Titan Theatre Shines Once Again

With just weeks between shows, Vintage Hitchcock is an incredible success.


Lilly Cameron

With yet another incredible performance on stage, this time in a radio play, is (from left to right) Lareina Allred, Maguire Crowe, Aiden Mason, and Ella Greer.

Opening with a humorous hot-mic moment, Titan Theatre’s production of “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play” was another theatrical success. The play follows the cast and crew of 30 dipicting 1940s personas performing three murder mystery radio plays and various ‘commercials’ and exhibits multiple aspects of the time period through the sets, costumes, and audio.

According to Doc Worth, Titan Theatre first started preparations for “‘Vintage Hitchcock” back in December but had to postpone due to a rise in Covid cases. The group, of course, has prepared and performed their spring musical for Cappies since then and are performing this production just three weeks later. Worth said that the drama department was able to prepare for this show so soon after “‘Once on This Island’ because they already had some sound effects ready from previous radio plays and “because they don’t have to memorize their lines.”

The open scripts allowed the cast to dive deep into their characters despite having a short time to prepare. Not only did actors prepare distinguishable voices for their, often multiple, radio characters, but were able to craft their 1940s personas that remained on stage and in character the entire show whether they were up front with the mic’s, in the background, or even just simply in the auditorium. 

In fact, actor Aaron Haak limped all the way off the stage and out the door when intermission hit as his character uses a cane throughout the performance. According to Haak, part of his cane fell off and he said, “I was talking to Kalindi and she was just like, ‘I would totally pick that up for you, but my character wouldn’t.’”

Senior actor Aiden Mason who plays Hans Builder in the show and voices a convincingly frightening murder in the first radio play described the ‘layering’ of characters that occurs in a radio play. “We are playing characters who are playing characters on stage, we are 1940s personalities that are playing [radio] characters and that informs how we act in the back and stuff like that,” Mason said. 

Mason’s character is a bit of a drunk who stumbles across the stage between swigs from his ‘flask’ and he continues his character’s progression from the start of the show to the end of the night.

In order to introduce these carefully crafted characters to the audience, cast members Katie Price and Kendall Kitchen, playing their 1940’s personalities Penny Patterson and Linda Woodson, call each character onto the stage one by one while also providing short descriptions which, according to Haak, were all specially written by cast members for their characters. Senior Lareina Allred enjoyed developing her character, “So it was like, I’m a washed up actress, a ‘has been’ who was in films but is over 30 now so she can’t be in films anymore,” she said.

Even when cast members are sitting at the tables on stage playing their 1940s personalities, their voices still play a role in whatever radio play is being performed at the moment. The ‘table’ cast had their own sound effects to project whether it be a whistle, the sounds of a panicked group of people, sheep, and most notably, a jump inducing scream played by Kalindi Vyas.

Since the actors played multiple radio voices within a greater story, they had an opportunity to display an impressive range and they did just that. Allred plays both a male and female character on the radio and said that playing multiple characters “challenges your voice a lot.” Ella Greer also plays two vastly different characters in the show, a young girl in one play, and a gentleman police officer in another. “I couldn’t quite do a gentleman like it said in the script, but I think I achieved a semblance of what the character was supposed to feel like, just kind of gruff,” she said.

As “Vintage Hitchcock” is a radio play, the sounds, and theme music, are a vital part of the production in order to create the feel of a real 1940’s radio play. There is a section of the stage dedicated to sound effects where two actors play foley artists.

Alex Kraekenbuehl, the show’s sound engineer, manages the volume of everything the audience hears whether it be the 1940s microphones that offered their own set of challenges, or the sound effects that vary in volume. Kraekenbuehl said that the decision to mic a sound “depends from sound effect to sound effect and the person in control of each [sound].” 

Despite the play being centered around sound, the audience still sees all and the sets and costumes never fail to impress. Costume designer Emma Mitchell pays close attention to the historical accuracy of each character’s look. “Every little detail on the costumes had to be during that time period,” she said.

This show is not only the last of the school year, but also the last of high school productions for six graduating seniors; Lareina Allred, Maguire Crowe, Naomi Gorbach, Aaron Haak, Aiden Mason, and Brice Sandidge. With these talented individuals leaving Titan Theatre, Kraehenbuehl said, “[In] this show specifically, we’re spending a lot of time teaching the freshmen and sophomores how to take over.”

“Vintage Hitchcock: A Radio Play” will be showing one last time on Saturday, May 7th at 7:30. Tickets can be purchased at the door at $5 for students and $12 for adults.