Radio theater heads to WRFR-LP

Mar 21, 2013
The cast of “The Stone House” will feature, from left, Wilder Oakes, Jen Blood and David Troup.

Rockland — WRFR-LP DJs Jo and Cheech and Barry Pretzel are teaming up with local mystery author Jen Blood to produce an original radio drama. The play is based on Blood’s short story “The Stone House.” Wilder Oakes, David Troup and the author herself will lend their voice talents to the play. They had their first read-through Feb. 16 at the radio station.

Blood of Cushing is a freelance writer and editor who holds a graduate degree in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. All three novels out thus far in her Maine-based Erin Solomon mystery series have been bestsellers on Amazon Kindle. “The Stone House” is a prequel to the series, originally published in last fall’s anthology benefiting Doctors Without Borders. The story features the series’ protagonists, Erin and Diggs, in their formative years.

Troup of Rockland has worked as an actor and director, first in New York City beginning in 1984 and since 2007 in Midcoast Maine. A graduate of the SUNY Purchase Acting Program, Troup has appeared in many plays, including the role of Nick in director Arthur Penn’s 2001 revival of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and the title role in a 1997 national tour of “Cyrano de Bergerac.” In 2000, he was accepted as a lifetime member of the Actors Studio in New York City. In Maine, he has appeared in productions by the Everyman Repertory Theatre and Northport Music Theater. By day, Troup is the Communications Officer at the Farnsworth Art Museum.

Oakes of Spruce Head is an artist and writer, originally from Port Clyde. Last summer, Rockland's Strand Theatre premiered a screening of the film "Charles Wilder Oakes and the Muses of Port Clyde" by Dale Schierholt, in conjunction with a solo show at Asymmetric Arts. Oakes' passion for theater came to the fore at Georges Valley High School, where he wrote numerous plays that were performed by the school drama club. He also did backdrops and set construction with the Portland Players Theater; performed the role of the shade of Humphrey Bogart in the Waldo Theatre production of Woody Allen's "Play it Again Sam"; and worked on the Academy Award nominated movie "In The Bedroom," getting a Scenic credit. Oakes has been an occasional guest on “Jo and Cheech’s Radio Hour” since the show began in 2007, reading his short stories and poetry on air as well as selections from the Sufi poet Rumi.

Pretzel was employed in commercial radio for almost 20 years. As a teenager, he worked with disabled veterans producing radio dramas at the Bronx VA Hospital. His “Pretzel and Beer” program airs on Tuesday nights before “Jo and Cheech” and features beer reviews, interviews, and news as well as his favorite pop, soul and disco music.

Sisters Joelle and Rachel Albury have been on WRFR as Jo and Cheech since 2007. Often an interview format with artists, musicians and community organizations as guests, “Jo and Cheech” also has aired short sketches produced by the Youthlinks afterschool program Rockland Radio. “The Stone House” will be the first modern radio drama to air on Rockland’s 10-year-old community radio station. The two-part play also will be the most involved radio theater production to air on “Jo and Cheech’s Radio Hour.”

“Jo and Cheech’s Radio Hour” airs Tuesdays from 8 to 9 p.m. on WRFR-LP, broadcasting on 93.3 FM Rockland; 99.3 FM Camden; and streaming online at wrfr.org. An air date for the radio play has yet to be set.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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