TORRINGTON — “Saturn Theater on the Air” is broadcasting live at 9 p.m. Wednesdays on WAPJ, 89.9 FM in Torrington and WBCR-LP, 97.7 FM.

The show begins with a production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” featuring the Goshen Players and directed by Wes Baldwin.

Dramatic performaces on the radio enjoy an important and essential place in the history of radio broadcasting. The new incarnation of radio shows began during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when opportunities for actors to perform live on stage ended.

Radio program Nutmeg Junction founder J. Timothy Quirk reached out to Baldwin, the director of the Goshen Players’ 2019 run of “The Importance of Being Earnest” and asked whether the cast would be willing to reform for an encore performance in an audio-only format. The cast readily agreed, and after multiple rehearsals, the final recording was broadcast online, with Jerry Crystal as the audio engineer.

“The Importance of Being Earnest” was Oscar Wilde’s last play, and is considered by many to be his masterpiece. First performed Feb. 14, 1895 at the St James Theater in London, it was recognized as a triumph, and is regularly performed around the world by companies large and small.

The audio production is the inaugural performances of Saturn Theater On The Air, and includes Hal Chernoff as Jack, Todd Santa Maria as Algernon, Christiane Morel Olson as Gwendolyn, Eileen Epperson as Lady Bracknell, Olivia Wadsworth as Cecily, Ingrid Smith as Miss Prism, Roger Nester as Dr. Chausable and Humphry Rolleston as Lane/Merriman.

Saturn Theater On The Air will feature audio productions of classic public domain works performed by community theater actors under the direction of new and established directors. Quirk will act as executive producer; Jerry Crystal, representing Crystal Audio Entertainment, is artistic director, and plans to select future plays for radio shows.

“I am extremely excited about the debut of the Saturn Theater on the Air. The popularity of internet podcasts have brought new audiences to appreciate the unique impact of audio storytelling,” Crystal said. “Saturn Theater on the Air will create original broadcasts and new adaptations of classic stories as well as debuting original works. We are very lucky to be able to draw from a wide pool of voice actors and we are committed to providing opportunities for new and diverse voices.”

“Every opportunity to enjoy an audio theater performance by these exceptional actors is a privilege,” said Quirk. “I’m just thankful the technology exists where we can not only share these performances, but also preserve them for future generations to come.”

Each performance will run twice, not unlike a community theater production run. The schedule for the program on WAPJ is: July 8, “The Importance of Being Earnest”: “July 15, 22, “Tartuffe,” July 29, Aug. 5, “A Woman of No Importance,” Aug. 12, 19, “Pride and Prejudice.” The program will be shared as a podcast under Saturn Theater on the Air.

Connecticut Media Group