Marion Art Center brings old time radio to the stage

By Georgia Sparling | May 15, 2012
Photo by: Jennifer Heshion The cast will bring the 1940s radio drama to life using clinking glasses, telephones and bricks for sound effects.

Marion — Mystery theater meets old time radio in the Marion Art Center Player’s latest production.

“Rick Lowell – Private Eye, The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of” by Tony Paleromo is a three-act play in the style of 1940s serial radio dramas.

“I was scouring the internet for probably two months straight trying to find something that wasn’t like a play but was more stripped down just like a radio show should be,” said co-director and producer Nancy Sparklin.

Sparklin said Paleromo’s play, a murder mystery in which the Maltese Falcon movie prop is stolen, is suitable for most ages.

“It’s not racy. It’s a delightful kind of humor,” said Sparklin who is co-directing with Sheila Furtado.

The show will run for three consecutive nights beginning May 18.

Audience participation is a key part of the show, said Sparklin. Two to three volunteers per act will get to try their hand at old time radio sound effects. Think creaking doors, clopping footsteps and clinking glasses.

“My hope is that silliness will be happening with people trying to get the sound effects to go” she said. “But I will be there to help direct them.”

The Player’s themselves will be a rotating crew over the three nights of the production’s run.

“My goal was to have an interchanging cast so there’s more spontaneity than a rehearsed cast,” said Sparklin.

“We’re going to fly by the seat of our pants,” she said. “That’s what’s fun. Hopefully there will be a lot of goofing around. It is rehearsed just enough so that it flows.”

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