‘Radio Live! A Christmas Carol’ this Sunday

Christmas Carol 3

Salisbury University’s Bobbi Biron Theatre Program and Delmarva Public Radio give a gift to lovers of old-time radio this holiday season.

The theatre program presents “Radio Live! A Christmas Carol,” a revival in the style of the classic radio shows of the 1930s, ’40s and ’50s, 2 p.m. Sunday, in Holloway Hall Auditorium.

Dr. T. Paul Pfeiffer adapted and directs the reenactment of Charles Dickens’ famous novel, telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, who learns the true meaning of Christmas with some help from spirits beyond. Delmarva Public Radio records the audio performance for broadcast this December.

Radio drama, prior to the advent of television, was at its zenith. Comedies and drama, from Our Miss Brooks, to Gunsmoke, to The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes were later transformed into popular TV series. One program, Mercury Theatre on the Air’s adaptation of H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, made national headlines when some listeners mistook the sci-fi thriller for an actual alien invasion and panicked. In recent years, these classic programs have found a home on public radio.

“I had adapted A Christmas Carol for a production at SU several years ago,” said Pfeiffer. “This was met with great success, and I’d hoped to revisit the adaptation for future productions perhaps elsewhere on the open market. This has provided that opportunity yet with a new set of challenges — writing for sound not pictures.”

“The Fulton School was approached for some ideas as to how our individual departments might assist in additional programming for WSCL 89.5 FM.  I thought, ‘Finally — a request with our name on it.’ I proposed that we produce A Christmas Carol for the radio as a holiday gift to the public.

“I had taught a course in Radio Theatre in the past and proposed to offer it again as a course of study with the new Christmas Carol as its final product. John Raley, our scene and sound designer, is teaching a sound design course for which the sound effects for this production will be their final project. Both classes, amounting to about 30 students will be involved on the Holloway Hall stage.”

“This effort brings together nearly every facet of Delmarva Public Radio — creative, ‘hand-made’ programming not found anywhere else on the radio dial, collaboration with SU and its students, and delivering locally-produced material to the entire Delmarva region,” said Dana Whitehair, DPR general manager. “I’ve always been an adherent to the idea that ‘the pictures are better on radio.’ This is a great opportunity to display that ‘magic’ that only radio can provide. We’re excited to be a part of Dr. Pfeiffer’s project.”

Featuring Pfeiffer as Scrooge, the cast also includes Rebeka Anderson, Zack Baker, Cornelius Fletcher, Dan Frana, Kimberly Garcia-Torres, Dawson Forbes Hill, Eleni Lukasczyk, Michael Mitchell, Jacob Nail, Marykathryn Overstreet, Cassandra Raefski, Andres Roas, Caitlin Rogers, Alex Scoras, Caitlin Sell, Emily Stanton, Faith Sullivan and Zachary Williams.

Admission is free and the public is invited. For more information call 410-543-6228 or visit the SU website at salisbury.edu.

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