‘Frankenstein-the Radio Play’

Live theater typically features actors who memorize the dialogue in a play and then use their interpretation to create the characters featured in the story. A Radio Play usually features a group of actors who read a script using their voices to create the characters in the story. As an added bonus, the actors (announcers of days gone by) also use various devices to create the sound effects that help bring the story to life.

‘Frankenstein—The Radio Play,’ which opens Friday, Sept. 9 at The Rose Theater is exactly like the Radio Play described above except for one thing, Leif Phillips. Leif is making his theatrical debut as a director at The Rose when ‘Frankenstein’ opens for a three-show run. Leif decided to challenge his cast members to do more than just read their part of the script or contribute to the sound effects team by turning the wheel on a wind machine or making the sounds of footsteps crossing a creaky floor. Phillips insisted that each actor play the part of real radio announcer from the ‘30s-’40’s.

“First, I believe that theater needs to be entertaining; however, I think it also needs to be authentic,” said Director Phillips. “I know the actors will read their lines correctly and I suspect that the audience will use its imagination to increase the impact of the story. I want to give them something extra and that’s a peek at what those professional entertainers would have looked like back then.”

The entire cast of Frankenstein will be dressed in the fashions of the golden age of radio, when the likes of Abbott and Costello, Orson Welles and the Mercury Theater on the Air thrilled audiences every week with productions ranging from comedies to spell-binding mysteries. Frank Wilder heads the twelve-person cast as Victor Frankenstein, and David Nordan plays the Creature.

Phillips has logged many hours on-stage at The Rose in numerous productions, including the role of Peter in ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe’ and Willard in ‘Footloose.’ His involvement in theater is not limited to the stage as he enjoys working with other directors in designing and constructing the sets for the different plays. While he is still settling on the exact career he wants to pursue, he is confident that it will be theater-related, either as an actor or perhaps a drama teacher. He is a theater major at Gordon State College and owner of Little Door Performing Arts. Leif is the son of Kim Phillips and has one younger sister.

‘Frankenstein—The Radio Play’ is by Philip Grecian and is based on his stage play and on the novel by Mary Wollstencraft Shelley. The Backlot Players will present ‘Frankenstein’ on Sept. 9 & 10 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 11 at 2:30 p.m. at The Rose Theater, 23 W. Johnston Street, Forsyth. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, students and active military. Box Office is open two hours prior to show time. For information, call 478-994-0443 or visit www.thebacklotplayers.org.

Arsenic and Old Lace Coming to The Rose in October!

Get ready to laugh, laugh, laugh. ‘Arsenic and Old Lace’ by Joseph Kesserling is set to premier Oct. 7 at The Rose. This farcical comedy introduces you to the Brewster sisters and their zany, maniacal family. Can you imagine two sweet spinster aunts who populate their cellar with the remains of socially and religiously “acceptable” roomers, a nephew who thinks he is Teddy Roosevelt, another nephew who is a diabolical murderer and a third nephew who is in the midst of planning his wedding to a minister’s daughter. You don’t have to use too much imagination as this play with all its humor unfolds quickly on stage.

The cast of ‘Arsenic’ features actors from six central Georgia counties. Some of them are making their debut at The Rose. Kristy Calhoun and Joy Smith are directing the play. Mark your calendars now for a fun evening or afternoon of entertainment between Oct. 7 and 16.