LEOMINSTER – Stratton Players in collaboration with the Leominster Public Library launches its 99th season with a performance of “WCV: Radio For Your Eyes” on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. at the library on West Street.
The widely acclaimed mock-comedy radio show is in the spirit of “Prairie Home Companion” and “Nichols and May” but with twists including commercials, urgent news broadcasts, a table of sound effects, and songs and jingles.
The public is welcome to the free event being presented by the Fitchburg-based theater group.
“We wanted to begin our season by giving a free show to the community,” said Stratton Players Vice-Chair Nancy Lemont. “Stratton Players enjoys our multi-year collaboration with Leominster library and after last season’s successful staged reading of ‘Ice Glen,’ we thought theatre lovers would enjoy an original comedy.”
Area writers and Stratton Players members and actors Jeff Van Amburgh and Sally Cragin created “WCV,” which has been performed in numerous venues around New England since 2017.
“Both Jeff and I grew up listening to radio, every kind of show possible,” said Cragin, who wrote the production with Van Amburgh. “I remember staying up late with my ear pressed to a transistor radio listening to late night news on WBZ, the only signal that reached Lunenburg at that hour.”
“WCV” has been performed for standing room only audiences at venues including Slattery’s in Fitchburg and recent performances include benefits in North Central Massachusetts and at the Bacon Free Library in Natick.
“We have amused ourselves for years creating our version of both AM and FM radio staples,” Van Amburgh shared. “There are lots of commercials for fictional products and services, such as Bon-Opto which is ‘designed to protect the user from any responsibility as an adult’ and the Pepperoni Patch, which helps addicts reduce their craving for luncheon meat.”
Both Cragin and Van Amburgh utilize a variety of voices and props for this production, which older children and teens will also enjoy.
“We tell our audiences they can shut their eyes or turn their chairs around because this is a radio show – but they’ll miss half the fun,” Van Amburgh said.
Stratton Players thanks the Leominster Cultural Council for their support of the oldest community theatre in continuous operation. The group is currently raising funds to develop Lucy’s Barn, an 1885 carriage house adjacent to the Fitchburg Public Library, for a community performing arts center. For more information email email@example.com or visit strattonplayers.com.