Movies & TV / Columns

Dana Gould On His Upcoming Plan 9 From Outer Space Live Stage Reading

September 6, 2019 | Posted by Bryan Kristopowitz
Plan 9 From Outer Spac

The 411 Interview: Dana Gould


Dana Gould is a comedian, actor, writer, and producer who has worked on various movies and television shows including The Ben Stiller Show, Working, Parks and Recreation, Mob City, The Simpsons, Southbound, and Stan Against Evil. Gould will be appearing at the upcoming Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival and performing a live stage reading of the Ed Wood cult classic Plan 9 From Outer Space alongside Scott Adsit, Jeffrey Combs, Frank Conniff, Bobcat Goldthwait, Jean Grae, John Hodgman, Jonah Ray, Rob Zabrecky, and Janet Varney (the show is set for Friday, October 11, 2019 at 9:00 pm at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York). In this interview. Gould talks with this writer about what it takes to put together a live stage reading of a movie script, how the project came together, and more.



Bryan Kristopowitz: How did you get involved with the Plan 9 From Outer Space live stage reading at the upcoming Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival?

Dana Gould: The idea originally came from a friend of mine named Chris Nichols. Chris was organizing a benefit show for the Bob Baker Marionette Theater in LA, which is a beautiful, historic building that developers are dying to turn into an ugly parking lot. Chris came to me with the idea of doing a live stage reading of the script. It was one of those, “Why didn’t I think of that??” moments. I cast it out of my address book with comedian friends and actor pals, and just having them read it straight, man! I have to tell you, I knew it would be funny, but I had no idea how funny. How consistently funny this script was all the way through. All the way through. There is not a dead patch in there.

BK: What Plan 9 character will you be playing during the reading? Will you be playing more than one character?

DG: I play Criswell, who was about as subtle and nuanced an actor as I am, as well as one of the Air Force generals, who I usually perform as either Charlton Heston or Don Knotts.

BK: How do you prepare for a live stage reading of a movie script?

DG: Preparing the script is the hard part. I write all the stage directions to be read aloud and they all have to be funny, then I put all of the stage directions into the script for the actors. The show is designed so that an actor can come in cold and, with no rehearsal, get through it pretty easily.

BK: Is it daunting to interpret something like Plan 9, considering its sort of ultimate cult film status?

DG: Yes! It’s always tricky taking a piece of material into a different medium In this case, taking a movie and making it a stage presentation. You have to make it work for the new medium. In this case, I wrote stage directions that are now an intricate part of the show that comments on the action and brings the audience in. We’re describing stuff that you would ordinarily be seeing (and laughing in disbelief at). So, while the dialogue is exactly what Ed Wood wrote, the movie is the movie and the stage show is the stage show. Hopefully they complement each other.

BK: When did you first see Plan 9 from Outer Space? Was Plan 9 your first Ed Wood movie, and if it wasn’t what was?

DG: I saw Plan 9 in the mid 1980’s. I had known about it from a childhood reading Famous Monsters, et al, but did not see it till then. I think I must have been with Tom Kenny and Bob Goldthwait, which, in retrospect, was really the perfect way to see it.

BK: Despite being cancelled, is there any sort of future for your horror comedy series Stan Against Evil?

DG: At the moment I’m writing a feature and developing another series in a not-dissimilar vein. I would love to do a low-budget feature to wrap the story up. I would not be surprised if that happened one day.

BK: Can you say something about The Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival and their involvement with this particular show?

DG: Taylor White, one of the festival’s founders, is a good friend of mine and when he mentioned the idea of doing Plan 9 at the festival (he had seen it here in LA), I leapt at the idea. I thought Sleepy Hollow in October was, quite simply, a place that I wanted to be at, and I knew that the people who do the show with me are likeminded enough that they would make the journey as well. Also, it’s near where they filmed House Of Dark Shadows, which was an extra enticement for me.

BK: Are there any other old B-movies that you want to do a live stage reading of?

DG: It’s funny, Janet Varney and I have talked about this over and over, but we have yet to find a piece of material that is as consistently crazy as Plan 9 is. There is just something about Plan 9 From Outer Space. It never gets old, it never gets boring, it never gets tired. And it’s funny all the way through, It never runs out of gas. It is funny all the way through.

BK: Who knows more about old B-movies, you or Frank Conniff?

DG: Frank. But Drew Freidman, who did the poster, puts us both to shame.

BK: Was there ever going to be a sequel to that King of Queens episode you did during the show’s first season? Because, really, how did your character know Doug Heffernan?

DG: That is what the Stan Against Evil movie should be about!



A very special thanks to Dana Gould for agreeing to participate in this interview and to david j. moore for setting it up.

The Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival runs from October 10-13, 2019 in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown, New York. Check out the festival’s official website here.

The live stage reading of Plan 9 From Outer Space is October 11th, 2019, at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York. Check out the Tarrytown Music Hall official website here.

Check out Dana Gould’s official website here.

Dana Gould images courtesy of Dana Gould. Plan 9 From Outer Space live stage reading poster courtesy of the Sleepy Hollow International Film Festival.