WKMS to Air Three Alfred Hitchcock Radio Plays October 29
Radio plays might seem like relics from the past, but director Wayne Hogue argues their accessibility and inclusivity earn them a rightful spot in the present day. Hogue speaks to Tracy Ross about the Murray State theatre department's upcoming performance of Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play.
The MSU theatre department will present Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play, written by Joe Landry, live on-air on Friday, October 29th at 7 pm. The cast includes Olivia Beach, Davin Belt, Logan Holt, Alex Johnson, Grace Moberly, Tessa Northcutt, MacKenzie Slack, Sam Treece, and Sebastian Winter.
Hogue says that he came up with the idea for a Hitchcock radio play after COVID-19 took away his opportunity to be the first student in Murray State history to direct the main stage musical. In his unexpected free time, Hogue researched radio plays and came across Vintage Hitchcock and Journey to the Center of the Earth.
"I've always loved Hitchcock," Hogue says. "My grandfather and I would watch them as I was growing up. So, when I found this one, it immediately called my name."
Hogue says he enjoyed both radio play options. But "ultimately, looking at what we can pull from our department—the sound effects, the cast, and crew we could pull off—we decided Hitchcock would be the best situation. Not only that, this one has three stories in it: "The Lodger," "Sabotage," and "39 Steps.""
He explains that, though three distinct acts, the stories are linked together via the narrator. "He's the Alfred Hitchcock of the show," Hogue says. "It's almost as if he's there narrating each story as it goes on. It feels like it flows all together as one story. Then, there are a couple of fun, old-timey commercials throughout with some singing and things like that."
Hogue says the thing he loved most about casting the radio play was its accessibility and inclusivity. "I hate so much that people who are so incredibly talented can't play a role that they don't typically look like. They don't look like this character."
"But with radio plays," Hogue continues, "you can look however you look as long as you can sound like the thing you're trying to sound like. You don't have a body type; you don't have a color of your skin. You get to play whoever you want to play. That was really fun with me and casting because I got to go in and do some blind casting, which was great."
Hogue hopes radio plays will continue at Murray State, despite lenient COVID-19 protocols allowing in-person shows again. "COVID brought so much to light in theatre—things that we didn't know we could do. It made us realize this is the only thing we have right now. Just because we can do live theatre now doesn't mean we should ever give up on a radio play."
"This is something that is going to blow your socks off, literally. Especially in "39 Steps," when there are massive bomb effects going off. It's just something that is so incredible. You can't miss it. Hitchcock is timeless, and we keep that true in our department," Hogue concludes.
Listen to Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play this Friday, October 29th, at 7 pm on-air at 91.3 Murray, 90.9 Madisonville/Owensboro, 89.5 Martin/Union City, or streaming online at WKMS.org. You can also ask your smart speaker to "play WKMS."