Horror and Laughter on the Airwaves: LBCC Theater Department hosts 1930s-style radio show at the Russell Tripp Theater
What: “Scarewaves,” a production based on a 1930s radio broadcast.
Where: LBCC’s Russell Trip Theater
Writer/Director, also President of the Board for The Midsummer Arts Festival- Michael Winder
Proceeds from “Scarewaves” go to The Midsummer Arts Festival, which will be held in downtown Albany this summer.
As dark clouds rolled over Albany, on Friday the 13th, around 50 community members gathered inside the Russell Trip Theater at LBCC. Two scripts were recently discovered under the theater, and what their contents held were unveiled on this chilly dark Friday night.
The scripts — two plays under the title “Scarewaves” — written by playwright “Meridian Welch” contained a night of spooky comedy, and the chance for a cast to showcase their skills as voice actors.
“What made it fun for me was the ad-libbing that was going on,” said Harriet Owen-Nixon, an actress who played multiple roles in the show.
Meridian Welch is a pseudonym for the creator of the production. And the scripts? They weren’t unearthed from the catacombs of the Russell Trip Theater. The mysterious creator goes by the name of Michael Winder.
Winder, 42, is the writer and director of “Scarewaves.” The show is a collection of two plays that are based on 1930s radio shows, such as “War of the Worlds” by Orson Welles.
The first play centered around a naive young woman named Veronica White, played by Bernadette Bascon, who is roped into working as a nanny for a Frankenstein-like child. The child’s father turns out to be a mad scientist.
In the second play, an evil villain’s plot to control the mind of a city is thwarted by a ragtag group of crime fighters headed by the superhero Captain Steadfast, played by Scott Trout.
The cast of “Scarewaves,” seven strong, sat around a table laden with microphones. The production was backed up by live sound effects that gave the production an uncanny ability to set the scene — a dark mansion with thunder clapping in the distance, or a dimly lit corridor with creaking doors.
However ominous the sound effects were, they were used in conjunction with well-written jokes that made many onlookers double over in laughing fits.
“Both [plays] are excuses to just make jokes,” said Winder.
Winder, along with being a playwright, works at LBCC as the production coordinator for the Russell Tripp Theater. His role is to assist in booking and promoting events.
Other cast members involved in the production included: Dakota Cloud, David Parrish, and Andrew Beck.
Along with live sound effects and the feel of being in a radio studio at the time of a broadcast, the production was complemented with old-timey commercials that transported the audience back to simpler times.
“Peppy Zaps. It’s the cigarette your doctor recommends!”
“It was very fun, the sound effects were great,” said Frieda Flint, a community member attending the production.
Along with being the writer and director of “Scarewaves,” Winder is president of the board for the Midsummer Arts Festival, which will be held in downtown Albany this summer. All the proceeds from “Scarewaves” will go to the art festival.