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Kiggins Theater hosts two classic radio dramas

For one night, Kiggins Theater was home to frightened masses, a mysterious conqueror, civil unrest and rebellion robots when the Re-Imagined Radio project put on two classic radio plays the night of Oct. 7. WSU Vancouver’s John Barber and the Willamette Radio Workshop, with direction by Sam A. Mowry, collaborated as part of the Re- Imagined Radio project.

The project produced two audio plays: “The Fall of the City” first performed in 1937, and “Rossum’s Universal Robots (R.U.R.)” which premiered in 1921.

“The end [of “Fall of the City”] was intense,” said Shane Sullivan, digital technology and culture student. Other students in attendance with Barber’s class compared notes diligently, searching to find ways to improve upon the live performance.

The focus of Barber and Mowry, they said, was to maintain the timeless quality of the both pieces, while building an immersive experience through digital sound and visual design. “Fall of the City” utilized digital audio designed by Marc Rose to build the atmospheric tension of the radio drama. “R.U.R.” used a combination of digital audio by Rose, and classic Foley effects by David Ian and Dino De Aelfweald to recreate realistic ambient sounds.

“It’s exciting to re-create them for our audience. It’s also an interesting challenge to combine two radio dramas into one. [Bringing together the parts of the piece] has been very rewarding,” said Barber.

Upcoming performances from Re-Imagined Radio include A Radio Christmas Carol on Dec. 16, Sorry, Wrong Number and The Hitchhiker in March of 2016, as well as Gunsmoke and The Shadow in May of next year. More information on the aforementioned events is available at radionouspace.net/index.php/re-imagined-radio.

You can also find out what is playing at the Kiggins Theater by visiting www.kigginstheatre.net. Previously recorded productions are available at www.radiowork.com/.

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