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New version of old QP

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Posted Aug 11, 2009 - 8:58 PM:

Some Middlebury College radio drama club members have graduated and started their own audio drama project. The inaugural production is a version of QP's "The Man Who Stole a Planet," using the uncut script (so there's material not heard in the original broadcast). Here's a link:


Or you can download the mp3 file directly from this link:

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Posted Aug 14, 2009 - 9:53 PM:

Meanwhile, in Australia, there's a monthly performance of vintage radio plays at Leura House, built in the 1880s. Among other things, they've done "Be a Good Dog, Darling" and an episode of Whitehall 1212. Here's a poster of their next show:


And part of an article about it:

Plays of yester-year to open near Blacktown
14/08/2009 11:57:00 AM
TWO radio plays that will transport you back to between 1919 and 1945 will be staged in Leura at the end of this month.

They are an adventure story called Whence Came You and a detective story, Boston Blackie's story: The TV Poisoning.

Blue Mountains Radio Players is staging the two plays at Leura House, 7 Britain Street from 2.30pm on Sunday August 30.

The first play is a Wyllis Cooper's tale of Egypt, about excavations, sarcophagus, mummies, Egyptian gods and a mysterious beautiful woman who lures the hero Austin.

The audience will feel as if there are aromatic spices used in burial rites wafting around when Austin, the archaeologist and Abe the newspaper man appear.

Director Juliette Frederick said the excavation and the unearthing of a 2000 year-old powerful god would make this an eerie, suspenseful story.

Cast members are Austin: David Cox, site manager: Martin Weaver and Jim Mills, newspaper man: Bryan King and mystery woman: Murray Wilson. ...

Admission: $12 per person include two plays and Devonshire tea. For booking call 4784 2035.
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Posted Oct 04, 2009 - 9:25 PM:

1. The Middlebury Radio drama club posted their version of the lost QP episode "Meeting at Ticonderoga" on their blog:


Or you can download a 23 MB file of it directly from this link:


I think this is the first time I can remember that anyone has tried to recreate this particular script. The Scots brogues are a wee bit thick so ye may want to consult the script as ye listen.

2. Meanwhile in Australia, the Blue Mountains Radio Players were scheduled to do "The Other Side of the Stars" on September 27.

3. And here's an item about a stage show that's coming up next month in Connecticut:

Friday, November 20 at 8 p.m., Saturday, November 21 at 3 p.m. & 8 p.m., Quick Center for the Arts - Wien Experimental Theatre

Live Radio Dramas presents "Lights Out." Frank Jacoby directs radio's premier horror series created by writer/director Wyllis Cooper. Debuting in 1934, it was one of the first radio shows that used sound effects to stimulate the imagination of radio listeners. [sic] Jacoby directed the very first televised "Lights Out" in 1951. [sic] Tickets are $25.

Source: http://www.fairfield.edu/arts/arts_news.html?id=2490

Edited by MS on Oct 04, 2009 - 9:28 PM
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Posted Oct 04, 2009 - 9:27 PM:

Two Lights Out plays, Cooper's "Death Robbery" and Oboler's "Sub-Basement," are scheduled to be staged in Connecticut this weekend:

'Lights Out' comes to Quick Center
CLASSIC RADIO revived at Quick
By Scott Gargan
Updated: 11/18/2009 01:34:09 PM EST

Frank Jacoby doesn't need gore and graphic violence to tell a scary story -- all he requires is his own voice, a microphone and a collection of props to recreate the sinister sounds of monsters and murder.

"It's very simple," said Jacoby, who starred on "Lights Out," radio's premier horror series during the 1930s and '40s. "When you watch a film, you don't need your imagination, because the director shows you everything. With radio, your imagination fills in all these gaps."

Jacoby, a Weston resident, will revive the classic series when he directs a live performance of "Lights Out" at Fairfield University's Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts this weekend.

The performances will be "very authentic," Jacoby said, with "sets resembling an old radio station." The production will feature an organist and sound effects man, a control room for the director and engineer and live voice actors, including Keir Dullea, best known as the star of "2001: A Space Odyssey"; his wife and Broadway actress, Mia Dillon; and Jacoby's wife, radio and television actress Doris Storm.

The performances, part of Fairfield University's popular Live Radio Dramas series, will feature two classic programs. "Death Robbery," the chilling 1934 premiere of "Lights Out," tells the story of a scientist (originally played by British actor and "Frankenstein" star Boris Karloff) who believes he has discovered how to bring his dead wife back to life. The next program is "Sub-Basement," a creepy tale about a homicidal man and his terrified wife, who find themselves stuck in the sub-basement of a large department store with a huge monster.

Storm, known for her role as television's Con Edison girl, will also voice several commercials from the original broadcast. They include ads for Schick's Injector Razor and Ironized Yeast Tablets, which promised "pep, youth, vigor and sex appeal," Storm said.

Having been on the radio for much of her career as well as hundreds of commercials, Storm said "it feels very comfortable" to be on stage. "(Frank and I) get in front of the mic and we're taking it back 50 or 60 years," said Storm, who founded Jacoby/Storm Productions, a Manhattan-based media company, with her husband in 1965. "It was so much a part of our lives. For us, working in front of a microphone is just as comfortable as reading the evening newspaper."

Storm, Dullea and Dillon will be joined by a cast of veteran actors and musicians, including Chilton Ryan and Sean Hannon, both of Weston; Kate Katcher of Newtown; organist Joseph Utterback; and sound effects specialist Bart Curtis, from Pine City, N.Y.

Jacoby recalled his time on "Lights Out" fondly and relished the various methods used to frighten his audience. A sound of a crushed hand would be simulated by squashing a lemon with a hammer on an anvil; broken fingers and bones by snapping pencils and spareribs; and an eye being gouged out by dropping a raw egg on a plate. An organist, meanwhile, would ad lib melodies to fit the mood of the scene.

"The director doesn't say, 'let's see what the set looks like,' " said Jacoby, 84. "It's up to the directors and actors to say enough to fill in all these empty holes."

However, because of its enduring success, "Lights Out" was adapted to the screen in 1949, when it became an NBC television series. Sound effects were replaced by elaborate sets, an expanded production team and a cast of Hollywood stars, including Grace Kelly, for whom it was her first on-screen role. Jacoby also had the opportunity to direct, an experience he described as "a gas!"

Still, radio will always hold the biggest place in Jacoby's heart. The Fairfield University performance will be the first time he revives "Lights Out" and he's hoping, as he did some 70 years ago, to horrify his audience.
"In radio, you would think and feel in your mind what scares you most," Jacoby said. "You are the director."

Live Radio Dramas' "Lights Out" will be performed Friday, 8 p.m. and Saturday, 3 and 8 p.m. at Fairfield University's Quick Center, 1073 N. Benson Road. Tickets $25. Call 203-254-4010 or 877-ARTS-396 or e-mail boxoffice@quickcenter.com.

Source: http://www.connpost.com/entertainment/ci_13808931

Edited by MS on Nov 20, 2009 - 10:26 PM
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Posted Jun 25, 2010 - 9:43 PM:

This isn't a new version of an old QP, but QP was an influence on this episode of Icebox Radio Theatre called "The Thing on the Ice" which recently won an Ogle Award. Here's the Icebox press release:


"Icebox Radio Theater wins International Audio Award"

The Icebox Radio Theater of International Falls has been awarded the Silver Ogle Award for excellence in fantasy or horror audio for it's 2009 production of 'The Thing on the Ice.'

"We're thrilled to be honored again," IBRT artistic director, and writer-director of 'The Thing on the Ice' Jeff Adams said recently. "The level of quality in audio production has gone up so much in the five years since we won a Mark Time, this really feels like an achievement. The bar is definitely getting higher."

The IBRT won a Mark Time Award for science fiction audio in 2005 for 'Snowbank'. The Ogle, awarded each year by the American Society For Science Fiction Audio, is given for the best magical "high" fantasy, sword and sorcery, horror, modern urban fantasy, and other things that don't fall under the criteria of Science Fiction.

'The Thing on the Ice' is an intensely personal story of an ice fisherman who encounters super-natural forces during a vicious storm on Rainy Lake in Northern Minnesota. The play featured sound effects and a brief acting performance by IBRT Sound Effects Director Dave Erwin of Fort Frances, Ontario. Erwin and Adams will travel together to pick up the award at CONvergence, a science fiction and fantasy convention held July 1-4 in Minneapolis.

Listen Here

The play's author wrote about the QP influence in a 02-06-2009 post at http://www.audiodramatalk.com -- here's an excerpt:

Little background, I wrote Thing on the Ice this fall after discovering Quiet Please. Up until then, I was not aware that Wyllis Cooper had done anything more than create Lights Out and hand the reins over to Arch Obler.

Anyway, in doing research into Quiet Please, I read that Cooper's style was much more narrative. He liked having a narrator carry the load, as opposed to dialog between multiple characters. Not that there wasn't dialog, but the principle engine of his plays was narration.

At the same time, I was reading a bio of Orson Welles wherein HIS philosophy of radio was discussed. Orson felt that radio was a literary, more than a dramatic art form. By the time he started the Mercury Theatre, he had already done a ton of radio (including The Shadow) and had a clear idea what he wanted to do. That's why the first Mercury Production, Dracula, differs so much from the well-known movies and plays of the title. Welles' actually produced the book.

Anyway, under all these influences, I thought I'd try my hand.

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Posted Mar 10, 2011 - 9:38 PM:

According to the Daily Freeman-Journal, a theater in Webster City, IA will be performing two of Cooper's "Lights Out" plays this weekend:

Reader’s Theatre to be held Sunday
March 10, 2011

The Webster City Community Theatre Reader's Theatre will be reading three radio plays at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Two of the radio plays are classic Lights Out Scripts; "Slurp Goes the Amoeba" a cautionary tale of science (comparable to a radio version of the Blob), and "Reunion After Death" a ghost story romance. The third radio script will be an original adaptation of "Tell Tale Heart" called "Take a Deep Breath."

The reading will be directed by Larry Blankenship.

Bring a snack to share if you like and join the fun.

If you are interested in plays, but don't have the time to commit to rehearsals for a production, or you don't like to memorize lines, or you just like reading plays, this is another alternative.

If you have any questions or suggestions for future Reader's Theatres plays, contact Reader's Theatre director Sue Heerema at 832-6515.
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Posted Oct 30, 2013 - 10:22 PM:

A new version of QP's "Take Me Out to the Graveyard" produced by a "podcast that focuses on the life of professional actors" called "The Inexplicable Dumb Show":


The same folks also took a whack at Robert Sheckley's "Protection" from "X Minus One":

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Posted Apr 22, 2014 - 5:37 PM:

1. According to a November post at http://www.johnnyvillar.com/johnnys-journal , youthful autodidactic Renaissance man Johnny Villar reports that in August 2013 "at the NDNU Theatre Festival, I directed a live old-time radio drama entitled Pavane, written by Wyllis Cooper, taken from the brilliant horror-fantasy series Quiet, Please, my favorite old-time radio series of all time" -- and includes two photos:



2. An April 13, 2014 post at nomoreradio.com includes a recorded performance of one of Cooper's "Lights Out" scripts:


"In this episode, we recreate the Lights Out episode “The Locked Room Mystery” by Willis Cooper, an eerie murder-mystery in which an apparently alcoholic murder-mystery writer, struggling to meet a deadline, receives creative advice from a mysterious stranger. But at what cost?

This episode features Tessa Brown as Sam, Dan Derkson as Kerrigan, George Mouggias as Taylor, and Jason McCullough as Stewart. Direction and Sound Effects by Shayne Gryn. Produced by Paul Aflalo.

Recorded live at Mainline Theatre on April 1st 2014.

The original version broadcast October 23rd 1935."

I can't remember if anyone has attempted this particular script before. On the same page, there's yet another version of Robert Sheckley's "Protection" from "X Minus One."

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Posted Apr 28, 2014 - 12:57 AM:

Youthful autodidactic Renaissance man Johnny Villar forgot to mention how modest he is. sticking out tongue He has excellent taste though, Pavane would make my top 5 for sure.

Cooper really liked those writer-struggling-to-meet-a-deadline plots (Bring Me to Life, Rain on New Year's Eve).
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Posted Dec 21, 2014 - 7:27 PM:

A group in Pittsburgh, PA is planning to do a version of QP's "In the House Where I Was Born" in time for, appropriately enough, Memorial Day:


Under "Resources" on that page, you can find a draft of their script, which is updated a bit to include mention of wars since the original broadcast.
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