The McCallie Middle School Ridge Radio Ensemble will transform the Black Box into a sound stage to turn up the volume on storytelling capers. The ensemble will present actual episodes from The Lone Ranger, Dick Tracy, and Popeye radio series from the 1930s and 1940s. The shows are directed by Middle School Theater Directors Jason Tinney and Holly Morse-Ellington.
“Our idea behind doing radio shows was to provide safe and flexible alternatives to traditional staged plays,” Mr. Tinney explained. “Radio shows allow us to explore two worlds. In one, the primary focus is on voice acting and sound effects to paint a picture that comes to life in our listeners’ imaginations.”
“And we also wanted to be able to convert a radio show into something visually entertaining for a live audience, if and when we could host live performances,” added Ms. Morse-Ellington. Several members of the cast will serve as Foley artists, who will create those sound effects. These reproduced sounds are named after sound-effects artist Jack Foley. “Thus, ‘Peel Back the Curtain.’ Audiences will see how our actors create the sound effects and mime the vocal action, such as riding a wild elephant that’s been spooked by a mouse!”
“They have to do more with less. Actors have a natural instinct to interact and play off of what the other actors are doing,” Mr. Tinney said. “Given our setup for social distancing on the stage, the microphone is a ‘cast member’ they have to act with as if it’s a character.”
Ms. Morse-Ellington added, “It’s really an advanced-level skill they’re embracing. We’re so impressed by the creative ways this cast has adapted to deliver a show.”
Shows are Nov. 5, 6 and 7 at 7 p.m. in the Black Box Theater. Admission is free for faculty and students; all others are $5. Click here to get student/faculty tickets and here for all other tickets. Tickets will not be sold or distributed at the door. Temperatures will be screened at entry and masks are required.
Check this link to listen to full episodes, interviews and more! Photos from the show are posted here.
Cast members are: