The Mid Ohio Valley Players will perform their next offering of social distance theatre this Friday, May 29 at 7:00 p.m. MOVP invites you to join them on Zoom as they present the fourth installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre. The group is excited to bring a classic radio experience to children this week as well as an offering for those who love suspense. Director Amber Smrek explains, “During this time when so many opportunities for children are not open or available, we wanted to share with the children of the valley, some old fashion fun.”

Unlike previous offerings, the first program of the evening, Little Orphan Annie: Annie’s Big Surprise Party, will be done without actor’s cameras on. Instead, a photo of an old fashion radio and a map of Annie’s town will be visible so that children can pretend they are sitting around the radio listening to the program like their great grandparents might have done. Morgan Maciag is excited to be voicing Annie, “I know it has been hard on kids, not being able to see their friends or play together. This script is so much fun because it will let them come to Annie’s birthday party and even sing along.” The episode is fifteen minutes so it short enough to keep even younger children engaged.

After a five-minute intermission, adults can stay tuned for a psychological thriller, Sorry, Wrong Number at 7:25 p.m. In 1943 Sorry, Wrong Number first aired on the Suspense radio program. It was so popular that it ran twice on the CBS network after audience members clamored to have it rebroadcast. This story by Lucille Fletcher went on to be considered one of the greatest radio drama episodes. It was adapted to become a movie, and a later production of the radio drama won The Edgar Award for Best Radio Drama.

Sorry, Wrong Number tells the story of Mrs. Elbert Stevenson an invalid confined to her bed. The drama starts with a routine phone call to her husband to see when he will be home from work and becomes increasingly frantic as the story progresses. Unable to reach her husband due to the line being busy, she seeks the help of the operator who connects her through to what she assumes is her husband’s office phone. Instead of reaching her husband she overhears two men plotting a murder of a woman who just happens to live in an area that sounds much like her own. MOVP patrons will enjoy seeing Jena Blair in the lead role. “I am so thrilled about Sorry, Wrong Number. This is a role I’ve wanted to do for many years. Bringing this character to life, portraying her frustrations, urgency, fears and finally extreme terror has been exciting. The suspense in the play is really ‘edge of your seat.”  I appreciate being a part of the WMOVP Classic radio shows and enjoy sharing this almost lost art form with everyone.”

To view the live performances, 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.  It has provided MOVP the ability to continue to offer entertainment to the valley and to support others. This week, the group will begin to replace the classic commercials, with spots for local businesses. Kermit Polan, MOVP President, explains, “We really want to support our sponsors and other local businesses. Normally, we would be encouraging folks to shop local in our playbill, but with no live performances, there are no playbills. We are glad we can get the word out in this new venue.”

Next week, June 5, at 7:00 p.m. WMOVP Radio Theatre heads to space with two classic space dramas,  A Pride of Carrots: or, Venus Well Served and Zero Hour.

For those who missed the previous live broadcasts, the episodes are now available to view on the theatre’s Facebook page, under the video tab.

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