This December, the Limelight Theatre Company is excited to continue one of our favorite traditions. We will be performing not one, but two holiday classics as live radio plays. We have been performing radio plays for over a decade and many people have questions about what type of performance to expect when they come to see the show. This style of show allows us to tap into some vintage charm while showcasing engaging stories and talented performers.
The basic premise is that the actors you see on stage are “radio actors” who portray the characters in each story using their voice and facial expressions. It is similar to a staged reading where the actors have the scripts in front of them, for reference, but still deliver fully nuanced performances. They stand at podiums in front of microphones, rather than moving around on a set. They dress in costumes to represent each character. When an actor is playing more than one character, they will make slight changes to their appearance (in addition to altering their voice and physicality) to indicate the new persona. This can be as simple as removing glasses, switching coats, or donning a hat.
We also have a team of people called foley artists who create live sound effects right before your eyes. They are wizards who turn household objects like bubble wrap, cellophane, breakfast cereal, and shoes into roaring fires, footsteps in the snow, and dancing feet.
While these shows are not actually recorded or broadcast over the radio waves, audience members watching and listening to the show are transported to a time when the whole family would gather around the radio to catch their favorite program and go on the next grand adventure. The minimal staging suggests enough of the environment and tone to set a spark to fully realize the action in your imagination.
In addition to shows at the holidays, we also perform other radio plays throughout the year including mysteries, westerns, romantic comedies, B-movie sendups, and more. We hope that you will join us December 13-15 for performances of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and Limelight’s original adaptation of A Christmas Carol. Now that you know what to expect, we hope you will tune in and get your tickets for an upcoming show!