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Saturday, July 15, 2017


Actors in “Father Knows Best” gather at the microphone. Shown are: (from left to right) Sarah Duterte, Titus Himmelberger, Lilace Guignard, Gabe Hakvaag, Natalie Hallead, Ben Slater and Yolie Canales. 
Hamilton-Gibson is hosting Tune In To Radio HG, a radio festival featuring five performances over two weekends in July, each with a different mix of classic radio shows, from plays to adventure serials, comedy sketches, quiz and talk shows, along with contemporary programs and brand-new ones written just for this festival.

The idea for a radio festival came during a brainstorming session. “Originally, we were talking about doing two or three plays in rotation, in an effort to get our audience to come out more than once to see the performances,” recalled Gabe Hakvaag who is producing the festival. “But then we had a light bulb moment. Why just three? What if we staged all the radio shows someone might hear if they turned on their radio in 1947?”

The Golden Age Of Radio began shortly after World War I, with the saturation of radio sets in American homes and continued to grow following the 1926 launch of the first commercial radio network, the National Broadcasting Corporation. Radio dominated American culture for the next three decades, until it was replaced by television.

“The idea quickly blossomed into five two-hour performances, each featuring five to seven different radio shows plus intermission,” Hakvaag continued. “We lined up 10 directors - some experienced, some new hands - selected 33 different scripts to produce - and chose 34 actors to play the roles. Larry Mommicco and Gary Siegfried have the most; they are tied at nine roles apiece. Bruce Applegate joined the production as technical sound director and Pat Davis is lending her keyboard talents as live musical accompanist for all of the shows," he said.

“The setup is simple and grows out of the idea of a typical evening’s broadcast at a local radio station – WBFR radio,” Hakvaag noted. The audience will enter the WBFR studios (in the Warehouse Theatre in lovely downtown Wellsboro) and watch as actors gather before microphones, scripts in hand, playing an assortment of characters. Sound effects performers will create the footsteps, door slams, gunshots, while a piano provides the musical score. All the rest - the scenery, costumes, the action of the characters - will take place in the listener’s imagination.

The line-up of shows includes classics from the Golden Age of Radio ("The Shadow" "Doc Savage," "The Bickersons," "Duffy’s Tavern," "Suspense") and contemporary radio adaptations ("The Canterville Ghost," "The Time Machine," "The Cask of Amontillado" and "The Three Little Pigs").

“We are also excited to premier several brand-new audio plays written exclusively for the Tune In To Radio HG Festival,” Hakvaag said. “A Party To Die For” by Mitch Kreisler is a spoof of classic Hollywood whodunits, featuring a motley assortment of characters invited to a lonely hilltop mansion for a mysterious dinner party. “Kate Kactus: Cowgirl Magician” by Sarah Knight follows the adventures of a con woman and sleight of hand magician who helps bring law and order to the Wild West. Knight’s “Ranger Jim and the High School Homicide” follows the adventures of a stalwart, true-blue park ranger determined to catch the killer and bring justice to our national forests.

Tune In To Radio HG performances will be at 7:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, July 21 & 22 and July 28 & 29 and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 23 in the Warehouse Theatre at 3 Central Avenue in Wellsboro.

For those who want to see all five performances, a festival pass is $20 ($4 per show) for adults and $10 ($2 per show) for children and full-time students of any age.

Tickets are $18 for adults and $7 for children and full-time students of any age for the July 21, 28 and 29 shows; $12 for adults and free for children and full-time students of any age for the July 22 show and Pay-What-You-Can for the matinee on July 23.

For tickets, visit http://www.hamiltongibson.org or for tickets or to reserve seats, call the HG office at 570-724-2079 or email hamgib@gmail.com.


The Friday, July 21, 7:30 p.m. performance will include: "Doc Savage Chapter 1 - The Red Death Part 1," "Community Pet Adoption 1," "Duffy's Tavern - The Genius," "Ranger Jim and the High School Homicide," "The Shadow Episode 1 - Blind Beggar Dies," and "Father Knows Best."

The Saturday, July 22, 7:30 p.m. performance will include: "Doc Savage Chapter 2 - The Red Death Part 2," "Community Pet Adoption 2," "A Party To Die For," "The Most Dangerous Game," "The Shadow Episode 2 - Face of Death" and "The Time Machine."

The Sunday, July 23, 2:30 p.m. performance will include: "Doc Savage Chapter 3 - The Red Lake Quest," Community Pet Adoption 3," "Duffy's Tavern - The Widow," "The Shadow Episode 3 - Career in Crime," "The Bickersons - The Honeymoon is Over," Kactus Kate: Cowgirl Magician Episode 1" and "The Three Little Pigs."

The Friday, July 28, 7:30 p.m. performance will include: "Kactus Kate Cowgirl Magician Episode 2," "Doc Savage Chapter 4 - The Sniper in the Sky," "Duffy's Tavern - The Millionaire," "Community Pet Adoption 4," "The Bickersons - The Tax Refund" and "The Lost World."

The Saturday, July 29, 7:30 p.m. performance will include: "Doc Savage Chapter 5 - Black-Light Magic," "Kactus Kate Cowgirl Magician Episode 3," "Duffy's Tavern - Most Likely to Succeed," "The Canterville Ghost," "The Cask of Amontillado," and "Suspense: The Zero Hour."

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