'Hitchcock: A Live Radio Show'

StageWorks Theatre actors and sound-effect whizzes (left) stage ‘Vintage Hitchcock: a Live Radio Show’ at the Jewell Boxx theater in downtown Culpeper.

Windmore Foundation for the Arts’ StageWorks Theatre group held its opening of “Vintage Hitchcock: a Live Radio Show” by Joe Landry last weekend.

A team of seven actors and two sound-effects ladies led by Director David Schubert turned Main Street’s Jewell Boxx theater into a 1950s radio station on Aug. 15-16.

Without missing a beat, they presented three of Alfred Hitchcock’s earliest suspense movies: “The Lodger,” “Sabotage” and “The 39 Steps.”

The sound team, Ellen Wilson and Judy Sheridan, reproduced hundreds of effects, gathering noisemakers from attics, tool boxes and their own household.

On key, they sounded the chimes of Big Ben, created thunder, gunshots, explosions, squeaky doors and so much more. They also played all the music needed to highlight a tense moment or transition from one scene to another. All of these effects were coordinated with the actors’ storytelling.

The seven actors changed their voices and delivery in order to play the 63 different characters.

Highlights include Tim Carlson as Mr. Memory; Alyssa Reck as a young girl being stalked by a killer; Marilyn Davis acting as an mysterious agent for hire, Jon Quandt playing the role of a man wrongfully accused of murder; Andrea Dyer as a woman on a train who ends up running for her life; Lou Torres portraying a movie-theater operator secretly involved in sabotage; and Wyatt Clatterbrough as an innocent lad making a deadly delivery.

At times, the actors played three or four characters in the same scenario.

The audience responded to the dramatic story and laughed at the displays of Alfred Hitchcock’s humor. The “commercial breaks” were not-so -subtle reminders of other Hitchcock movies.

Special thanks to Brandon Alexander for his lighting expertise and to Tim and Johncie Carlson, who supplied rehearsal space in their Studio C Photography store.

If you missed the performances last weekend, you can still buy tickets to the play, which is being performed at Madison County’s Prince Michel Winery, in its Barrel Room.

The Saturday play is sold out, but tickets are still available for the Sunday, Aug. 25, show at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $15 and can be purchased at windmorefoundation.org.

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Fran Cecere is president of The Windmore Foundation for the Arts.

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