"Live Radio Dramas" are back onstage at the Quick Center for the Arts - "Swashbuckling Heroes"


Actors return to their mics on the 1940s radio studio set at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts' Wien Experimental Theatre for "Live Radio Dramas." The next installment features the dynamism of "Swashbuckling Heroes," on Friday, Jan. 18 at 8 p.m. and Saturday, Jan. 19 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.

The popular "radio" series continues to tease the imagination with radio heroes who were fighting tough guys and those who proved they were good role models by always using proper grammar; those who rode horses, flew under their own power or used more conventional means of transportation. The heroes were, without exception, consistently fearless in the face of danger and ready to battle sinister villains every week.

The evening's fare includes an episode of "The Lone Ranger," where the masked man and his companion Tonto test their wits and where gunshots and the sound of hoofbeats reign.

In an unusual twist on real-life espionage, "Swashbuckling Heroes" includes an episode that portrays Superman battling the Ku Klux Klan. The show's writing team created a very realistic series of episodes known as "Clan of the Fiery Cross" that effectively stripped away the Klan's mystique. With the shadowy help of human rights activist Stetson Kennedy who infiltrated the Klan and provided the "Superman" writers with secret information and code words, the writers did such a successful job of trivializing the Klan's rituals and code words, that airing the shows reportedly induced Klan leaders to denounce the show and call for a boycott of "Superman" sponsor, Kellogg's products. The implications of the Klan's response to the wildly popular show is interpreted to mean that the shows in this series may have had a negative impact on Klan recruiting and membership.

Also included in the evening are selectively chosen and less well known - yet equally death-defying - adventures from the past.

"Live Radio Dramas" incorporates the reality of the old time radio studio, complete with actors who turn out programs filled with snappy dialogue, live sound effects and off-mic dramas involving actors waiting for a cue. As is the custom, a live string quartet and characteristic melodramatic organ playing accompany each dramatized program.

"Live Radio Dramas" returns March 14 and 15 to close the season with a radio adaptation of William Shakespeare's "Richard II." The play exposes weakness of character, raw ambition and the lengths to which King Richard's heirs and enemies will go to achieve their goals, and all in the language of the master.

Tickets are $20 and are available online at www.quickcenter.com or by calling the Box Office at (203) 254-4010. The toll free number to call is 1-877-ARTS-396. For more information, please visit the website at www.quickcenter.com.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 2, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 138