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MOVP give ‘Ending Everyone Wanted’

The Mid-Ohio Valley Players will air another installment of WMOVP Radio Theatre 7 p.m. Friday with “The Ending Everyone Wanted,” a story about a professor from the future who helps Abraham Lincoln avoid assassination.

The show, written by Will Anderson, is part of the Players’ social distance theater initiative on Zoom.

Anderson, a professor in the School of Broadcast and Cinematic Arts at Central Michigan University, first reached out to the Mid-Ohio Valley Players in June after seeing a newspaper article online about the radio theater. Anderson said he has been writing and promoting audio drama for the past 20 years.

“I’ve won a number of national audio drama scriptwriting awards and have been and act as the administrator for the Marion Thauer Brown Audio Drama Scriptwriting Competition, which I founded in honor of my grandmother, who really encouraged my writing of radio dramas as my penchant for crafting goofy cartoonish villains really amused her,” Anderson said.

After seeing what the Mid-Ohio Players was doing with classic radio programs in the new Zoom medium, he wanted to help.

Founding Director Suzanne Walker responded to Anderson’s Facebook inquiry and quickly learned it was a small world. Walker and Anderson had a mutual friend, Joe Sullivan, an English professor at Marietta College. Sullivan, who helped connect Anderson and the Players, will make his Zoom stage debut in the show as a guard.

“In this time of isolation and social distance, it was nice to be reminded that despite distances we are connected to so many people in ways we don’t even realize,” Walker said.

“The Ending Everyone Wanted” won second place in 2006-2007 National Audio Theatre Festival Script Competition. It was published and produced in 2008 to commemorate the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial celebration.

The show takes place in April 1865 at the end of the Civil War. Lincoln is alone in the Oval Office when Professor Faraday, played by Morgan Maciag, arrives from the future and warns him of the assassination.

“It’s exciting to be presenting an original show from a playwright who wanted to help us continue to bring live entertainment into the homes of our neighbors and out-of-town fans during this pandemic,” Ben Bradley, who plays Lincoln, said. “We continue to give our time and talents in the hopes that our supporters will enjoy this unique form of entertainment and continue providing financial support until we can return to our beloved theater for live performances.”

Director of the show is Vanessa Rake, her third time as a director in the series. She’s excited.

“The cast works so well together with Will Anderson’s hilarious, action-packed script,” she said.

“Audiences will be laughing along with this adventure of Abraham Lincoln and the time traveling professor.”

Tim Tuten plays the Copper and voices two other roles.

“I am having a great time with this show and the original script is great with time travel and history, the performances everyone gives are filled with awesome energy,” he said.

The Players is pleased to present Anderson’s original script as part of its Pledge Drive kick-off, J.R. Wells, president of the Mid-Ohio Valley Players, said.

“Without the ability to open our doors and sell tickets, we like many other non-profit community theaters are having to rely on the generosity of our supporters,” he said.

The organization in the past week kicked off its 2020 Pledge Drive with calls to past donors, he said. The goal is $20,000.

“Producing original scripts, offering creative outlets for actors, directors and technicians, educating the next generation through Junior Players and Youth Theatre, and providing family entertainment for the Valley is what it’s all about and we need the community’s help,” Wells said.

To view the live performance, join the webinar link at 7 p.m. Friday at 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. The show also will air on the Mid-Ohio Valley Players Facebook page beginning 7 p.m. Saturday.

The cast is:

Abraham Lincoln: Ben Bradley

Professor Faraday: Morgan Maciag

Narrator: Amber Smrek

Mary Todd Lincoln: Jena Blair

John Wilkes Booth: Nathaniel Maciag

Sylvia (Lincoln’s Servant): Laurie Rutherford

Guard 1: Joseph Sullivan

Guard 2: Jeff Walker

Sergeant/Copper/Soldier 1: Tim Tuten

Commercial Spots: Woman, Eliz Kinser; WMOVP Fan, Ann McHale

Director: Vanessa Rake

Sound Design and Operator: Suzanne Walker

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