Joshua Pangborn talks about the fifth season of ‘Skeleton Crew’

SideKick Productions has announced the fifth season of its popular and ground-breaking award-winning web-series ‘Skeleton Crew’ this month!

Skeleton Crew,’ created by Joshua R. Pangborn, tells the story of plus-sized couple Hunter and Anthony, played by J. Cerio and Pangborn, as they traverse the challenges of their polyamorous relationship alongside their friends and family. 

Season Five picks up after Hunter and Anthony renewed their vows in a surprise wedding last season. Together, they must learn how to be a couple again after a lengthy separation, while learning how to find their own way through the quirky and fun relationships they’ve cultivated over the years. 

I sat down with Joshua to discuss the new season and what else he has in store! 

Kyle Jackson: How did Skeleton Crew begin and where did you get the idea from?

Joshua Pangborn: I write queer stories for plus-size performers. With Skeleton Crew, there was no question this characteristic of my work would continue. In fact, I wanted to double down on how queer this project would be, on how much it would celebrate plus-size performers. 

But, here’s the thing: Skeleton Crew was never supposed to be a television series. When I wrote the first draft of what eventually became the pilot episode of Skeleton Crew, it was a ninety-minute play.

Like a lot of my work, this script was inspired by classics–specifically Euripedes’ Medea and Albee’s Whose Afraid of Virginia Woof? However, it was around this time I was growing more and more interested in moving into film and television, and when I looked at the script for Skeleton Crew, I realized I could actually see more story to tell about these characters. And so I gathered a group of amazing actors, including J. Cerio, and, with the expertise of Stuart Kiczek, put together our first season of twelve episodes. 

When it came time to make season two, we looked at a lot of what we had done, realized how we could improve, and voila — ten more episodes with some familiar faces and a lot of new ones. Seasons three and four flowed naturally, with each season improving upon the last in some way.

And with the addition of Nakia behind the scenes in season four, we were incredibly fortunate to have a whole new sound to the show! And now, with season five, we’re embarking on our biggest season ever, complete with a full-length musical episode. 

KJ: What are some things for viewers to look forward to in the new season?

JP: Season five continues to tell the story of Hunter and Anthony and their friends and family as only we can, through a whole lot of wit and queer energy. This season we address a lot of themes which I think are important to confront in the LGBT+ community, and in particular the bear community. 

A lot of the characters deal with toxicity in various forms. Some find ways to grow despite this, others find themselves trapped by it. Oh, and did I mention there was a full-length musical, featuring fifteen original songs written by me and Nakia ?

KJ: When and how did you and J. Cerio begin to work together?

JP: J. Cerio is one of the greatest scene partners I could have ever asked for; every scene with J. makes me a better performer — he challenges me to make new choices and doesn’t let me slide. I’m so lucky Stuart Kiczek brought J. to my apartment during the casting process in 2014.

KJ: Who does J. Cerio play on the show?

JP: J. Cerio plays Hunter Wolf, the husband of my character, Anthony Stewart. He’s a confident, yet sensitive man who is polyamorous and drawn to the world of BDSM as a part-time master, but who loves with his giant heart.

KJ: How was it working with Nakia on the new season?

JP: Working with Nakia on any project is a gift; he and I seem to feed off of each other’s energy. We’ve done three shows together at this point, so by now we’re a well-oiled machine. 

I was nervous about the musical episode, but Nakia is such a talented musician, and he takes the lyrics I give him and turns them into fantastic songs. Nakia is a passionate, driven artist, and working with him, like working with J., makes me a better artist.

KJ: Are you having any special events to kick off the new season?

JP: We are so excited the world has improved to the point we can have a full premiere party on Saturday, July 17th at Rockbar in NYC from 7:00-9:00. We’re going to be having live performances of some of the songs from the musical episode, and we’ll be presenting the first two episodes to those in attendance. 

After that, the episodes will be live on our Patreon (patreon.com/sidekickproductions), and the following week will be live on our YouTube (youtube.com/sidekickproductions).

KJ: What else do you have in the works?

JP: Oh, there are a lot of projects on my plate! 

I’m currently filming Demon Doctor season two, my horror comedy series about a plus-sized demonologist and his detective friend that’s a cross between Buffy and The X Files, just much queerer. 

We’re going to be filming season two of Ashley Monique Menard’s mockumentary series, The Art of Blowing It, soon. And we have two short horror films coming later this year, along with our first feature horror film with a cast of primarily plus-size gay men. 

Then, there are three more series I’m developing, including one with Nakia. So, stay tuned!

Season five of Skeleton Crew will premiere on Saturday, July 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET. Skeleton Crew makes its return first to SideKick Productions’ Patreon subscribers, then premieres on the SideKick Productions’ YouTube page for 13 more weeks beginning on Sunday, July 25 at 8:00 p.m. ET.

Joshua R. Pangborn and members of the #Crewniverse are set to celebrate the premiere of the new season at Rockbar NYC, where attendees will get an exclusive sneak peek at the first two episodes and enjoy live vocal performances by cast members, Ashley Monique-Menard, Mark- Eugene Garcia, Nic Mains, Alexander Dorf and Nakia on Saturday, July 17 from 7:00-9:00 p.m. ET.

About SideKick Productions

SideKick Productions is an award-winning production company telling LGBT+ and body positive stories. They are best known for the international hit Skeleton Crew (which was recently named Best LGBT series at the British Web Awards and whose cast was just named Best Ensemble at the New Zealand Web Fest), is a soap opera about Hunter and Anthony, a plus-sized gay couple, and their friends and family, now entering its fifth season. 

In addition, they produce the award-winning LGBT+ horror-comedy Demon Doctor, now entering its 2nd season, and a mockumentary by Ashley Monique Menard, The Art of Blowing It, which just released its first season. SideKick Productions eagerly awaits the call to Netflix and Hulu, but in the meantime are content to share their adventures on the web at their home on YouTube. 

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Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.