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Mid-Ohio Valley Players readying two radio performances

MARIETTA — The Mid Ohio Valley Players will present its installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre at 7 p.m. today with a presentation on Zoom.

“Little Orphan Annie: Annie’s Big Surprise Party,” the first presentation of the evening, will be followed by the psychological thriller, “Sorry, Wrong Number.”

The group is excited to bring a classic radio experience to children this week and an offering for those who love suspense, Director Amber Smrek said.

“During this time when so many opportunities for children are not open or available, we wanted to share with the children of the valley, some old fashion fun,” Smrek said.

Unlike previous online shows, Little Orphan Annie will be done without the actors’ cameras on. Instead, a photo of an old-fashion radio and a map of Annie’s town will be displayed so children can pretend they are sitting around the radio listening to the program like their great-grandparents might have done.

Morgan Maciag is the voice of Annie.

“I know it has been hard on kids, not being able to see their friends or play together,” she said. “This script is so much fun because it will let them come to Annie’s birthday party and even sing along.”

The episode is 15 minutes, so it is short enough to keep even younger children engaged.

After a five-minute intermission, the psychological thriller “Sorry, Wrong Number” starts at 7:25 p.m.

“Sorry, Wrong Number” first aired in 1943 on the Suspense radio program. It was so popular that it ran twice on the CBS network after audiences clamored to have it rebroadcast.

The story by Lucille Fletcher was adapted for a movie and a later production of the radio drama won The Edgar Award for Best Radio Drama.

“Sorry, Wrong Number” tells the story of Mrs. Elbert Stevenson, an invalid confined to her bed. The drama starts with a routine phone call to her husband to see when he will be home from work and becomes increasingly frantic as the story progresses.

Unable to reach her husband due to the line being busy, she seeks the help of the operator who connects her through to what she assumes is her husband’s office phone. Instead of reaching her husband, she overhears two men plotting a murder of a woman who just happens to live in an area that sounds much like her own.

Jena Blair plays the lead role.

“I am so thrilled about Sorry, Wrong Number. This is a role I’ve wanted to do for many years,” she said. “Bringing this character to life, portraying her frustrations, urgency, fears and finally extreme terror has been exciting.”

To view the live performances, join on the webinar link https://bit.ly/3db9SS5 or call in to hear the audio at 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799, Webinar ID: 936 2677 9110.

Previous shows included “Our Miss Brooks,” “The Pussycat and the Expert Plumber Who Was a Man” by Arthur Miller and “Father Knows Best. Next week’s show, 7 p.m. June 5, goes into space with “A Pride of Carrots: or, Venus Well Served” and “Zero Hour.”

The episodes are available on the theatre’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/midohiovalleyplayers/ under the video tab.

The cast of “Little Orphan Annie:” Announcer, Eliz Kinser; Potato Face, Jeff Walker; Squinty, Nathanial Maciag; Mrs. Silo, Suzanne Walker; Mr. Silo, Mack McHale; Jimmy, Douglas Reed; Girl 1, Sarah Rose Drake; Girl 2, Rebecca Maciag; Annie, Morgan Maciag; Joe, Sam Kinker.

The cast of “Sorry, Wrong Number:” The Man in Black, Jeff Walker; Mrs. Stevenson, Jena Blair; Operator, Eliz Kinser; 1st Man, Douglas Reed; George, Nathanial Maciag; Chief Operator, Suzanne Walker; Sgt. Martin, Mack McHale; Western Union Agent, Rebecca Maciag; Information, Morgan Maciag; Woman, Sarah Rose Drake; Director Amber Smrek; Sound Engineer, Beth Lane; Sound Effects, Suzanne Walker and Beth Lane.

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