From stage to airwaves: a live radio drama

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The Liberty Theatre in La Grande is still undergoing renovations, but that isn’t stopping the Liberty Theatre Foundation from hosting events in its Stage Door Theater. “What Probably Didn’t Happen to Columbus”, a radio drama, is one such event.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 11.32.02 AMThe performance will be presented in true radio-drama fashion in front of a live studio audience.

Liberty Theatre Foundation Executive Director Kelly Ducote said the show will incorporate cue cards for the audience.

“We’ll let the audience know when they need to laugh and that sort of thing,” Ducote said. “It should be interactive and fun.”

The performance — and the audience’s reactions — will be broadcast on 1450 AM so people can listen at home.

“One of our main purposes is to relive the ages of radio dramas, when this was what people did for entertainment,” board member Steve Hendrix said.

Hendrix, who has broadcast experience, wrote the script for “What Probably didn’t Happen to Columbus”.

“It’s a parody of Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to America,” Hendrix said. “Every event in the script actually happened, but not quite the way we have it happening.”

Ducote said Hendrix had approached her with the script, which he had previously written for his own experience.

“All the actors are local,” Hendrix said. “Many of them performed at the Elgin Opera House in ‘My Fair Lady’.”

The production is the result of a partnership with KLBM SuperTalk.

“I’m excited about the radio drama,” Ducote said. “We want people to embrace it.”

Ducote said the Liberty Theatre Foundation would like to hold more radio dramas over time.

The show begins at 6:45 p.m. May 19 in the Stage Door Theater of the Liberty Theatre, 1010 Adams Ave., La Grande.The theater can be accessed from the alley. The $5 tickets, of which there were only 30 for sale, benefit the foundation so it can continue programming.

Shows like this are only a “taste of what’s to come,” Ducote said in a press release announcing the radio drama performance.

The Stage Door Theater

The Liberty Theatre closed its doors in 1959, and it was converted into retail space in 1962. The Liberty Theatre Foundation is currently working to replicate the theatre’s original features and restore the venue space.

The original Stage Door Theater had collapsed during demolition in the restoration process, according to Ducote.

The area was recently restored, providing a small space perfect for intimate performances.

— Emily Adair

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