Every Sparkle Weekend since 2004, Freeport Players has staged some version of the show we call simply Radio. The original Radio led to Radio II, then Radio III: Dreams of the Good Old Days, and finally The WFCP Home Time Radio Hour 2007, 2008 and 2009. But what is Radio? What makes it so popular with performers and audiences year after year?
We can start off by stating two things it isn’t: It isn’t a talent show and it isn’t a concert. Unlike a talent show, in which people prepare pieces of their own choosing and come together for a performance “sight unseen”, Radio is a scripted show with “bits” written and songs selected to create a cohesive presentation. We hold auditions in the fall to cast the singers and actors, and they rehearse for several weeks before they hit the FPAC stage to perform for hundreds of fans. Unlike a concert, Radio includes much more than performances by singers and musicians. Our creative team writes sketches in the style of shows from the Golden Age of Radio, which are performed by actors and sound effects people. In recent years we have merged music with song in commercial jingles performed by singer-actors. All of these elements combine for a show that is part play and part variety show.
So, it’s not a talent show and it’s not a concert. But what is it? To begin with, it is a tribute to the Golden Age of Radio. It is similar to Pairie Home Companion in its format, but with the Players’ unique spin. We don’t simply draw our inspiration from the era; we aim to transport the audience back to the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Sure, anachronisms find their way into the script now and then, but you won’t hear us do a jingle with a hip hop beat or build a sketch around current events. We let the audience into our “studio” and show them glimpses of the controlled “behind-the-mic” chaos. We’ve moved the stage crew out of the anonymity of the theater wings and put them under the lights. Our sound effects team has been prominently featured since the first show, and people come year after year just to see what they will do.
Our aim is to give audiences a variety show filled with laughter, fun, great music, and surprises. We want you to leave the FPAC feeling good, with a grin on your face and a lift in your step.
Radio is also Freeport Players major fundraising event each season. The cost to produce this show is substantially smaller than for our other major productions and is almost entirely covered by the generous businesses who sponsor us. As a result, most of the cost of every ticket sold for Radio goes to support the Players’ productions and activities during the rest of the season.
WRITERS: We are now accepting scripts for possible inclusion in the 2010 edition of Radio. Visit http://www.fcponline.org/radio_call_for_scripts.htm for more information.
- How do we create Radio?
- What’s it like to be in Radio?
- The Radio magic