EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


May 22, 2014

A decade of drama

Old-Time Radio Players' show marks 10th anniversary

To celebrate its 10th anniversary, the Seabrook Old-Time Radio Players will re-create the greatest hits of the bygone Golden Age of Radio.

The primarily comedic show, which will be presented twice on Wednesday at the Seabrook Library, will feature a first act composed of sketches and radio scenes that troupe director Don Bagley describe as “a celebration of our actors and some of the old shows themselves.”

Anticipation is part of the second act, which is being kept secret until opening night. The group has offered only a few clues, hinting that it will feature an “iconic radio character” who is a “crime fighter.”

Bagley reveals one additional tidbit: The secret crime fighter has “the power to cloud men’s minds.”

The Radio Players is a troupe of about one dozen amateur and professional actors. They perform live without scripts, wearing costumes and standing before a set of microphones in the style of a classic radio show.

The group began in 2004 with librarian Maureen Cullen, who wanted to create a space for members of the public to read movie scripts together, according to fellow librarian and Radio Players member Anne Ferreira.

When Cullen realized that two-hour scripts were too long for a mostly elderly audience, Ferreira remembered her enjoyment of old-time radio shows during car trips and suggested a change.

The group started small, with fewer than 10 members sitting together in the library. But it wasn’t long before they realized they had more than just a social outlet, according to Bagley, who joined the group soon after its creation.

“After three months, being an actor, I said, ‘Why don’t we do these onstage? Let’s do them for the public,’” Bagley said. “There was a lot of, ‘We can’t do that, we’ve never done that before!’ I said, ‘Don’t worry about it, it’s easy.’

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