EXCLUSIVE: Sony Pictures Television has acquired the rights to develop Ravenswood Manor, a camp-horror soap opera based on a live weekly episodic theatre production from writer and comedian Justin Sayre.
The show, which ran at Los Angeles’ Celebration Theatre last fall, is set in the small New England town of Ravensport, Maine during the Spring of 1976. As the country readies itself for the Bicenntenial celebration, Ravensport welcomes home its most famous daughter, movie star Bettina Doors, who has left Hollywood mysteriously under cover of night and a veil. She returns to her childhood home of Ravenswood Manor, an heir to the famous Ravenswood sisters, the last women in America to be charged with the crime of witchcraft. Long buried secrets surface as a series of ridiculous murders begins to unravel the town.
“Ravenswood Manor was the most fun I think I’ve ever had writing anything,” said Sayre. “It was an experiment in episodic theatre, which allowed a community to feel engaged with the unfolding story in this weird and wonderful world. I loved the camp of the whole thing; it was like living a dream directed by John Waters. Men playing women, women playing men. Everyone playing anything they wanted. It felt like the free and fun early days of Saturday Night Live in some ways, and I want it to always have that feel. Glenn Adilman and Nick Austin have been such champions of mine. So I’m thrilled to work with them and bring this fabulous project to Sony.”
Sayre, repped by Mainstay Entertainment and Peikoff Mahan, is most known for their long-running, monthly comedy/variety show The Meeting. Other credits include CBS’s Two Broke Girls and Fox’s The Cool Kids. Sayre’s compendium of queer culture The gAy-B-C’s will be published by Chronicle Books in May 2021. While in Covid quarantine, Sayre has continued to host live-streamed readings of new works to raise money for homeless LGBTQ youth and Black Lives Matter.