Frankenstein Reaches Through the Radio
Mercyhurst Prep recreates Mary Shelley classic through the airwaves
To say Victor Frankenstein erred in his approach to creating life is a gross understatement — his experiments gave birth to a creature so hideous, so reviled, and so infamous that the general population tends to forget the original artist. Just something to think about if you're thinking about specializing in the medium of reanimated corpse parts.
In contrast, Mercyhurst Preparatory School Performing Arts chair Art Martone has much better materials to work with for his version of Frankenstein — perfectly intact, living, breathing, and vibrant high school students interpreting absolutely timeless source material. Initially published anonymously in 1818, this Mary Shelley novel about the steep price of playing god refuses to die, maintaining a freakish grip on our imaginations.
It's one thing to watch horror unfold; it's another to envision it. But during the Golden Age of Radio Drama, which stretched from the early 1930s to the late 1950s, it was commonplace. Utilizing nothing more than moody music, inventive sound effects, and compelling narration and dialogue, the best radio plays accomplished a whole lot with very little. During the years of the Great Depression and World War II, this was economical escapism at its finest.
Harkening back to that bygone era, Mercyhurst Prep students will resourcefully recreate the Shelley tale with just a handful of vintage microphones, a carefully curated selection of auditory props, and their own dramatic wits and talents. Carefully following the cues of playwright Philip Grecian's radio adaptation, the Lakers will offer three broadcasts in this unique format from Oct. 29 through 31. Registration is free.
Don't choke this rare opportunity away.
Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday (Halloween) at 8 p.m. // Livestreamed online // mpslakers.com/frankenstein
Directed by: Art Martone // Written by: Philip Grecian, based on the novel by Mary Shelley // Starring the voices of: Benjamin Kucharski, Alexander Wojcik, Sable Vidas, Ellie Welsh, Amanda Brown , Dylan Vergotz, Gianna Dobrich, Ava Gardner, Conor Amendola, John Boland, Robert Mailliard, Marni Bongiovanni, and Shelby Porter // Sound effects: Alexa Kirschner, Sean Martin, Molly Sawdey, Grace Talbot, Magdalene Gallagher, Rachel Ahrens