A live performing group could never be more perfectly suited to a venue. City Theatre works out of a black box at Opera Delaware Studios at the Riverfront. They work out of a box because they THINK out of the box.
Opening this Friday is the World Premiere of On The Air, a new collaboration by writer Kevin Regan (Internet series The Clink, The League, The Cheap Seats and several short films) and musician Joe Trainor (leader of The Joe Trainor Trio and two-time WSTW Hometown Heroes Award winner.) The piece is being work-shopped as part of CTC's commitment to producing new theater and will be presented at The Black Box in late February/early March.
The action is set in New York City circa 1941. A popular radio soap opera called Sunshine Days is on its way to Hollywood, and not everyone is happy about it. The breakdown of the studio and its staff parallels the looming prospect of war. Despite its premise, the dialogue is anything but old-fashioned and the music backs that up. Regan and Trainor wanted to create a script that felt modern against the backdrop of an historical epoch. Says Regan, "Most of my film work has been set in the present, so it was interesting to research the facts of a different era and write a story based in them. But I wanted the characters to speak with a contemporary edge, because the emotions they experience are timeless. It's rooted in 1941, but the motivations for the players transcend any era."
"As a performer, I have been writing music and lyrics since I was a teenager," says Trainor, "so one of the challenges with On The Air was writing from several points of view, sometimes within the same song, for other people to sing. I am a very singular writer, letting a song dwell in a moment. Trying to convey the story musically from different vantage points was a cool exercise."
On The Air features City Theatre veterans: Jim Burns, Dylan Geringer, Michael Gray, James Kassees, Kerry Kristine McElrone, Paul McElwee, and Adam Wahlberg, with a special appearance by Matt Casarino and Jill Knapp of Hot Breakfast! Directed by Michael Gray.
This is a "work shopped" piece; i.e. a work in progress, very organic and ever-changing. CTC is also looking for audience feedback on the piece, providing a "survey" in each program and encouraging the audience to complete and help get a feel for how it plays, what folks liked and didn't.
Through March 2 City-Theatre.org or at the door (If you've never been there, definitely get directions)