Listeners, beware! The night is cold, the moon is full and the radio waves are haunting their way throughout Menomonie.
Get ready for The Werewolf, an up-and-coming eerie radio play premiering in late October. For the University of Wisconsin–Stout students that are not baby boomers, a radio play might not be an incredibly familiar experience.
Melissa Kneeland, lead actor and director, explains the concept; “Before television, radio was the main form of entertainment. Different companies and radio stations would perform what we would consider now a play reading, essentially.” These radio plays were fully scripted, fully cast productions made to entertain listeners of the local stations.
While radio plays are traditionally played in-studio and broadcast over the airwaves, The Werewolf will be performed as a live stage production at the Wilson Place Mansion here in Menomonie. The cast will be reading the play for the audience, and the audience will have the opportunity to see how the sound effects are made.
“The woman who is doing our sound effects, a professional musician, will be making wind sound effects. [She] has made a small door for those sounds and has expertly made some footstep sounds as well…They really run the gamut,” says Kneeland.
The Werewolf is the fourth consecutive radio play performed every October in Menomonie, all of which have been period pieces.
“Because each play we do is in the Wilson Place Mansion, we are trying to target the history of Menomonie and the three generations that have lived there…We’ve done Victorian pieces, like The Werewolf, and some from the 1930s and 1940s, like War of the Worlds,” Kneeland said. “[The Werewolf] is based on a story called The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains. It’s about a man and his three children who are kind of exiled into the woods, and one night go hunting, and find themselves pursued by a mysterious white wolf. They meet a man and his beautiful daughter who invite the family into their cabin, and mysterious things begin to happen.”
The Werewolf will be performed at the Wilson Place Mansion on Friday, Oct. 28 at 7, 8, and 9 p.m. The tickets are all $10 and can be purchased at the door. Both cash and check are accepted.