Frankenstein, The Radio Drama

By Staff

Imagination reigns on the radio, but now you can see "behind the scenes," too.
by Doug Fabrizio and C.A. Cluff
I have been doing radio drama with Plan-B since "Radio Macbeth" way back in 1995. I love radio drama because it engages me in a way most entertainment doesn’t these days. It allows…well, it gives me the privilege of letting my imagination go berserk. The sky is the limit with radio. Nothing can match the pictures I create in my own head.

For the past three years, Plan-B’s Radio Hour has been performed in the cozy RadioWest studio at KUER, as listeners tuned in from the comfort of their living rooms, cars and anywhere an iPod can be taken. This year we’re bringing the show into the Studio Theatre at the Rose Wagner, where Matthew Ivan Bennett’s adaptation of Mary Shelley’s "Frankenstein" will be performed as a live radio drama. But why? Why present a show visually that is meant to be experienced aurally?

A handful of people usually attend Radio Hour as our unofficial live studio audience. We tuck them away in all kinds of nooks and crannies in the limited space available in the studio. Due to the funky seating arrangement, some of them can only see the actors’ faces and some of them only the foleys’ faces but all of them, we noticed, are having a great time. Some of them have their eyes closed, experiencing the story the same as everyone at home, but most of them have their eyes wide open. They are watching everything as we tell some really good stories with a bunch of extremely versatile actors and another bunch of unlikely gadgets, gizmos and even groceries, employed not for what they do but for the sounds they make.

We realized being a part of the show as the live studio audience is just as much fun as listening to the show from home. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the magic of radio drama. So we decided to make that experience available to a larger group of people.

This year the actors, foleys and a live musician will together tell the story of one man’s creation gone really, really wrong. So come watch (and listen to) it all happen right before your eyes (ears?).

Cheryl Ann Cluff, managing director of Plan-B Theatre Company, directs Plan-B’s Radio Hour for the fourth consecutive year.

Friday, October 24 at 8pm
Saturday, October 25 at 8pm
Sunday, October 26 at 2pm (with a post-show discussion)
Friday, October 31 at 11am and 7pm (both of these performances will be broadcast live on KUER and XM Satellite Radio)
Saturday, November 1 at 8pm
Sunday, November 2 at 2pm
Studio Theatre at Rose Wagner
355-ARTS or

Actors Tobin Atkinson, Doug Fabrizio, Jay Perry and
Teresa Sanderson
Foley Artists Jennifer Freed
and Sam Mollner
Live, original music by
Dave Evanoff
Sound design by Cory Thorell
Directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff
Adapted by Matthew Ivan Bennett from Mary Shelley’s horror classic

This article was originally published on September 30, 2008.