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Corona Radio Theater: SBMT & ‘Dracula’ - ‘Lysistrata’ @ Pear - Letters to a Daughter from Prison

This week on Open Air, KALW’s radio magazine for the Bay Area Performing Arts in Times of Corona, host David Latulippe welcomes to the Virtual Stage of our Corona Radio Theater, members from the South Bay Musical Theater (SBMT) who will be performing a selection from the radio play Dracula by Orson Welles (pic 1).  Also, conversations about the filmed production of Aristophanes' Lysistrata at the Pear Theatre; and about the virtual presentation of Letters to a Daughter from Prison, by EnActe Arts. 

Actor and (then) future filmmaker Orson Welles adapted Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula for the American radio drama anthology series The Mercury Theatre on the Air. It was first performed on Monday, July 11, 1938, and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network. 

Performing an extended excerpt from Welles’ Dracula are actors and active SBMT members Michael Paul Hirsch (Jonathan Harker); Jay Steele (Dracula); Barbara Heninger (Van Helsing); Jenni Chapman (Lucy Westerna); and Sara Dean (Arthur Seward). 

Meanwhile, a full version of Dracula, written by Stephen Wathen, is in rehearsals right now at SBMT and will be performed for the community on October 30 at 8pm and 31 at 7pm. Free tickets and more information are here.

From the Pear Theatre in Mountain View, we talk with director Betsy Kruse Craig and title-role actor Cynthia Lagodzinski (pic 3) about the production of Lysistrata, the classic Greek comedy written by Aristophanes, about women enacting a sex strike to convince their husbands to end war. The play will be filmed live, outdoors, with an eight-woman cast and presented digitally October 16 through November 8. 

While many of the play's themes have remained as relevant as they were in Aristophanes' time, Pear Theatre will also take the opportunity to explore the breadth of what gender means today in this production. Lysistrata uncovers the power of sex, the personal sacrifices some will make for the sake of peace, and the hilarity that can come from it all. What would you do — or not do — for peace in our time?

Plus, we talk about the virtual adaptation of Letters to a Daughter from Prison, a play by Lavonne Mueller based on the letters between Jawaharlal Nehru and his adolescent daughter Indira, written between 1930 and 1942, before he became India’s first Prime Minister, presented by Bay Area based EnActe Arts. We talk with founder, artistic director, and actor Vinita Sud Belani. 

Open Air with host David Latulippe, heard live on Thursday, October 22 at 1pm, and archived thereafter at this very location. Listen now or anytime…