On the evening of Wednesday, October 3, the Pawling Public Radio studio was humming with the sounds of auditioners trying out for roles in two new plays. About 25 people from Pawling and the surrounding community came to share their voices with directors Kathie Freston and Amy Emke. Folks found out about the auditions through notices posted on local theatre companies’ Facebook pages, PPR’s website, and a Facebook event page. Many of the auditioners were seasoned actors who’ve appeared often in community theatre productions, but there were also several first-time actors who came out to give acting on the radio a try.
Kathie Freston, an actress and arts advocate who founded the H.G. Fairfield Center for the Arts and Environment, is directing “The Human Touch,” an award-winning play by local playwright, Jude Albert. Amy Emke, an acting teacher and the director of the ACEkids! Theatre Program for Pawling Community Services, is directing “The Dutcher House Mystery”, a historical radio play set in Pawling, written for the Theatre Hour Committee by Pawling’s own young novelist, Christine O’Neill.
By the end of the evening, both plays were cast, with the exception of a role for a young man in “The Human Touch.” Geri Munnick and Susan Fox-Pieratti were cast in “The Human Touch.” Valerie Kagan, Christine Bexley, Jessica Vanacoro, Craig Browne, Jon Cado, Jim Muller, Noah Emke, and Elizabeth Frost were cast in “The Dutcher House Mystery.” The directors will begin rehearsals with their casts soon, and the plays will be recorded and edited at the Pawling Public Radio studio throughout the fall for radio broadcast this winter and spring.
The Pawling Public Radio Theatre Hour Committee is chaired by Jim Muller, and includes Susan Stone, Kim Blacklock, June Schlesinger, Kathie Freston, Christine O’Neill, Christine Bexley, Stacey Dumont, Carol Kantor, Jude Albert, and Amy Emke. PPR’s Theatre Hour, featuring radio plays from the 30’s and 40’s, in addition to new radio plays by local playwrights, can be heard weekly on Sundays at 6 p.m. and Wednesdays at 7 p.m.