Customer opinion | Hoyt Hilsman: Theater in the Pandemic – Parson’s Nose Radio Theater – Pasadena Now
When Lance Davis and Mary Chalon started a theater company from their home in South Pasadena twenty years ago, they never dreamed they would end up doing Radio theater. For years, the couple, with a talented set of professional actors with Broadway and Hollywood credits, performed classic comedies by Shakespeare, Moliere and others, adapted by Davis in shorter versions that were more accessible. to modern audiences of all ages.
They named their company “Pastor’s nose” after a line in Romeo and Juliet in which the Fairy Queen “tickles the pastor’s nose” as he sleeps, and performed in venues across the Pasadena and Southern California area, from Pasadena Playhouse and Geffen Playhouse at an open lot in South Pasadena. Finally, after years of research and thanks to the generosity of local supporters, they found a permanent space in a historic mortuary chapel in Old Pasadena, designed by famous architects Marston and Van Pelt.
Everything went well as they performed for a loyal audience, who enjoyed everything from relatively unknown classics to new women’s pieces and old favorites like the annual Christmas carol. Then came the pandemic, which immediately shut down the theater and left the company perplexed and frustrated. What would be their next step?
Lance and Mary had always been fans of the old-school Radio Theater and had performed skits from some of the classic radio shows like Flash Gordon and The Shadow. They wondered what it would be like to turn their company’s talents into radio fiction, and within weeks they had started producing radio theater shows that could be enjoyed not only by audiences in local theaters but by audiences worldwide. , on the Internet. .
Thus was born Parson’s Nose Radio Theater, with over seventeen remotely recorded theater podcasts to date, from Shakespeare to Mark Twain, and Dickens to Hans Christian Anderson. Podcasts include popular classic Parson’s Nose productions, such as Dickens’ Benet’s Devil and Daniel Webster and Christmas Carol, as well as music-themed podcasts celebrating Cliff Edwards (the voice of Jiminy Cricket in Pinocchio) and the political satirist. from the 60s Tom Lehrer.
The Radio theater the podcasts, broadcast on the web, have attracted a loyal following not only locally but across the country. The ingenuity of the founders of Parson’s Nose and their dedicated business proves the old adage that “the show must go on” despite a nasty pandemic. “Alexa, play Parson’s Nose Radio Theater!” “
Hoyt Hilsman is an author, former CCP administrator and board member of Parson’s Nose Theater.