On Feb. 2, about the same time Punxsutawney Phil’s head came poking out of his central Pennsylvania groundhog home, the SAG-AFTRA Radio Players production team was loading into the Wells Fargo Theater, located at the Gene Autry Heritage Museum in Griffith Park, in preparation for the 21st recreation of two old-time radio scripts. The performances included an episode of the classic whodunit The Whistler, followed by a side-splitting episode of the American serial radio comedy Easy Aces, in which Ace Goodman's malaprop-prone wife, Jane, discombobulates the entire jurisprudence system simply by reporting for jury duty. Both plays were cast and produced by SAG-AFTRA members, for SAG-AFTRA members.
Founded in 2009 by the AFTRA Seniors’ Committee as a celebration of AFTRA’s pioneer jurisdiction, the Radio Players were quickly approached by the Autry to present the events in the Wells Fargo Theater on the museum premises, which Autry personally designed as a radio broadcast facility. Post-merger, the SARP Committee, in association with Gene Autry Entertainment, has produced three evening events per year at the museum. One is an annual December tribute to Autry himself in two presentations, a matinee and evening performance of Christmas scripts pulled from Gene Autry’s Melody Ranch radio series, which ran on CBS for more than 16 years.
Keep an eye out! The June 1 evening program has just recently been announced and will contain two sterling examples of old-time radio performed for a live audience by talented members of the union. It will feature an episode of The CBS Mystery Theatre episode The Summer People and The Great Gildersleeve episode New Secretary. Parking at the museum and admission to the event are free, but reservations are required. Check the SAG-AFTRA L.A. Local events page or the Autry’s website for more information.
The cast of the Feb. 2 classic whodunit radio play The Whistler at the Gene Autry Heritage Museum kicked off the year as one of two plays featured in the SARP committee’s first production of 2017.
The cast of the SAG-AFTRA Radio Plays comedy Easy Aces, the second classic play featured in the Feb. 2 production at the Gene Autry Heritage Museum.