Mid-Ohio Valley Players ready detective drama broadcast

The Mid-Ohio Valley Players will present the classic detective drama, “The Adventure of a Murdered Ship,” at 7 p.m. today on Zoom, the sixth installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre, the social distance theater created in response to the closure of theaters because of the pandemic.

The show is about Ellery Queen following clues to the sinking of an American warship in World War II, how the enemy knew the location of the vessel and if loose lips sank the ship.

“After reading through a variety of detective scripts we settled on a classic Ellery Queen script, ‘The Adventure of a Murdered Ship,'” Director Vanessa Rake said.

It is the first show presented by Players in this genre.

“What makes it different and exciting for us to do in this format is that the audience gets a chance to try to solve the mystery before the solution is revealed,” she said.

Ben Bradley plays Ellery Queen and is a newcomer to social distance theater. Bradley said he has enjoyed the experience.

“During this time, which has been challenging for entertainment venues, I am thrilled to be part of this amazingly creative marriage of an old radio program and 21st century videoconferencing technology,” Bradley said.

“The Adventures of Ellery Queen” was a radio detective program that ran from 1939 to 1948.

Sean Shoop plays Sgt. Velie, Ellery Queen’s aid. Shoop has been a regular member of the WMOVP Radio Theatre troupe of actors.

“I’ve really enjoyed participating in ‘social-distance theater’ the last couple months. It’s a fun, new challenge and I feel lucky to have an outlet during these crazy times,” he said. “I’ve always loved watching and reading the mystery genre and this show has introduced me to Ellery Queen. I viewed a few older episodes after being cast to get a feel for the tone of the show and the different characters.”

Suzanne Walker is the founding director and producer of each episode through the Zoom Webinar account her employer, Marietta College, allows employees to use to help promote the arts or community involvement.

“One of the features of the Zoom Webinar is a Q&A,” Walker said. “We’ve been exploring ways to get the audience more involved and when we saw that the Ellery Queen scripts were designed to take a break about two thirds of the way through each episode so that the listening audience could try to solve the mystery, we knew we had to try it.”

The audience will be asked to post their answers to the Q&A board. Those who correctly identify key clues or solve the crime will have their answers posted on the Mid Ohio Valley Players Facebook page.

“It is not an easy mystery to solve,” said Walker. “Listeners will need to know some WWII history and familiarity with code puzzles to solve the crime.”

To view the live performances, join on the webinar link https://mariettacollege.zoom.us/j/93626779110 or call in to hear the audio at 301-715-8592 or 312-626-6799, Webinar ID: 936 2677 9110.

Next week’s presentation, scheduled 7 p.m. June 19 will be another “Father Knows Best.” Previous live broadcasts are now available on the theatre’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/midohiovalleyplayers/ under the video tab.

The cast of “The Adventure of a Murdered Ship:”

* Ellery Queen, the detective: Ben Bradley

* Nikki Porter, the secretary: Natalie Bradley

* Inspector Queen, Ellery’s father: Mack McHale

* Sgt. Velie, the aide: Sean Shoop

* High Official, a government man: George Gaston

* Mrs. Brown, an American mother: Suzanne Walker

* The Rev. Jones, an American father: Jeff Walker

* Woman, airplane factory office worker: Becca Buck

* Mrs. Smith, an American bride: Rylee Lee

* Director, Vanessa Rake

* Sound Engineer, Becca Buck


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