This spring, the group will revive radio drama in collaboration with LIU Post’s community public radio station WCWP (88.1FM). And in July, the group will present the period musical The 1940s Radio Hour at the Landmark on Main Street.
From March-May, WCWP and Play Troupe will produce a three-part series of radio dramas, with songs from the period, in front of studio audiences at LIU Post’s Hillwood Recital Hall (at the Tilles Center at LIU Post), 720 Northern Blvd., Brookville.
The first radio play was broadcast March 14. It was The Maltese Falcon, featuring the original radio script from 1943 with the addition of songs like “Sentimental Journey,” “You Made Me Love You” and “I’ll Never Smile Again.” The Thin Man will follows on April 25, and the series will conclude with Casablanca on May 23.
During July 18-20 and 25-27 at the Landmark on Main Street, Play Troupe will present The 1940s Radio Hour, a musical that combines the decade’s most popular songs (including “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” “That Old Black Magic,” and “I’ll Be Seeing You”) with the behind-the-scenes antics at a small, run-down radio station with no shortage of colorful characters.
This year marks an important 100-year anniversary in local radio history. In 1914, at the dawn of World War I, Allied ships severed Germany’s trans-Atlantic cables, cutting off communications beyond Europe. For three years, the Germans did their best to fill the gap by broadcasting from a station they’d installed in Sayville. The U.S. eventually seized this station in 1917 upon joining the war, and America’s radio dominance then spread around the world.
Play Troupe President Pam Meadows said serendipity brought the season together. “We were considering The 1940s Radio Hour for next summer when we learned about the anniversary,” she said. “And when the director of broadcasting and station manager for WCWP, Dan Cox, called up and invited us to put on some vintage radio dramas, we knew it was fate.”
The $10 studio audience tickets for dramas are available through wcwp.org and www.portwashingtonplaytroupe.com. Visit www.portwashingtonplaytroupe.com for more information.