The Great College Radio Hoax

DPR Productions

The Author

For more than two decades now, Patrick McVay has not been publishing work in a variety of major writing categories, including short fiction, novels, stage plays, and screen plays. Give you an example: his published credits do not include “The Rut”, a short story he wrote just after college.  Granted, in retrospect the author is very much relieved that that piece of garbage never saw the light of day.  And yet, isn’t that beside the point?  He had spent a extraordinary amount of time in his prime years of life just after college holed up in a musty apartment in Brighton, Massachusetts writing the damnable thing, and that alone should have been reason enough to stamp out a few dozen copies in some “journal” to make it seem like he hadn’t entirely wasted his time.  But no. 

Similarly, an experience working for a public interest lobby led to the author’s writing a play called “Democracy” or something or other, in which voters run a gauntlet of sloganeers and leaflet-pushers as they attempt to enter the polls.  Unproduced by every drama company to have existed, even for a minute, since he wrote the absolutely classic final words of that play (“The End”), written in, what, 1988?, it has been collecting dust, or more accurately mold, in some box in various basements for a couple decades now.  In fact, several copies of it, cheaply bound in cardboard-and-metal contraptions, get shuttled from this residence or that as the author ages. This play, the author contends, should be at least given a reading, preferably by some acting or literary types, or maybe a middle school drama club, or even a preschool drama club if such a thing exists, so it can then seem not so ridiculous for him to continue to lug several old clammy printouts of it to whichever residence he happens to be moving to.  He might say, “This was the politically-charged play I wrote a while ago that actually got produced.” (By a group of 4 year olds).

What the author eventually learned is that a high percentage of publishers and production companies expect the material to be top notch (!!!).  Fair?  You could argue that.  Or maybe you could say something like, “These works are very important in understanding the man who would eventually write and co-produce a couple of important radio plays,” adding that you’re using “important” with a lot of latitude.  Unless you were to say that at some point in the pretty distant future, so distant that thinking about it kind of blows your mind, you’d have to be talking about either “Scream” or “The Great College Radio Hoax” (both available to you free of charge on this website!).  And only the latter is measured out in eight half-hour episodes, beginning to end.  It’s kind of like a season of British comedy produced for BBC-TV, except only one Brit has any speaking part in Hoax, and also there are no moving pictures to look at. 

The author has, however, published some columns in the Boston Globe Magazine about the intimate details of his sex life.  Click here for an example.


Patrick McVay - Unmasked:

The author began working on his radio play when he was just a 2 year old girl, alternating between keyboards of different colors to keep the creative juices flowing.
Patrick McVay

The stress of the project soon caused him to morph into a four year old boy, make odd faces, and begin the furious rewriting process.
Richard Mott