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GH & Former OLTL Writer, Scott Sickles Chats On His New Play Lightning From Heaven! Discusses Writing For GH Characters!

If being a script writer for General Hospital these days is not enough, Scott Sickles is also an accomplished playwright whose new work debuts this Valentine’s Day in New York City! 

Lighting From Heaven tells the love story behind the classic film and the celebrated novel Doctor Zhivago, between poet Boris Pasternak, his muse Olga Ivinskaya, and the Soviet government’s attempt to silence their story.   After Pasternak’s death in 1960 Olga, his lover of fourteen years, was arrested by the KGB. Lighting From Heaven chronicles Olga’s subsequent interrogation and trial, while depicting her and Pasternak’s struggle to complete and publish Doctor Zhivago despite determined Soviet efforts to stop them.

Sickles spoke to On-Air On-Soaps not only about creating Lighting From Heaven, but also the challenges he faced when after writing for a few years at One Life to Live, he came aboard the GH writing team train where he had to write in the voice of many popular and beloved characters.  Here is what he had to say about his exciting new play …  and Port Charles!

Scott on what inspired him to write Lighting From Heaven “I started writing this play in 1998.  My dad found Olga Ivinskaya’s obituary in the newspaper and cut it out and handed it to me and said, “I know you like the movies. She just died!”  I read the obituary and there was such a fascinating life in it that I went and found her memoirs.  I did research on her, and over the next year or so, I put the play together.”

Courtesy/ABC

Scott on why soap fans would love to see the play: “It is a big sweeping epic romance.  Soap fans like romance that is one of the main reasons they watch the soaps.  In Lighting from Heaven, it’s a romance of a couple facing insurmountable odds.  It is about an extra-marital relationship as well!

Scott on what are the easiest types of soap characters for him to write for:  “After years of OLTL, it is usually easier for me to find the voice of a woman with a sharp tongue! (Laughs)  I loved those characters, and I love Carly on General Hospital after writing ‘One Life’s’ Dorian.  It’s the people who are more secretly witty and who you don’t expect to be funny in a certain way, like Sonny on GH and on Viki on ‘One Life’ that can be fun and challenging.  With Sonny, you picture him being sort of taciturn and brooding and every now and then, you get to let loose and so it was great finding that voice.”

Courtesy/ABC

Scott on some of the more challenging types of scenes to write for on GH thus far: “The really challenging scenes when I got them were between Jason Morgan and John McBain and for the two men to talk to each other. They don’t speak! (Laughs)  It was actually much easier to do once you got into it. And least those two characters only spoke to each other when they had to. So everything they said was important, and that was just great to try and figure out what those two men would actually say when they were in the same room with each other.  I guess I specialize in the voice of the taciturn men! (Laughs)”

Scott on writing for the character of Damian Spinelli:  “I was terrified at writing Spinelli, at first.  Then I got the hang of it, and then I was told we are making Spinelli sound less like Spinelli, and making him talk like a regular person with an intense vocabulary.  I spoke to GH writer Elizabeth Korte when I came on board at GH, and told her my biggest thing to figure out was … who is funny and how?  And one character that came up was Elizabeth.  You can’t be that beautiful, and suffer so horribly! (Laughs) She is often in those situations where she is heartbroken and then Maxie gets her in face and she sort of grits her teeth.  It’s so much fun to listen to and write for.”

Scott on writing for Maxie Jones as played by Jen Lilley and Kirsten Storms:  “I was happy to write for Maxie, and when we went from Jen Lilley to Kirsten Storms, I was wondering if there would be a sigfnicant change in the voices. I remember Kirsten being different from Jen, but when Kirsten came back, it sort of all clicked.   That was great.”

Lighting From Heaven runs from Valentine’s Day February 14th through March 9th for a limited engagement at the Workshop Theatre Company at 312 W. 36th Street 4th Floor in New York City.  To purchase ticket and show information visit workshoptheatre.org

What do you think about Scott’s comments about writing the characters of GH?  Let us know your thoughts!

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Sheila
Sheila

Sounds like a wonderful play. I’ve always loved both the book and movie version of Doctor Zhivago.

As for GH, I wish there would be more writing for and about Elizabeth.

vicki
vicki

Great interview Michael. I love Scott’ s writing for OLTL…he wrote some great stuff for John and Natalie too, my favorite all-time couple. Now he’s doing some great stuff for GH. His play sounds great. Loved Dr.Zhivago so I’ ll have to get tickets for it.

Ann
Ann

Carly Jacks in the same breath as Dorian Lord? Yeah, I don’t think so.

su0000
su0000

Dorian was sorta like Carly during her heyday ..
Both young, rich , strong, and attracted to same type men and drama etc ..

Alison
Alison

Totally agree with you, Ann. Dorian is a far more complex and interesting character than Carly could ever hope to be.

JEFFERY
JEFFERY

Scott Sickles is a modern-day Joseph L. Mankiewicz. Even Bette Davis would guest star on GH if she were still alive today.

heidi
heidi

Fun interview Michael! I like understanding how challenging it may be to write for different characters and to get the character and actor’s voice appropriate for them and for them historically. The character of Damien Spinelli has to have been a challenge for people to write but they seem to be doing a great job transitioning him with age and experience. I love what has been happening with Carly. Enjoyed hearing the challenge of John and Jason… SB has always gotten flack for his robot like character and portrayel of Jason but it has to have been challenging to write and at times very challenging to emote to get that minimal voice to have come across so well.

Jim
Jim

I feel Elizabeth has become the new Jessie Brewer. Jessie was an important character on GH from the beggining and shoved behind the desk in favor of the newbies. Except for a brief romance with Dan Rooney very little else was done with Jessie and i felt that was a waste for the vet who should have been treated better. Now Elizabeth dont get a thing to do. I think she should fall for A.J. just as Carly starts to fall for him too. At least that would be a start in getting liz back into the picture. Scott did a great job over at oltl and good things at gh too. Before this stuff with Prospect Park I was hoping GH did a brief story arc with OLTL’s David Vickers that revealed him to be the biological father of Damien Spinneli. David did once mention to Mathew he had a kid, and i imagined him to be someone as goofy as David and Spinneli would have been my choice. Scotts play sounds very interesting and i think it would make a great movie too.

Lisa
Lisa

Maxie’s story line in the prison was so annoying. I’d never wish a character off because I’d never wish anyone out of work as that is evil and nasty but every day she wasn’t on I thanked god and when she was I had to put it on mute as I had guests over who don’t watch the show complain about what an annoying whiner she was. Elizabeth needs to stop grinding her teeth, it’s just stupid, no one wants to see others get constantly bullied. I could write a book of all the comebacks I could dish out to Maxie not that I’d ever have someone like that around me.

Lisa
Lisa

this guy is from mars I can’t believe he’d actually say Elizabeth was funny because she was miserable and taunted by a shrill, annoying blond. Misery isn’t funny, people are empathetic and sympathetic, no one finds it funny when a character cries for months about her dead child, followed by being bullied by Maxie. It makes people sad then change it to Ellen.

Jim
Jim

I think its time for them to change Maxis pad. Two rivals living in the same apartment with the man they love? Threes Not Company here, its a crowd. As neighbors ok but not roomies. Keeping them together like that this long is starting to stink, so i feel its time they change Maxis pad.

Alison
Alison

What saddens me is that Mr. Sickles now has to pen Todd’s insta-love for Carly after writing so wonderfully for Todd and Blair. Luckily, I have a DVR and can fast forward through it.

General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Chase and ‘Janelle’ Two Sides To Every Story?

On Tuesday’s episode of General Hospital, viewers were given more of the back-story between Chase (Josh Swickard) and Nelle (Chloe Lanier) told through a series of flashback from their disparate recollections.

At the PCPD, over the phone, Chase thanks his former police partner, Abby for sending the files he had on one … Janelle Benson.  As he peruses through the files and sees the image of Nelle contained within it, and a postcard from Florida, Chase flashes back to his interrogation room and meeting suspect ‘Janelle’, when he was working as an officer in Maine.  Nelle was being questioned in the drowning of her fiance’ Zack..  Chase asks why the upset ‘Janelle’ chose to vacation in Maine instead of Florida.  She says it was so Zack could put space between him and his disapproving family.  However, ‘Janelle’ does admit going kayaking was her idea.

Next, she cries that she had to make the decision to try to save Zack from drowning, but thought maybe she might die too, so she decided to save herself, and not go in after him, in what was an impossible situation to be in.  Abby questions ‘Janelle’ about Zack changing his will right before they headed off for their vacation.  ‘Janelle’ lets it firmly be known that it was all Zack’s idea to change his will.

Chase believes ‘Janelle’ is innocent, but Abby thinks Janelle is played the helpless victim card.  Chase decides to release Nelle.  Later, Chase remembers traveling to Florida, because Nelle was reportedly being harassed by Zack’s family.  When he got to Florida, he recalls staying in a motel, and was set to meet up with her at a diner.  However, ‘Janell’e surprised him while he was half-naked in a towel and the door of his room.  Next thing you know, things get hot and heavy as she seduces him.  Chase flashes to them hitting the sheets and being in the throes of passion, and promising to take care of everything for her.

Meanwhile, Nelle and Michael (Chad Duell) are talking at The Floating Rib.  Nelle admits to Michael that she has a past with Chase, and her fear of him trying to bring her down now that he is in Pot Charles.  She says that Chase would do anything to get ahead in his career.  Michael asks if Maine was truly the last time she saw Chase.  She says it wasn’t, and says he followed her to Florida.

Now, as there are two sides to every story, Nelle flashes to coming to visit Chase at his motel room; where he is only wearing a towel . In her version, she portrays Chase as the instigator.  She start to cry and tells Michael that in her gut she knew that something was off about Chase, but she felt like she was drowning inside and he was her lifeline. Nelle says Chase became obsessed with her.

Then while alone, Nelle remembers how she was able to get Chase to go out to the store and get her some water after their hot sexcapade.. Once she is all by herself, Nelle calles the police to report misconduct by an officer at the motel.  Meanwhile, Michael has headed over to the PCPD to confront Chase.

So, which version of the story of  Chase and ‘Janelle’ do you believe? It appears Nelle has done a number on Chase. What did you think of Chloe Lanier’s performance where she can go from portraying the victim in a situation, to an evil bitch, with ease?  What do you think of Josh Swickard as the PCPD’s main cop, now that Dominic Zamprogna (Dante) is on his way out of GH?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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General Hospital

GH Preview – Week of June 18, 2018

This week on General Hospital, as Carly (Laura Wright) is being drugged up with anti-psychotic meds at Ferncliff, it’s Jason (Steve Burton) to the rescue.  Carly’s bff finds a way to infiltrate the state mental institution. Meanwhile, Carly had been talking to Kevin (Jon Lindstrom), who says he will help her through her ordeal emotionally.  But is Carly really seeing Kevin, or is it just a figment of her imagination?

Elsewhere, Alexis (Nancy Lee Grahn) seeks out her ex Julian (William deVry) as she tries to come to terms with the root cause of her issues with the men she chooses to be in her life.  Julian, who has gotten closer to Kim (Tamara Braun), now has a chance to try to help Alexis and make up for the ways in which he hurt her.  Could this be the beginning of the patching up of Julexis, or the final straw?

Sonny (Maurice Benard) has just learned that Mike (Max Gail) moved the body buried at Croton. Where did Mike take it?  How will this have future implications?

Here are more teasers for the action coming up on  GH:

MONDAY JUNE 18

Obrecht covers her tracks.

TUESDAY JUNE 19

Nelle reflects on her past.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 20

Michael confronts Chase.

THURSDAY JUNE 21

Nina demands answers.

FRIDAY JUNE 22

Valentin’s romantic gesture back fires.

So, what story point are you looking forward to playing out this week on GH? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

Dominic Zamprogna Confirms He Is Done At GH

Another General Hospital favorite has left the building.  After much speculation and rumors, it has been confirmed on Thursday afternoon by Dominic Zamprogna that he has left the ABC daytime drama series, and his role of nine years; that of Dante Falconeri.

In a tweet, Dominic shared: “So you’ve been asking. I feel I owe it to you awesome fans to tell you that I’ve taped my final scenes. Going to miss you all and my GH fam. Good things happening tho. More to come ..”

Zamprogna actually had taped his final scenes last month in May.

The character of Dante came on to GH, and it was revealed that he was the biological son of Sonny Corinthos (Maurice Benard) and Olivia Falconeri (Lisa LoCicero).

Benard posted a touching photo from on set of himself and Zamprogna on his Instagram account stating: “Always very sad for me when great actors and great friends leave the show Dom was definitely at the top of that list was always looking forward to working with him didn’t happen enough.”

Dominic’s on-screen lady love Emme Rylan (Lulu) shared these thoughts on Twitter:  “I am utterly heartbroken to see you go but also very excited to watch what is coming next for you. I believe in you! Go get em!”

So, are you sad to hear that Dominic has left GH?  What do you think will happen to the character of Dante? Share your thoughts on his departure in the comment section below.

 

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Video du Jour

This week, Nick lost temporary custody of Christian leading to a defiant and emotional turn by Joshua Morrow (Nick) as he has to say farewell to the little boy he has come to love as his own son, and give him to his father, Victor, who wanted and was granted custody of the child. Watch the hankie-inducing moment! Leave A Comment

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