The Mid Ohio Valley Players will offer their next performance of social distance theatre this Friday, October 9 at 8:00 p.m. MOVP invites you to join them on Zoom as they present the fifteenth installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre. This week WMOVP Radio Theatre kicks off a month of Trick or Treat for the Valley with a classic Suspense episode of The Hitch-Hiker by Lucille Fletcher. The Hitch-Hiker was first presented on the November 17, 1941, broadcast of The Orson Welles Show on CBS Radio and the play was adapted for a notable 1960 episode of the television series The Twilight Zone.
The cast promises that this ghost story will help you get in the Halloween mood. Director Suzanne Walker, explained, “When I was looking for a couple of offerings for our October shows I wanted something that would chill our audience, but not be filled with the typical horror and gore we often get this time of year. In the introduction to The Hitch-Hiker, Orson Wells wrote, ‘A story doesn’t have to appeal to the heart, it can also appeal to the spine.’ I knew this was the show I wanted to do.”
In the story, Ronald Adams (portrayed by Dyrk Conrad) drives cross-country from Brooklyn to California. On a rainy morning, as Adams leaves for his destination, he sees a man on the Brooklyn Bridge who seems to be waiting for a lift. But then as he drives cross country, he sees him again, and again, and again. How does this mysterious stranger appear seemingly everywhere Adams goes? Mack McHale, who plays the Hitch-Hiker provides some insight into his character, “I’m always waiting. I’m waiting until we meet on some long, lonely road. Your time has come. I will always be just ahead…..You cannot escape me.”
Angie Shrader, a newcomer to WMOVP Radio Theatre, but a seasoned actor, shared what the experience is like doing Zoom theatre, “Social distance theatre is a fun challenge! Even though you can see your scene partner, there’s still a bit of disconnect. You really have to pay special attention to them to act out the action of the scene since you can’t touch them or really have a set/props to work with! I’ve really enjoyed the experience!”
Becca Buck now a veteran of social distance theatre from both behind and in front of the “camera” invites the audience to tune in to see what’s new, “This is truly a never-ending learning experience. We’ve come such a long way manipulating Zoom to work in our favor than we ever deemed possible. This week you will find us adding yet even more tech layers to our shows. Not only are we doing what we love with people we love, but we are starting to become more tech-savvy than we’ve ever been!”
Friday’s performance is part of the ongoing fund-raising campaign for MOVP. MOVP President JR Wells said, “We really appreciate everyone who has given in response to the WMOVP Radio Theatre series. It has helped keep the bills paid.” Because performance theatres have not been able to open since March and now are restricted to only 15% of the capacity of their theaters, MOVP, like many other non-profit community theaters are having to rely on the generosity of their supporters.
Wells explained, “The goal of the pledge drive is $20,000 which will help us to meet overhead costs and continue to work on renovations now that the new roof is in place. Producing original scripts, offering creative outlets for actors, directors and technicians, educating the next generation through Jr. Players and Youth Theatre, and providing family entertainment for the Valley is what it’s all about and we need the community’s help.” The group has crested the $7,000 mark of the campaign and they are hopeful that folks will respond to an evening of quality entertainment. Contributions can be made online at movp.org or by mailing a check to the Mid Ohio Valley Players, P.O. Box 814, Marietta, OH 45750.
To view the performance, join on the webinar link, Friday, October 9 at 8:00 p.m. or call in to hear the audio at 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799, Webinar ID: 936 2677 9110. If you are unable to join in for the performance it will be available on the Mid Ohio Valley Players, Inc. Facebook page as a premier video on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 7:00 p.m. WMOVP Radio Theatre will return in two weeks on Friday, Oct. 23 at 8:00 p.m. with the second Trick or Treat offering of the month with 39 Steps, best known from Alfred Hitchcock’s treatment of the story in the 1935 film of the same name. Vanessa Rake directs.