Before television, folks used to gather around the radio to hear dramas acted and read aloud.
Among those live radio plays were adventures such as Little Orphan Annie and science fiction tales such as H.G. Wells’ classic The War of the Worlds, which when broadcast live by actor-director Orson Welles caused a national incident where Americans believed they were actually being attacked by aliens.
Welles was also responsible for a reading of Bram Stoker’s Dracula back in 1938.
Armstrong’s Asparagus Community Theatre (ACT) is about to do another version of Stoker’s Dracula when it brings the live radio thriller to life in time for Halloween.
“This version of the live, dramatized recording, performed by ACT actors, musicians and foley artists, first aired on CBC’s Stage 49 program in 1949 and was dramatized by the late George Salverson, a prolific Canadian playwright, documentarian and broadcaster,” said ACT president Maryke Simmonds.
“It starred, among others, Lorne Green and Lister Sinclair.”
ACT’s performance is directed by Phelan Gotto and features Mandy Penner, Brodie Muskett, Michael Thomas, Jennifer Blake, Risa Bissenden, Jim Ferguson, Ryan Murphy, Jeunesse Pearson and Mark Trussell.
Pianist Cameron Shook and violinist Roman Blain will provide the chilling score with live sound effects by foley artist Simmonds and the cast.
The Dracula event is a joint fundraiser with Salmon Arm community radio station, Voice of the Shuswap (CKVS), and is partially funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada.
CKVS will record each performance for an edited re-broadcast at a later date.
All ages are welcome to attend and Halloween costumes are encouraged. Door prizes, goodies, and prizes for best costume will be available as will ACT memberships for purchase.
Dracula, A Live Radio Thriller stages at Armstrong’s Centennial Theatre Thursday, Oct. 27 and Friday, Oct. 28. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the show at 7:30 p.m. Admission is by donation (suggested $10) at the door. Visit asparaguscommunitytheatre.com for info.