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Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater presents: Word for Word & Tobias Wolff’s ‘Firelight’ – on Zoom


Regular contributor and critic at large Peter Robinson explores how My Fair Lady turned Shaw’s Pygmalion into a fine musical.


This week on Open Air, KALW’s live radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, we raise the virtual curtain for the first installment of Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater. Featuring this week is theater company Word for Word; renowned for bringing short stories from the page to the stage, fully theatricalized; and their reading - on Zoom - of Tobias Wolff's story, Firelight

Tobias Wolff (pic 1) is one of Word for Word's favorite writers: the company performed his short stories as early as 2002; and most recently in 2018 at the company’s 25th Anniversary show. Set in the Pacific Northwest, where Wolff grew up, Firelight is about a young boy and his single mother who are spending the afternoon viewing apartments on a chilly day in Seattle, Washington. 

Tobias Wolff is by many considered a master of the short story. In his writing he shows a sharp-edged sense of humor and a moral awareness that illustrate the foibles of humanity. His work, both autobiographical and fictional, deals with moral dilemmas. Word for Word shares with Wolff a belief in "the exuberant unencumbered power of short stories to clarify our sense of reality." 

Word for Word premiered Firelight in 2008 (pic 2 & 3), with several of the original cast members part of this Corona Radio Theater production. This week’s performers are Molly Benson, Paul Finocchiaro, Stephanie Hunt, Anthony Nemirovsky, and JoAnne Winter. Director is Joel Mullennix.

Open Air, with host David Latulippe will be broadcast live on Thursday, April 30, 2020 at 1pm. Listen at this location anytime afterwards…

(Unfortunately, due to restrictions on broadcast rights, we are unable to post the audio for our new segment "Corona Radio Theater.")

Open Air’s Corona Radio Theater continues with SF Playhouse on May 7 and The Marsh Presents on May 14.