Play-in-progress takes a comedic look at mid-century radio broadcasting – Nanaimo News Bulletin


A play that started out as an improv comedy is almost done, and its writer is bringing it to Nanaimo for some finishing touches.

“I think he’ll be ready for production after that,” Victoria playwright Kirsten Van Ritzen said. “And so what I’m looking to see is that the audience is engaged in the story?” Are they laughing where I think it’s funny? I think there is romance, is romance connected? “

Radioland ’48 follows a quartet of broadcasters trying to save their radio station from closure.

“The older couple are very similar to Hepburn, Bogart, very lively. She’s a very eye-catching lady, ”said Van Ritzen. “And then there is the young ingenuous couple who are very naive.”

It presents a radio play with wacky sound effects and pokes fun at the values ​​and social attitudes of the 1940s. Van Ritzen first created Radioland 48 as a long-running improvised series with a story that continued over the 10 months it performed at the Second City Theater in Toronto.

“Several years later, I got the idea to write a 10-minute piece inspired by this series of improvisations,” she said. “And then from there it expanded to a 30-minute play and from there to a 50-minute play. I just found it to be a really fun world to experience.

On February 11, a staged reading of the play will take place in the lobby of the Port Theater as part of TheatreOne’s Emerging Voices series. The last time Van Ritzen was on stage in Nanaimo, it was as part of the Black stones and bathtubs musical review to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

Until there Radioland 48 has been read in Victoria and Calgary. Reading Nanaimo will be the first time Van Ritzen hears the latest version of the script, with a revised radio play segment. She said the most important thing she would watch out for is “where the laughs come from”.

“It will definitely be a challenge for the actors because they really only have one day to rehearse, so the challenge is there for them,” she said. “It won’t be a neat performance… and yet she should be able to hold up. If my writing is strong enough, it will always attract an audience. “

WHAT’S NEW… TheatreOne presents a staged reading of Radioland 48 by Kirsten Van Ritzen in the Port Theater Lobby, 125 Front St., February 11 at 7:30 p.m.

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