By Marah J. Morrison
Open auditions for “The Ghost Behind The Black Door” and “Invasion From Planet Vampire” took place Sept. 6 and 7 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. in Bliss Hall.
Fred Owens, a professor in the department of communication at Youngstown State University, said Halloween has always been the occasion for an over-the-top creative production.
Owens said the two scripts were written by Roger Gregg, an audio theatre cabaret specialist who lives in Dublin, Ireland.
“He is generally regarded as the premier person in the field of audio drama,” he said.
Owens said Gregg is originally from Youngstown and is planning on traveling from Ireland for the shows.
“The Ghost Behind The Black Door” takes place in a large mansion with a caretaker who lets people stay there from time to time. Owens said a couple from New York make arrangements to stay the night at the mansion. He said the wife is a writer and her husband used to be a television talk show host.
“He can no longer speak without a stammer,” he said. “She picks on him so badly that he’s just beside himself.”
Owens said in the audio drama, the caretaker tells the husband and wife they can use any of the rooms available, but to not open a certain door. The door eventually is opened and things go wrong.
He said “Invasion from Planet Vampire” is a space comedy that takes place on a space vessel.
Owens said there are a lot of goofy characters in the comedy, including a computer, the captain of the spaceship, a Deanna Troi from “Star Trek” and three sisters from Planet Vampire.
“It represents another creative dimension that’s available for The Valley,” Owens said.
Todd Dicken, the director of one of the radio shows, said with audio participants can focus more on their voices and the sound effects. He said those participating can experiment with both.
“They get a chance to kind of stretch their talents a little bit,” he said.
Chris Bailey, a YSU telecommunication studies major, said he was a part of a previous radio show, and as soon as he heard about another one going on he wanted to audition.
“My goal in life is to be an actor or at least be a part of making films,” he said. “If that doesn’t work, I wouldn’t mind being a voice actor.”
Bailey said he got into this field of study from watching old movies and paying attention to the special effects they did. He said YouTubers have also inspired him to start his own YouTube channel.
“I like to entertain people,” he said. “I love to be a part of it.”
The Good Humor Radio Hour will be performing these two shows Oct. 30 and 31 at the Tyler Mahoning Valley History Center and will air on WKBN and WYSU-FM.