When COVID-19 forced us all into our homes early in 2020, radio drama was one of those things that could keep us entertained. But what about new performances? Could they be done? The Generic Radio Workshop reached out to some of the folks who have contacted us in recent years to discuss how performances could be moved online with videoconferencing.

The result was Project Audion, a collaboration of Radio Theatre companies and interested individuals who have come together to record live classic audio theatre online in realtime.

Every month we release a new Project Audion episode, recorded a few nights earlier in the authentic style complete with live sound effects. Below are our shows to date. Whether you watch or just listen, we hope you enjoy these fresh recreations of classic old time radio shows.

MOST RECENT EPISODES

Season 2 >


Episode 32: Red Ryder "Roaring River Renegades"

Project Audion's 32nd recreation celebrates one of the Western Heroes of childhoods gone by - Red Ryder. At one point Red Ryder, his orphaned Indian pal Little Beaver, and old companion Buckskin Blodgett were more popular than the Lone Ranger. But "America's Favorite Fighting Cowboy" now has only a few dozen radio episodes still available to hear, and often in pretty rough sound. This 1949 story packs horses, cattle, rainstorms, riverboats, fires, fistfights and gunfights into just thirty minutes, and our nine-member cast, which gathered virtually from new Hampshire to California, really puts some life into it. Grab your Red Ryder BB gun and settle in for a half-hour of rootin' tootin' excitement from back when good guys wore white hats - and red shirts. Our cast:

Jeff Billiard (MA): Red Ryder
Grace Wagner (IL): Little Beaver
Tom Konkle (CA): Buckskin and the Sheriff
Kim Titus (TX): Announcer and Poley
Greg Mcafee (CA): Gyp Hinkle and Shaw
Norman Cline (KY): Wilson
Victoria Perusse(NH) : Connie
Ken Raney (TX): Telegrapher & sound effects
Larry Groebe (TX): Music, Sound, and Production

Episode 31: "The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show"

Premiering on Project Audion, a brand-new episode of "The Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy Show" that sounds just as if an unknown script from 1940 had suddenly turned up. That's just how spot-on is the writing in this tribute penned for Project Audion by former Bob Hope comedy writer Robert L Mills. Charlie and Edgar come up against W. C. Fields as well as a snarky agent from the IRS who sounds suspiciously like the unmistakable voice of Frank Nelson. It's our tribute to that most improbable of vintage radio's hit shows - a radio comedy starring a ventriloquist. Close your eyes and listen, then rewind to watch how our coast-to-coast cast (pictured here) handled the transcribed-live performance. Delightful summertime entertainment that speaks for itself!

Robert L. Mills in California
Duane Noch in New Jersey
Pete Lutz in Texas
Bob Beaumont in California
Paul Arbisi in Illinois
and JoAnne Kurman in California
Robert L. Mills penned the script, while Larry Groebe produced and handled the audio from Texas

Episode 30: Suspense - "The Eavesdropper"

Out of over 900 episodes that the classic radio thriller "Suspense" produced between 1942 and 1962, there are 13 shows that are missing and which OTR researchers have tried for years to track down. One of the missing 13 is "The Eavesdropper," which aired just once - January 3, 1956. No recording has ever been found. Thanks to Suspense historian Dr. Joe Webb, Project Audion is able to recreate "The Eavesdropper" so you can hear it for the first time in over 65 years - a story of a high-rise murder plot that was discovered and which leads to a double execution. Our transcribed-live recreation features a cast that reaches from Hollywood California to Toronto Canada. Watch and listen as we hope to keep you in...Suspense!

Duane Noch, New Jersey
Patte Rosebank, Canada
Tim Burns, Kansas
Trevor Rines, Canada
Bob Beamont, California

Directed by Ms. Rosebank and produced by Larry Groebe

Episode 29: NBC University Theater - "1984" by George Orwell

This Project Audion vintage radio recreation is an hour-long dramatization of George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four...which was originally produced in August 1949, just months after the book was released to great acclaim. NBC University Theater adapted this scathing envisioning of the possible world future where "Freedom is Slavery" and "Big Brother is watching you." Big Brother is a part of our cultural currency now, but in 1949 "1984" this was a new and daring novel, and this early audio adaptation feels fresh - and still terrifying.

WINSTON SMITH: Dana Gonsalves, TX
ANNOUNCER: John Bell, AL
O'BRIEN: Les Marsden, CA
JULIA: Jesirae Kesler, TX
MR. PARSONS & OTHERS: Tom Konkle, CA
MR. SYME: Jason Johnson, TX
MRS. PARSONS: Rachel Pulliam, MO
ASSORTED VOICES: Jessica Matthews, TX
CHARRINGTON AND DIRECTION: Pete Lutz, TX
MUSIC/FX/PRODUCTION: Larry Groebe, TX

Episode 28: Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar "Murder is a Merry-Go-Round"

"Yours Truly, Johnny Dollar" - that was both the title and the closing phrase of each episode of this well-loved crime drama, which aired on CBS for over 800 episodes and 13 years. The setup was always a big insurance settlement that will have to be shelled out... unless "America's fabulous freelance insurance investigator" can crack the case open - which he invariable does. Project Audion's transcribed-live episode recreates the fourth-ever show from March 11, 1949, before the more-familiar cliches of the series took over. Charles Russell played Johnny Dollar 73 years ago, but OUR transcontinental cast includes:

JOHNNY DOLLAR: Kim Titus, TX
ANNOUNCER: Geoffrey Mark, CA
LOUISA PEPPER: Jan Welch, NC
MYRTLE PEPPER: Rhiannon McAfee, CA
SHANTY BRENNAN: Greg McAfee, CA
CARTER LACEY: Tom Konkle, CA
It was directed by Joe Mendell from England,
and Production was by Larry Groebe in Dallas Texas

Episode 27: Jack Benny "Benny's Crosby Clambake"

Did Jack Benny ever have Bing Crosby and W.C. Fields both as guests on his long-running popular network radio show? Not until now! Robert L. Mills, former comedy writer to Bob Hope, has a created a “new” Jack Benny show that is so funny and so much like a vintage Benny show, you can easily be forgiven for thinking we've unearthed a lost episode. It also features appearances by cast regulars like Mary Livingston, Dennis Day, Phil Harris, Rochester and others. Our talented voice actors include:

JACK BENNY / MR. KITZEL: Duane Noch, NJ
BING CROSBY / W.C. FIELDS: Michael Dees, CA
DENNIS DAY / FRANK NELSON: Bob Beamont, CA
PHIL HARRIS: Norman Cline, KY
DON WILSON: Ken Jeffries, CA
MARY LIVINGSTONE: JoAnne Kurman, CA
PORTER / JOHNNY WEISSMULLER: Harry Middlebrooks, CA
ROCHESTER: Carl Thomas, TX

Written, directed, and featuring a cameo appearance by Robert L. Mills, CA. Larry Groebe in Texas handled the Sheldon Leonard role, cued up the virtual audience, and produced this Project Audion episode.

Episode 26: The Saint "The Million Dollar Day"

The Saint - "the Robin Hood of modern crime" and star of scores of books, TV shows, movies, and also a well-remembered radio series - is Project Audion's latest radio recreation. Vincent Price was urbanely brilliant as Simon Templar on the radio, but he only came to the show in 1947. The first series aired in 1945 with Edgar Barrier, and no recordings exist. Project Audion's vintage script of the episode "The Million Dollar Day" was only the 4th-ever episode. This Saint has sidekicks! We were also lucky to speak with Saint expert Ian Dickerson in England for a pre-show interview, and doubly lucky to locate a still-working SONOVOX (and experienced operator Ken Justiss) to recreate the once-famous sound effect of the "Bromo-Seltzer Train."

THE SAINT: Les Marsden, CA
HOPPY: Pete Lutz, TX
PATRICIA: Rhiannon McAfee, CA
MONTEIRO: Dana Gonsalves, TX
KUZELA: Frank Guglielmelli, PA
FERNACK/ANNOUNCER: John Bell, AL (not pictured)
Mr Lutz directed this episode, and Larry Groebe produced, managed sound, and growled.

Episode 25: The Six Shooter "Britt Ponsett's Christmas Carol"

For the holidays, Project Audion turns to Charles Dickens' classic "A Christmas Carol." There were many adaptations during the Golden Age of Radio, but one of the cleverest and most charming was when it was transplanted to the Old West for a Christmas episode of the Jimmy Stewart western "The Six Shooter" which aired from 1953 to 1954. The story of Eben and Jake - and how and why Stewart's character Britt Ponsett tells it - makes for a delightful half hour. Our cast for this recreation is our most wide-ranging in both location and age:

BRITT PONSETT: Ric Spiegel, TX
JOHNNY CARVILLE: Austin Mosher, NY
EBEN SCROOGE: Stanley Dyrector, CA
BOB CRATCHITT: Chris Marcellus, UT
BELLE / MRS CRATCHITT: Rachel Pulliam, MO
AUNT MILLIE: Denise Cline, KY
NEPHEW: Ken Raney, TX
ANNOUNCER: Paul Arbisi, IL
and JAKE MARLEY: Joe Mendell, UK
GHOST: Richard Huitema, FL

Sound is by Ken Raney, with direction, production, & music by Larry Groebe.