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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
Guest
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.

Breaking News

Ingo Rademacher Speaks Out On His Dismissal From GH Sharing: “I Was Hoping to Play Jax For Another 10 or 25 Years and Unfortunately, That’s Not Going to Happen”

For the first time since he was fired for not adhering to General Hospital’s and Disney/ABC’s Covid-19 vaccine mandate, Ingo Rademacher (Ex-Jax), addressed his exit from the soap opera via an “official video” message on his Instagram account.

Ingo expressed: “I’m sorry that I didn’t put out this video earlier, but this is about thanking you guys, the fans of the show and also the GH crew and cast. I was on the show for 25 years. They were like my family a lot of the people there. I was hoping to play Jax for another 10 or 25 years and unfortunately, that’s not going to happen. I want to thank you guys for sticking with Jax for 25 years and I’m sorry that I’m not there anymore to play Jax, which is still something that I am trying to process  … it’s just kind of crazy.”

Rademacher also took aim at his former co-star, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) for announcing on Twitter that he was no longer on the show, before he had a chance to do so, which he says was a huge disappointment to him given that they worked together for 25 years.

He went on to say how he appreciated all the positive comments from the fans adding, “A lot of you come on there to say that you’re vaccinated but stand for medical freedom, I love hearing that, because I believe it should be a choice.”  Ingo continued to express his view, “I don’t agree with vaccine mandates or corporations ever being able to mandate a vaccine to keep your job.”

The actor closed with another nod to the viewers of GH adding, “Thank you so much for supporting me for 25 years. I will have more news later on, but for now, just wanted to thank all of you amazing fans. Thank you.”

You can watch Rademacher’s full statement via his IG post below.  Then, let us know what you thought of Ingo’s long-awaited exit message in the comment section.

 

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A post shared by Ingo Rademacher (@ingorademacher)

guys. I really appreciate it.”

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General Hospital

Kristina Wagner Shares She’s Back On Contract at General Hospital

This past week, General Hospital fans were thrilled with the news that longtime fan favorite, Kristina Wagner (Felicia) was on her way back to the soap opera to tape new episodes.  However on Saturday, the actress shared even bigger news.  She is back on contract at the ABC daytime drama series.

Kristina revealed via her Instagram: “I’m pleased to announce I just finished my first work week on contract with General Hospital. The good people there have made it a well oiled machine. I’m so impressed with the way they navigate the Covid protocols. It’s not easy but we’ll worth it. We’ve got some fun storylines coming up. I’ve been thrown in the middle of a current storyline and I think Felicia’s part in it gives it some color. Stay tuned!”

Earlier in the week on Tuesday via Twitter, Kristina expressed: “Tomorrow I head back to work on General Hospital! Lucky me. I couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of that family once again. Here we go. More to come. Felicia Scorpio rides again.”

Wagner began her GH role as Felicia Cummings, the Aztec princess back in 1984 and has appeared on and off the show since then.

So what storyline do you think Felicia will get thrown into? Will she return to Port Charles to help Maxie (Kirsten Storms)?  Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

 

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A post shared by Kristina Wagner (@kristinawagnr)

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General Hospital

GENERAL HOSPITAL: Laura Wright and Kelly Thiebaud Deliver One-Two Punch as Britt & Carly Grieve the Loss of Jason

When General Hospital goes for the emotional jugular, it is very often top-notch daytime drama, and that was on full display through Tuesday and Wednesday’s episode of the ABC daytime drama series in key scenes as the news of Jason’s ‘death’ hit Port Charles.

In the wake of Steve Burton’s (Ex-Jason) dismissal from the show for not adhering to the vaccine mandate, it did open up the story and provide for a huge fallout for those who loved the mob hitman.

In the end, it was Carly (Laura Wright) and Britt (Kelly Thiebaud), who seemingly felt the loss the hardest.  Initially, upon learning how Jason ‘died’ helping Britt locate her mother, Liesl (Kathleen Gati), a defiant Carly blamed Britt for Jason never coming home.

In Wednesday’s episode, we saw how Carly and Britt tried to cope with the knowledge that Jason was buried under a rubble in a cave, with no sign of life, or his body found.

Overwhelmed with grief, Carly heads to the footbridge to be close to the spirit of Jason and to mourn him as tears flow.  She is stunned to see Britt show up there, too.  Carly is surprised that Britt even knew about the bridge that Jason had rebuilt thank to a generous donation from him.  Britt tells Carly that she and Jason had a lot of time to talk while they were on the run.  After Carly explains that Jason was her person and had been her other half, Britt offers to leave. S he expresses that she thought coming to the bridge would make her feel closer to Jason.

Then, in a heartbreaking moment, Britt assures Carly that she blames herself for what happened to Jason and hates herself.  Then, Carly has a moment of clarity that Jason would want her to forgive Britt.  Generous thoughts never come naturally to Carly, but Jason always set her straight on how to handle life’s most difficult situations.

In the final moments of the episode, with both women in tears, Britt moves to the center of the bridge with her arm around Carly, after Carly tells her she doesn’t want her to go.  The two stand together bonded over the man they both loved.

These scenes were masterfully played by Laura Wright and Kelly Thiebaud. They were gut-wrenching, powerful, and sad all at the same time.  We think many viewers needed several hankies during these scenes.

So, what did you think of the Carly and Britt bridge scenes …. and the work of Laura and Kelly? Share your thoughts via the comment section below.

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