At a time when many of us are wishing for the 2020 we wanted, the Mid Ohio Valley Players bring The Ending Everyone Wanted to the Zoom screen this Friday, August 21 at 7:00 p.m. MOVP invites you to join them for the next installment of social distance theatre. WMOVP Radio Theatre is excited to bring a contemporary original radio drama to life this week. “It’s exciting to be presenting an original show from a playwright who wanted to help us continue to bring live entertainment into the homes of our neighbors and out-of-town fans during this pandemic,” said Ben Bradley, who plays President Abraham Lincoln. “We continue to give our time and talents in the hopes that our supporters will enjoy this unique form of entertainment and continue providing financial support until we can return to our beloved theater for live performances.”
Director Vanessa Rake agreed. “This is my third time directing an installment of WMOVP Social Distance Theater and I could not be more excited for people to watch. The cast works so well together with Will Anderson’s hilarious, action-packed script. Audiences will be laughing along with this adventure of Abraham Lincoln and the time-traveling professor.”
Will Anderson, a Professor in the School of Broadcast & Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University first reached out to MOVP in mid-June after seeing a newspaper article about WMOVP Radio Theatre online. In an interview, he revealed that he has been writing and promoting audio drama for the past twenty years.
“I’ve won a number of national audio drama scriptwriting awards and have been and act as the administrator for The Marion Thauer Brown Audio Drama Scriptwriting Competition, which I founded in honor of my grandmother, who really encouraged my writing of radio dramas as my penchant for crafting goofy cartoonish villains really amused her,” Anderson said.
After seeing what MOVP was doing with classic radio programs in the new Zoom medium he reached out to see if he could help. “My recent focus is on live theater performance of audio drama, which led to my making contact with the Mid Ohio Valley Players organization.”
WMOVP Founding Director Suzanne Walker responded to Anderson’s Facebook inquiry and quickly found out that it was a small world. Anderson explained, “It turned out we had a mutual acquaintance through Joe Sullivan, an English professor at Marietta who was an undergraduate classmate (and current Facebook friend) of mine and he was able to vouch for my passion for the subject. I am so excited to get to work with the Mid Ohio Valley Players on this exciting new avenue of audio drama exhibition!”
Sullivan was glad to help broker the connection between Anderson and MOVP. Sullivan will make his Zoom stage debut this Friday as a guard in the production. Walker said, “In this time of isolation and social distance, it was nice to be reminded that despite distances we are connected to so many people in ways we don’t even realize.”
The Ending Everyone Wanted, a science fiction adventure, won second place in 2006-2007 National Audio Theatre Festival Script Competition. It was published/produced in 2008 in peer-reviewed literary journal Quiddity to commemorate the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial celebration. The original audio drama takes place in April 1865. The Civil War is at an end, the nation preserved. Alone in the Oval Office sits President Abraham Lincoln (Ben Bradley). Suddenly, his solitude is broken with the arrival of Professor Faraday (Morgan Maciag), a time traveler from the distant future, who comes to warn him about his own impending doom at the hands of an assassin.
What this traveler is unaware of, however, is that this is just one of many times she has come from the future to provide counsel for the president, proving that history can indeed be altered. Tim Tuten, who plays the Copper and voices two other roles, has enjoyed working on the production, “I am having a great time with this show and the original script is great with time travel and history, the performances everyone gives are filled with awesome energy!”
MOVP President JR Wells invites the faithful WMOVP audience to tune if for this special production and urges those who have not had a chance to see a performance of WMOVP Radio Theatre to give it a try. “We are especially pleased to have a chance to debut Anderson’s original script this week as part of our Pledge Drive kick-off. Without the ability to open our doors and sell tickets, we like many other non-profit community theatres are having to rely on the generosity of our supporters,” he said.
“This past Saturday we kicked off our 2020 Pledge Drive with calls to past donors. Our goal is $20,000 which will help us to meet overhead costs and continue to work on renovations now that our 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.”
To view the live performance, join on the webinar link, Friday, August 21 at 7:00 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 live performance it will be available on the Mid Ohio Valley Players, Inc. Facebook page beginning as a premier video on Saturday, August 22 also at 7:00 p.m.
WMOVP Radio Theatre will return in two weeks on Friday, September 4 at 7:00 p.m. with an episode of the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries directed by Amber Smrek.