on a strange archaeological expedition into deep, mysterious catacombs.

A scientific experiment gone awry breaks the fragile boundaries between reality and dreams.

A young man takes his bride home to meet his family deep in the mountains, but the visit to his ancestral home turns into the discovery of his true purpose.

A group of university students investigates the legends of an ancient library beneath their school.

A scientist invites her landlord and neighbors over for tea and a discussion of the true nature of her experiments.

A Miskatonic University professor celebrates his retirement by taking a long-delayed trip to his hometown deep in the Appalachian Mountains.

An itinerant guitarist picks up a gig playing the "harvest festival" in a small, isolated desert town. The money's good, but not everything in this community is as it seems...

(This was the "demo episode" we used as a proof-of-concept for the kickstarter.)

Cast and Production


Cast


Spooky drawing of Andreas

Andreas Fabis is in Control Issues at the Hideout, and performs with Marc in The Escorts.

Spooky drawing of Brad

Brad Hawkins has been performing improv since 2010, and is pleased to be a part of this show as it represents a chance to be intentionally creepy. He is a member of the troupes ¡ZARZAMORA! and Franz & Dave, and has also performed in such shows as The Next Chapter, Kenjutsu: The Art of the Sword, and GrimmNoir.

Spooky drawing of Emily

Emily Breedlove has performed opera across the country, and improvised in genre shows ranging from the Arabian Nights to improvised Doctor Who.

Spooky drawing of Jay

Jay Michael co-created Start Trekkin', the longest-running improvised genre show in Austin.

Spooky drawing of Jayme

Jayme Ramsay has been improvising since 2011 and having nightmares since 1984. She is honored to be a part of her first podcast project with so many talented and dedicated performers.

Spooky drawing of Jessica

Jessica Arjet is an owner and the youth director of the Hideout Theatre. She delights in the opportunity that The Black Vault gives her to be horrible and evil since she so rarely gets to be that in her personal life.

Spooky drawing of Justin

Justin Davis has been performing, studying, directing, and teaching improv since 2007. Among the multiple troupes and main stage runs Justin has been part of in Austin improv theaters, The Black Vault and now the Tales from the Black Vault Podcast provide some of his most rewarding creative experiences. He’s thrilled for every chance to scare and delight audiences as part of this cast.

Spooky drawing of Marc

Marc Majcher has been a part of countless improvised theater projects since he began in 2005, and has been a Lovecraft fan since childhood. He is extremely proud to have directed the original stage production of The Black Vault, and he is extremely excited to share his terrible visions through the Tales podcast.

Spooky drawing of Paul

Paul Normandin loves to tell tall tales with the terribly talented tale tellers of the Black Vault. Paul first encountered Lovecraftian horror at 9 years old watching an episode of Rod Serling's Night Gallery in 1971. When he finally read The Call of Cthulhu, he was hooked for life.

Spooky drawing of Peter

Peter Rogers (Cast, Co-Producer) has been improvising since 2001, and is a renowned narrator in genres from Charles Dickens to the Arabian Nights. He first joined The Black Vault having never read Lovecraft before, but was relieved to discover that Lovecraft wrote more or less like he himself talked, and has thus been a valuable member of the cast ever since.

Spooky drawing of Roy

Roy Janik is an owner and the Artistic Director of The Hideout Theatre. He performs and travels regularly with Pgraph, an internationally touring improv company. He also teaches and directs at The Hideout. He has read every work of fiction written by H.P. Lovecraft, and if you say that Lovecraft had good ideas but couldn't write well, he will beat you up. Or try, at least.

Spooky drawing of Ryan

Ryan Hill dabbled in acting for much of his life until 2011, when he discovered improv. As a long time admirer of Lovecraft's work and a fan of not-necessarily-comedic improv, he was a natural fit for The Black Vault, his first mainstage show the Hideout Theatre. It's still his favorite.

Spooky drawing of Clay

Clay Towery (member emeritus) was one of the founding members of the Black Vault, and one of the best-loved improvisors in Austin. He passed away in early 2014.

Production


Picture of Lindsey

Lindsey McGowen (Co-Producer, Lead Engineer) moved to Austin from Detroit in early 2014, and quickly made herself a go-to person for technical theater needs in the area. She’s worked on several award-winning and highly acclaimed improvised mainstage productions as a stage manager, light and sound improvisor. Outside of improv, Lindsey is a nationally touring teacher and performer in the contemporary a cappella community from which she brings significant audio engineering expertise.

Picture of Brent

Brent Chismark (Engineer) has been mucking about with sound equipment and/or making unearthly noises for his entire life. Finally allowing himself to be molded and shaped by several leaders of the contemporary a cappella production community over the past five years, he joins the Tales From The Black Vault Podcast where he continues to muck about with sound equipment and make unearthly noises, but in a slightly more refined manner.

Picture of Cindy

Cindy Page (Sound Effects Consultant) has been lurking in the tech booth of the Hideout Theatre since 2011. She is responsible for the spooky soundscapes of the live Black Vault shows, and is pleased to be a contributor to Tales from the Black Vault.

Picture of Michael

Michael Yew (Scoring Consultant) is the most renowned sound improvisor in Austin. He's soundtracked over a dozen show runs, in genres from H. P. Lovecraft to 1960s Batman, since 2010.

Picture of Nate

Nate Rendon (Composer) is a composer and performer living in Austin, Texas. He's also a gamer, an avid comic-book reader, and an all-around nerd with a beard.

Contact


You can reach us by email at blackvault@austinimprov.com.