Langley Little Theatre presents a play called Radio Suspense Theatre Dec. 10, 11, and 12. Back row from the left: Joyce Gillespie (Port Coquitlam); Chris Carver (Maple Ridge); Roger Meloche (Coquitlam). Front row from the left: Cathie Young (Port Coquitlam); and Halia Hirniak (Pitt Meadows). (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Langley Little Theatre presents a play called Radio Suspense Theatre Dec. 10, 11, and 12. Back row from the left: Joyce Gillespie (Port Coquitlam); Chris Carver (Maple Ridge); Roger Meloche (Coquitlam). Front row from the left: Cathie Young (Port Coquitlam); and Halia Hirniak (Pitt Meadows). (Special to Langley Advance Times)

Curtain goes up soon on annual Christmas radio play

Langley Little Theatre presents Radio Suspense Theatre in mid-December

It’s become a bit of a holiday tradition for Langley thespians to bring to life a radio play.

And with pandemic restrictions lifting, somewhat, tickets are on sale now and going fast for Langley Little Theatre’s upcoming live, onstage production set for mid-December.

The play, called Radio Suspense Theatre, is a comedy and mystery blended together by Steve Cleberg.

This play will take audiences back in time to the days when radio was the primary home entertainment, said director June Ainsworth.

“This play will take the audience back to an era when families sat in their living rooms and gathered around their radios, listening to tales being masterfully and magically sent to them over the air waves,”Ainsworth elaborated.

“Radio plays are exciting and fun for the audiences because the sound effects are created live onstage and the audiences are cued to participate with an ‘applause’ sign,” she added.

There are 24 characters in the play and they are played by 12 actors, most from Langley: Veda Maharaj, Barb Coulter, Shawn McGrory, Rita Price, and Virginia Cooke. They’re joined in the cast by Cloverdale’s Thomas Loan-Johnston, Chilliwack’s Raymond Hatton, Maple Ridge’s Chris Carver, Pitt Meadows’ Halia Hirniak, Port Coquitlam’s Cathie Young and Joyce Gillespie, and Coquitlam’s Roger Meloche. Fellow Langleyite Dawn Adamson is also involved, behind the scenes, as the show’s producer.

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Ainsworth has spend much of her time during the past 40 years directing and designing for theatres in and around the Fraser Valley. During that time, she said she’s been captivated by the way characters in a play can evoke an array of emotions, from sadness to joy.

“Theatre can educate us, transform us, take us on fantastical journeys, or just provide an evening of fun away from the stresses of day-to-day life. Theatre is a large part of my life and I am proud to see my children and grandchildren love theatre as much as I do.”

This play comes to life on the Langley Playhouse stage in Brookswood for three days only – two nights and one matinee showing – Friday and Saturday, Dec. 10 and 11 at 8 p.m., plus Sunday, Dec. 12, at 2 p.m.

“This play is set in a Vancouver radio station in 1942. The radio station employees are doing their best to hold on to their passion for their art while continuing to provide good entertainment during a time of war and uncertainty. Through it all, the life-long friendships, which sustain us and bring us joy in tough times, are evident in this play,” explained Ainsworth.

“I see parallels in this play with the uncertainties we are experiencing today.”

Tickets are $25 and available online at langleylittletheatre.org/tickets or by calling 1-888-961-6111.

As per the current public health mandates, people 12 and older will be required to show proof of two doses of vaccination to enter the theatre and people are required to wear masks when moving around the theatre, with the space deep-cleaned between performances, Adamson said.

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