The Mid Ohio Valley Players will perform their next offering of social distance theatre this Friday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. MOVP invites you to join them on Zoom as they present a third installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre. Founding director Suzanne Walker, explains, “Until the time comes that we are once again able to safely gather in public venues for live theatre, MOVP will continue to bring the valley ‘live’ entertainment through Zoom.” This week, a larger cast of MOVP favorites will have you laughing as they present a little-known Arthur Miller radio comedy, The Pussycat and the Plumber Who Was a Man.

Vanessa Rake, the director for this week’s installment, encourages everyone to tune in. “Working with this cast has been great! We have a few cast members who have done our last couple radio shows but we have even more new faces and new talents (both MOVP veterans and fresh faces alike). After the positive feedback we received from Father Knows Best and Our Miss Brooks I can’t wait for audiences to see this fun Arthur Miller piece!”

Just when you thought you had seen EVERYTHING when it came to politics, don’t miss Dyrk Conrad as Mr. Tom Thomas as he “purrrsuades” a town to vote him in as mayor! Dyrk was most recently seen on stage at the Players Theatre as George Deever in All My Sons, and appeared as Mr. Boyton in the recent Our Miss Brooks WMOVP Radio Theatre episode. This little known Arthur Miller classic radio show will have you laughing and maybe even make you think. Tim Tuten, as the expert plumber, arrives just in time to turn this story into a real “tail” twister.  To view the live performance, join on the webinar link or call in to hear the audio at 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799, Webinar ID: 936 2677 9110.

The idea for social distance theatre came out of an offer from founding director Suzanne Walker’s employer, Marietta College, to allow its employees the opportunity to use their Zoom accounts to stay in touch with family and friends and to assist with non-profits with whom they were connected. Kermit Polan, MOVP President, says he’s glad MOVP has had the ability to remain connected with the community virtually. Polan says, “We are looking forward to the day we can open the doors again, but in the meantime, we want our patrons to know that we are here offering family entertainment during these difficult times.”

These Zoom theatre productions have also been an important creative outlet for local actors, technicians, and directors.For the first two productions, Walker explains, “I hand-picked the cast and crew from those whom I had worked with before and I knew had the technical resources to participate.” After the first production others reached out to find out how they could be involved. Tim Tuten wrote to the MOVP Board and made a plea for others to be involved: “During these hard times I speak on behalf of actors who are unemployed, still waiting on unemployment checks and that having an opportunity or chance to perform via the internet would be beneficial to one’s well-being during these hard times. As a community theatre it is still our responsibility to reach out and be open to everyone in the community.”

The Board agreed and made the commitment to continue the series in order to involve more people. Open auditions were posted and the cast for Pussycat was selected from those who responded. Next week, May 29, at 7:00 p.m. Amber Smrek, will have her Zoom directorial debut and will bring in other new cast members to present an episode of the classic Little Orphan Annie and the suspense-filled classic, Sorry Wrong Number.

The group continues to be pleased with the outreach the WMOVP series has had. Polan shared an email received from a man in Seattle, Washington. He tuned in for the Our Miss Brooks performance and declared that it “…was awesome.  I watched it from Seattle, thanks to the News and Sentinel article I randomly came across in the list of search results in duckduckgo.com’s News section, searching for “classic radio” a few days ago.  Serendipity!  Know you are loved and admired from afar. Also, more please!” For those who missed the live broadcast, the Father Knows Best episodes and the Our Miss Brooks episode are now available to view on the theatre’s Facebook page, under the video tab.

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