Performing Live Radio Dramas from the Golden Age of Radio

Those of us who were born a little too late to experience the  good old days of OTR (Old Time Radio) first hand will still be familiar with the movie ‘A Christmas Story’ and Ralphie’s  ongoing quest for his much anticipated Little Orphan Annie decoder ring. During the Orphan Annie show the announcer would read the mystery code and if you were a member of her secret club and had her decoder ring you could decipher the secret message for the evening. What fun!

Well…Twilight Radio Theatre is ALL ABOUT fun! And just to take it one-step-of-fun further we have thrown in a prize as well! So…during all Twilight Radio Theatre LIVE shows our announcer will be reading the TRT mystery code and those audience members with a TRT Secret Decoder Wheel can decipher the message for a chance to win 2 Season Passes to see Twilight Radio Theatre at The Surf Lodge on Gabriola.

Now…how do you get this TRT Secret Decoder Wheel you ask? Become a member of the TRT Fan Club by sending a self-addressed, stamped envelope to TRT. It is that easy! Twilight Radio Theatre will then send you the entire membership kit: the TRT secret decoder wheel, cartoon fridge magnet and official membership certificate.

Watch our TRT Fan Club Video for the address and a free bonus code.

Remember…our first shows of the 2018/2019 season will be October 24th and 25th at the Surf Lodge. Be sure to send in for your TRT Fan Club membership today in order to have your TRT Secret Decoder Wheel in hand. Each show is a chance to win!

Recently our local museum and arts council, here on Gabriola, teamed together to create a display that honours the artists of Gabriola. And by this I mean ALL artists…singers, dancers, actors, writers, painters, sculptors – you name it! Gabriola is not called The Isle of the Arts for nothin’! There is an incredible concentration of creative people on this little rock.

As you may have surmised, the cast of TRT are some pretty artsy folks. We are actors, we are musicians and we are visual artists as well. And so…David and I (Kathy) went down to the museum to see this new display installation that focused on all of the fantastic artists of Gabriola Island. Truth be told I wanted to see the picture of me with fruit on my head that I knew would be in the slide show. (But that is a whole other story.)

Well imagine our wonderment and surprise as we turned the first corner and found this:

Our old-time-radio theatre troupe being celebrated among all of Gabriola’s most accomplished actors! I started to blush and my falsetto took over. “Look, David! Look!” Oh my goodness…my delight was palpable. I suddenly felt quite shy and humble – two words seldom associated with yours truly, let me tell ya.

Wow! Thank you to our beloved community for this stunning esteem. We are so grateful to be supported and nourished by such a talented group of neighbours and friends!

Wow!

We started the season cooking with gas, by transforming our dinner theatre show into a rrreally-big-shoo – fit for an honest-to-goodness theatre stage. The folks at Charlie White Theatre in Sidney gave us a warm welcome and with the help of our pal and stage manager, Mara Brenner, we had a delightful show in this very beautiful theatre.

And right on the heels of our big theatre debut, we teamed up with Crimson Coast Dance Society to throw a sensational 40’s themed dance hall party; the likes of which Nanaimo had never seen before.  Retro to Electro was six solid hours of high calibre entertainment. We had radio theatre, live music with Dinah D’s Contraband Swingclub, electro-swing with DJ Daniel Trump, dance and costume contests, an incredible MC/funny gal Kat Single-Dain and her multitude of characters, singing telegrams, candy cigar girls, vintage drinks and food, an EyevannaCandy Retro Peepshow, Too-Hot-To-Handle LED performances by Vesta Entertainment and…the piece de resistance…THE PHOTO BOOTH. Just look at this incredible Packard Darrin convertible! Our very own good-egg, David Botten, made that. Wonderful, isn’t it? And I really should say kudos to everyone who attended because they went all-out with the period clothing and hairstyles. Everybody looked simply hotsy-totsy.

Between Charlie White and Retro to Electro, TRT got quite a lot of media attention. Check out these great Spotlights on Go! Both North Island and South Vancouver Island.

In early October the cast of Twilight Radio Theatre was honoured to be asked to perform Charlotte Cameron’s new radio play October Ferries To Gabriola. The play debuted during a series of community events marking the 70th anniversary of novelist Malcolm Lowry’s visit to Gabriola; the trip that inspired his posthumous novel, October Ferry to Gabriola.

Santa had a special treat in store for Twilight Radio Theatre as 2016 came to a close. We were invited to perform several shows at the David Foster Theatre in the 5-star Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Even in our wildest imaginations we could not have dreamed of a more fitting setting for the cast to recreate the Golden Age of Radio.  Walking into the theatre was like walking back in time to an elegant supper club of yesteryear. Everything about this experience was over-the-top; the theatre, the staff, the food, the audience…all possessed a certain class and style that conveyed the special allure of times gone by.

As we said goodbye to 2016 and hello to the New Year we also had to wave farewell to one of our beloved cast members; Tina Jones. That gal is destined for big things, I tell ya! Join us in wishing her well in everything she sets her considerable talents to and be sure to look out for her new album coming next fall. We can’t wait!

And so…as the world welcomed in the New Year, TRT prepared to welcome a new cast member.  As folks made their New Year’s resolutions Twilight Radio drew up a shopping list of talents. You see…Tina has so many in her kit bag that it seemed impossible to find anyone who could fill those shoes. We thank our lucky stars that we live on the Isle of the Arts. For those of you who are not familiar with Gabriola Island, it is home to a plethora of musicians, artists, actors, dancers, writers….you name it! Gabriola’s got talent! And so we found a man who, although he can never ever replace our Tina, brings with him such an arsenal of gifts that his saddle shoes will absolutely measure up those stunning high heels. Ladies and Gentlemen…please welcome…the incomparable Adam Kerby!

And boy-oh-boy….did Adam ever prove he was worth his salt at his first show. Kathy had the flu and couldn’t do the show; so in true “the-show-must-go-on” fashion the gents performed the show without her. That’s right…they performed ALL of the girl voices themselves. Talk about trial by fire. It was a riot! A little bit like Monty Python meets Candy Matson. On the second night of the run Kathy had regained her voice and was back in the saddle again. Whew! We had a ton of fun with our guests as we performed Murder Will Out!, an audience participation murder mystery game show. True to form, the audience WAS the most important part of the show. Contestants joined TRT on stage and sleuthfully solved the murder; to the delight of the enthusiastic crowd. We are always tickled pink any time we can involve the audience in the show and we endeavour to have more and more of that particular brand of fun in the future.

We have a great TRT team here on Gabriola.

Ken at Crowd of 100 is a super star! He has a dream: To share TRT with BC, with Canada, with the world! 5 minutes with Ken will tell you just how much he believes in us. We are so thankful to have his wind in our sails.

Our pal Pami can always be found greeting our guests on Gabriola and you would be hard pressed to find a more lovely way to start the evening. Pami is a gem and we are so grateful to her for her enthusiasm and commitment to the gang.

The Surf Lodge has become home to Twilight Radio Theatre’s season of Gabriola shows.  This historic building has been welcoming guests for as long as radio has been around and its warmth and charm makes it the perfect place stay, eat, drink and let yourself travel back in time with Twilight Radio Theatre. We are indebted to its wonderful staff; a group of great friends who make you feel like you are one of the family.

And let’s not forget about YOU, the audience; you are the most important part of the show!

We hope everyone has a fun-filled summer full of laughter and sunshine. Twilight Radio Theatre will return to the Surf in October to kick off our third season. We hope you will come join the fun and see what and (ahem) who we might have up our sleeve.

That moment when the lights go down, a hush falls…and we are transported to a magical time when radio drama ruled the airwaves! Twilight Radio Theatre delivers the goods! Can’t wait for the next show! – Donna Deacon

Who would have thought radio could be so visually rich. Twilight Radio Theatre is a uniquely entertaining experience. The superb acting, along with wonderful costume and set detail, truly brings the historical time and characters of their story to life,
with much laughter and an occasional emotional sniffle as well. – Shannon Gresham

Thoroughly enjoyed last night’s Twilight Radio Theatre production. I could have closed my eyes more often and listened as though it was only the radio, but then I would have missed the action on the stage! It was great entertainment and we really enjoyed ourselves. – Lynne Young

What a professional fun gang!! To see them up close and personal! I laugh every time when I go to see this gang’s radio show. They are truly uplifting. Everyone needs…and I mean NEEDS to see them share their amazing gifts of Live Stage Arts!! – Sharma Ray Goldman

This amazing group of peeps are awesome entertainment and a super fun night out! We always have the BEST time when we go to the Twilight Radio Theatre shows. All four performers are talented individuals and when you put them all together it’s MAGIC! – Tammy Hudgeon

What is Twilight Radio Theatre?

In a time before computers, cell phones and wifi…before the concept of television had even been born; the ringleader of the nation’s imagination was a little box, the centerpiece of every home – the wireless radio. And at the end of every day, just as twilight approached, families would settle in their chairs and listen in awe as fiction came to life on programs like Suspense, Escape and The Shadow. This was the Golden Age of Radio.

The mind’s eye was all that was needed, as the listeners were magically transported – absolutely anywhere – simply by using props and shoes to create the right background sound effects. This painting with sound – the reproduction of breaking glass, footsteps and creaking doors – came to be named the Art of Foley (named after its pioneer, Jack Foley.) It was this inventive artistry that inspired the audience members to be drawn in, to create their own unique experience and to become an integral part of the show.

Now…imagine that you are a fly on the wall, in a live radio sound stage of yesteryear, not only listening as the actors perform multiple voices but also bearing witness as the cast, dressed in period costume, simultaneously slam doors, crumple tissue and create footsteps, setting a grand stage for your imagination. This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Twilight Radio Theatre!