When COVID-19 forced the Mississippi State University Shackouls Honors College to take their annual classical play to radio airwaves this past fall, the response was positive. So much so that, as pandemic restrictions persist into the spring semester, the students will again present a radio drama on the air.
“Twisted Tales of Poe” is a dramatization of some of Poe’s most well-known and frightening stories. The radio presentation will be released to listeners beginning March 1 and through March 6, on the honors college website, honors.msstate.edu. Admission is free and open to all.
“The radio play presents an interesting twist to Poe’s works and features such popular favorites as ‘The Raven’ and ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’,” noted play director Donna Clevinger, professor and senior faculty fellow at the honors college. The works by Poe are adapted for the stage and radio by Philip Grecian.
“With the great feedback from the fall semester’s classical play, which was presented as its first radio drama presentation, selecting another radio play continues this ‘theatrical’ activity at the honors college for this semester,” said Clevinger.
Eleven honors college students are participating in the play, representing a cross section of campus majors including Animal and Dairy Science, Business, Computer Science, Education and various engineering majors.
Recent winter weather presented its own obstacles, on top of those imposed by the pandemic.
“These challenges forced many rehearsals to take place virtually,” noted the director. “This virtual method of rehearsing was a perfect way to actually listen to these stories, to see the stories unfold in your mind’s eye.”
Clevinger said directing a radio play is a unique experience.
“It was a lot of fun working with these students as they discovered how to effectively use their voices to create different characters, moods and emotions,” she said. “I’m proud of these students and their commitment to this honors college presentation. It truly is a different kind of early spring treat.”
Clevingher said special thanks are extended to honors college Outreach and Student Services Coordinator Wade Leonard in producing this radio play, along with Director of Student Services George Dunn and Katelyn Wright, the college’s administrative assistant.