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Art imitates life: Radio play looks at the ongoing global pandemic through the eyes of two ‘Gravediggers’

Playwright-musician Dan McCormick is seen in the studio recording “Gravediggers.” (Courtesy of Dan Mccormick)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Dan McCormick finds himself writing on a daily basis.

It’s part of being a playwright and musician

Living in New York City, McCormick found himself in the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in March.

It got his creative juices flowing. He began to write “Gravediggers” – which has been “staged” as a radio play.

“Gravediggers” is set during the ongoing global pandemic that is currently taking place.

The main characters – Charlie and Mac – are gravediggers and working overtime. The pair are wondering how the pandemic started, how it will end, and they discover that, despite their heated differences, they have more in common than they originally thought.

“And the secret they discover will surprise,” McCormick says.

Dan McCormick

McCormick says being in New York, the city is always bustling, and it came to a halt in March.

“It literally shut down over a few nights,” he says. “There still is a lot of emptiness going on. But there are also many days filled with hope.”

The second hour of “Gravediggers” will be streamed at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 10, as part of KUNM’s Radio Theater. The first hour aired on Jan. 3 and is available to stream at kunm.org.

McCormick teamed up with Roy Steinberg of Cape May Stage for the project. The two also portray the main characters.

McCormick and Steinberg traveled to Philadelphia to record the project, which was completed in a day.

“We had to work fast and get it right quickly,” he says. “We had to go back and tweak some areas, but we did the majority of it in a few takes.”

With the play available to an audience now, McCormick continues to get positive feedback on the project.

“I’m pleased by the reaction to it,” he says. “Not only from artistic directors of theaters. We were able to create something that people are able to listen to. It’s engaged a larger audience. I can’t wait to stage this in a theater with a live audience in the future.”

“Gravediggers” also got picked up by New York’s Abingdon Theatre Company and will be running from Feb. 22-28.

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