Without the option of in-person performances to their loyal local theater crowd, Olympic Theatre Arts Center members are going old-school.
The nonprofit’s 2020-2021 season is kicking off with auditions for “Fibber McGee and Molly,” the first in a series of old-time radio/reader’s theater-style productions to open in early September.
Shows of the series, which would run through mid-October, would most likely be recorded once a week at the OTA main stage with social distancing measures in place; performance and recording conditions are subject to change according to instructions from health officials.
Open auditions for “Fibber McGee and Molly” are set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4, and 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 8, both on the Zoom application. Auditioners not able to make those dates can set up alternative dates with the production team.
Since this is a reader’s theater production, actors do not need to memorize lines nor match age and appearance of their character; “it’s the voice characterization that counts,” OTA members say.
“I’m looking forward to directing these episodes, because they are a slice of history,” said director Christy Holy. “They are like sitcoms for the radio and Fibber and Molly have a hilarious banter that is reminiscent of vaudeville.
“They remind us that approaching life with a little humor can go a long way.”
About the cast, show
A hit in its time, “Fibber McGee and Molly” ran from the mid-1930s to the early 1950s and was a staple in radio comedy during the heyday of American radio programming.
The story follows a couple living in the fictional Midwestern city of Wistful Vista. Fibber was an American teller of tall tales and a braggart, usually to the exasperation of his long-suffering wife. His weekly schemes would be interrupted, inspired by and often played upon the townspeople.
OTA is seeking actors for following characters:
• Fibber McGee — A self-styled entrepreneur who thinks rather highly of himself and his novel ideas for getting ahead in the world.
• Molly McGee — Fibber’s wife and the ‘straight-man’ of the pair – pragmatic and neighborly.
• Announcer/ad-man/character actor — This role sets up the show, reads old-style radio ads and may play other characters appearing in the show occasionally.
• Character actors — A variety of “drop-in” characters would be voiced by just one or two actors. Flexibility in voice characterization and acting style is desired. Voiced characters may be of either gender and would play roles of considerable age range. Examples of characters to be played are a codgy old man, a posh woman next door, a little girl, miscellaneous salesmen, public servants, neighbors and more.
Interested auditioners should contact OTA at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, Zoom links and to get script samples in advance.