Radio dramas, which told stories with sound only, were a widely-used genre back in the days when radio was the primary mass media.
Then came television, and the format was nearly forgotten.
But radio of the 1940s lives again on the Archbold Community Theatre stage with the production of, “A Christmas Carol: A Live Radio Play.”
“Watching” a radio drama is a bit bewildering. Actors seem to wander about the stage almost randomly, walking up to microphones, sitting down, chatting among themselves in the background.
They are called upon to perform more than one character, using different tones and inflections in the voices.
Your ears tell you there are two different people talking; your eyes say there is only one.
The most interesting character on stage is the Foley artist, or sound effects man, portrayed by Jeff Patterson, Archbold.
As the show progresses, the audience sees how he creates different sounds, from footsteps to doors opening and closing.
The actors “stage” the Charles Dickens classic, “A Christmas Carol,” which lends itself well to the radio format.
Randy Stuckey, West Unity, is Scrooge, and he is masterful at giving the old man’s voice the right amount of bitterness, and later, joy.
Mark Nightingale, Archbold, has a perfect radio voice– as good as any professional radio announcer anywhere. He could have a second career doing voiceovers.
Mason Stickley, Pettisville, sounds great, but also looks the part of a radio performer.
Teresa Van Sickle, Archbold, plays at least two characters well. Elsie Mello, Archbold, and Pearl Borton, Napoleon, do fine jobs, as well.
There are three more chances to “see” ACT perform the radio drama: Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14, at 7:30 pm, and Sunday, Dec. 15, at 2:30 pm, at Giffey Hall in the Ridgeville Corners Theatre District.–David Pugh