Time Arc Theatre partners with the Empire Block to bring live theater to Tower Avenue for two weekends. The last time the partners lit up the space at 1208 Tower Ave., audiences got a peek inside the deer shack. Now, the history-based theater will take audiences back to the Golden Age of Radio, the 1940s.
Retro TV channels bring back the early days of TV with shows such as “Gunsmoke” and I Love Lucy.” But there was a time when Matt Dillon wasn’t a handsome giant but a short, stocky guy and Lucy wasn’t married to somebody with a Spanish accent. Before TV, audiences listened to a box in their living room while actors performed radio programs on stage before a live audience.
Take a trip back with Tim Arc. Enjoy episodes of “Fibber McGee and Molly,” “My Favorite Husband,” “The Bickersons,” “The Thin Man,” “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Shadow” performed by cast members Jane Wester, Emily Purvis Dahl, Matt Davies, Jeromy Shankle, Don Johnson, Pat Thomson, Starr Wicklund, Chris Nollett, Tom Martinson and Kathy Laakso. Musician Bruce Nelson provides the transition music that was so unique to old radio and Ed Johnson has created a 1940s radio studio set.
All shows will take place in the historic Empire Block, 1208 Tower Ave. The production kicks off on March 28 with a 6 p.m. reception at Empire Coffee followed by the show at 7 p.m. Additional shows will be performed at 7 p.m. March 29-30 and April 5-6 and 2 p.m. March 31 and April 7. Empire Coffee will open its doors between the two spaces during intermission so audience members can enjoy a cup of coffee, a beer or a glass of wine.
Director and LLC president Kathy Laakso said that Time Arc wants to be part of the excitement of the downtown’s revitalization.
“Audience members at our hunting shows last fall made it clear that they believe having theatre right here -- in this community -- promotes growth and independence,” she said.
To generate community involvement the theatre group is holding a free open house at 3 p.m. April 6 with an onstage/backstage tour. Laakso encourages people of all ages to sign up for notice of future shows, auditions and how to get involved in all aspects of theatre.
“We need community members to become involved in any capacity they’re comfortable with,” she said. “We're also looking for people who enjoy the business side of things. Theatre is also a business and needs diverse talents to thrive.”
Visit timearctheatrellc.com to purchase tickets or for more information. Tickets may also be purchased at Empire Coffee, 1204 Tower Ave. To order and pay by check, call (218) 206-1864.