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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
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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
Guest
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
Guest
Ann

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

su0000
Guest
su0000

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

Alison
Guest
Alison

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

JEFFERY
Guest
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
Guest
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… Read more »

Jim
Guest
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… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
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… Read more »

Lisa
Guest
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
Guest
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
Guest
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

ABC Previews General Hospital’s Halloween Episode

Fight Night will definitely have an impact on the lives of the citizens of Port Charles, on the upcoming Thursday, October 29th episode of the ABC daytime drama series.

Announced by ABC today, along with primetime’s Dancing with the Stars, The Conners, Supermarket Sweep, and America’s Funniest Home Videos, GH is having some ghoulish goings-on for the trick or treat holiday.

According to the GH preview: “As an impending storm approaches Port Charles, Trina and Joss decide to meet up with Cameron and Dev at Charlies before heading off to a Halloween party for the night. Unbeknownst to them, Julian notices the kids are being watched a little too closely by a masked individual. Uneasy and unable to shake the feeling that something is off, Julian confronts the man. Meanwhile, Carly is stunned when Cyrus brings a familiar acquaintance to dinner at the Metro Court. And elsewhere, Finn and Anna’s plans to take Violet trick-or-treating are hampered when Finn is called back to GH, leaving Anna alone, unaware that a particularly evil threat awaits her.”

So, excited to see what goes down on Halloween on GH? Comment below.

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General Hospital

GH’s Ingo Rademacher Shares Insight With His Son On Parenting & Anger On Maurice Benard’s “State of Mind”

Maurice Benard has brought his State of Mind  to You Tube, and his guest for this week is none other than Sonny Corinthos’ longtime nemesis Jasper Jacks, Ingo Rademacher.

Rademacher decided to appear on State of Mind along with his son, Peanut, to talk about the incidents of parenting and anger when raising his children, and the effects discipline can have on the kids.

There are some very emotional moments within the segment, as Peanut opens up about his feelings when his dad was upset with him and how he dealt with  it

Ingo also shares how over the past few years his relationship with his son has approved, while Maurice offers key moments from his past with his father and his own son.

Per Maurice on the concept behind the show and his ongoing website: “State of Mind to me means being 100% present, feeling completely at peace inside of you, not letting your thoughts control your life and always looking for ways to be the best that you can be.”

Watch Ingo, Maurice and Peanut below and then let us know what you thought about this heartfelt conversation via the comment section below.

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General Hospital

Gregory Harrison Is The New Gregory Chase On General Hospital

General Hospital just got hotter as it beef’s up its storyline featuring Kim Delaney as Jackie Templeton.  Now comes word that TV veteran, Gregory Harrison has come to the ABC daytime drama series as the recast Gregory Chase.

The character of Gregory Chase was previously played by DAYS James Read, who plays the treacherous Clyde Weston now and then on the NBC soap.

With Harrison taking on the role of Finn (Michael Easton) and Chase’s (Josh Swickard) father, that makes things a little juicier in the romantic department.

According to EW.com who broke the casting news, Harrison begins taping today Wednesday at the ABC studios for General Hospital and fans can look forward to his debut on-screen in a few weeks.

As to the storyline: “Fireworks could be on the horizon for Harrison’s character.”

TV fans remember Gregory from the hit series Trapper John M.D., then later on Falcon Crest, Judging Amy, One Tree Hill and more.  He also has frequently appeared in Lifetime and Hallmark Channel movies most recently.

So, what do you think about the Gregory Chase recast with Gregory Harrison? Intrigued? Comment below.

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B&B’s Jacqueline MacInnes Wood deliver the Power Performance of the Week as Steffy’s drug addiction leads to a confrontation and intervention by her loved ones with dire consequences.  Here is the last seven minutes that featured Emmy-winner Wood at her best. Leave A Comment

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