WATERFORDrama Takes the Air


Jack Lange, Online Editor

This winter, WATERFORDrama takes the stage in a way they never have before, in a virtual performance. Due to Covid restrictions, the group has been unable to perform a live show since last winter, and they are looking forward to the performance. WATERFORDrama will be performing the radio play “A Personal Call,” written by Agatha Christie. The production will be taped and released in a livestream on YouTube shortly after. The cast is composed of Maddy Gates, Jack Lange, Murphy Ryan, Emily Robillard, Amanda Rowe, John Morgan, Holly Gray, Katlyn Brown, Julie Morrison, Liam Ward and Justin Wujtewicz, along with Jessica Cochran and Rebecca Cameron as stage crew.


Along with the normal challenges of memorizing lines and rehearsing character interaction, WATERFORDrama has new problems to tackle because of the radio format. Without any visual component to the show, actors must deliver all of their emotion and expression through dialogue, removing a key aspect of typical on-stage productions. Stage crew members Jess and Rebecca step into the performance themselves as they create the ambience and flair for the show, experimenting with different props to find inspiration for the creation of live sound effects during the show. Yet another obstacle for the actors is their inability to directly interact with other cast members during the performance, standing on stage over 12 feet apart, it is difficult to garner the expressions of fellow scene members. 


Actors must also become accustomed to performing without an audience, as much of the energy brought to stage is derived from them. Director Shane Valle says that the biggest challenge this year is “whether there will be an audience.” 


Unique challenges, but certainly unique opportunities with this show, as a successful performance could potentially boost the number of productions WATERFORDrama is able to put on yearly. Radio shows are relatively low-risk as they do not require the use of expensive sets, costumes or necessarily scripts, as many are public domain, leaving them with the potential to be very popular with the group in the future. Mr. Valle hopes that the show will be popular, and sees the possibility of semi-regular radio show performances. The shows are easy to turn out and require less rehearsals than normal shows. 


Nothing is normal this year, but Mr. Valle is optimistic about the show, and the future of WATERFORDrama. As he says, “trying something different is sort of exciting.” These shows allow a wider range of people to participate, and may ease some stage fright worries. Mr. Valle also hinted at the possibility of Waterford High School staff members being a part of future radio shows. WATERFORDrama is still experimenting and figuring out the best way to get shows out to its audience, and hopes to entertain in this melancholy time. 


The show ran into unexpected issues during production and important audio equipment was unavailable until recently. Delays were expected, however the schedule was extended months past the show’s target date.


WATERFORDrama’s “A Personal Call” is slated to premiere on YouTube on February 6 at 7:00 p.m.