11 episodes

Join the Genesius Guild in Rock Island, IL as we produce classic theater...on the radio! This podcast will include productions from our normal repertoire (Shakespearean works such as selections from Hamlet and Greek tragedies such as Philoctetes) and will explore classical works outside of our traditional genre.

Genesius Guild Radio Productions Genesius Guild

    • Arts

Join the Genesius Guild in Rock Island, IL as we produce classic theater...on the radio! This podcast will include productions from our normal repertoire (Shakespearean works such as selections from Hamlet and Greek tragedies such as Philoctetes) and will explore classical works outside of our traditional genre.

    Genesius Guild 2021 Christmas Special

    Genesius Guild 2021 Christmas Special

    Welcome to our second holiday special! We give you first a touching family Christmas story, "Christmas at Red Butte," by Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of Anne of Green Gables. Next, a Christmas meditation by Charles Dickens, entitled "A Christmas Tree." In this piece, the author of "A Christmas Carol" offers, instead of a story, a set of reminiscences about the meaning of Christmas past as he contemplates life-long celebrations of presents and toys, books, and stories both silly and serious — including a long section on ghost stories — and of course, as "A Christmas Carol" itself reminds us, telling ghost stories was a major Christmas tradition in Victorian England, adding supernatural chills to the chills caused by the weather.


    Montgomery, "Christmas at Red Butte": read by Dee Canfield

    * Axletree, "Clothe the Fields with Plenty"; "Drops of Melting Snow"; "The Silent Grove" [https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Axletree/music-from-a-hampshire-farm]

    Dickens, "A Christmas Tree": read by Mischa Hooker

    * Borrtex, "Buying Presents"; "Happy Holidays"; "Christmas Eve"; "Love & Generosity" [https://freemusicarchive.org/music/Borrtex/Christmas_Time]

    * Jon Sayles [http://www.jsayles.com/familypages/EarlyMusic.htm; http://www.jsayles.com/familypages/holidaymusic.htm]: Couperin, "Les barricades mistérieuses"; Ravel, Piano Concerto in G, Adagio (2nd movement); Fauré, Requiem: "Kyrie," "Libera me," "Pie Jesu"; Obrecht, "Pace Domine"; Dufay, "Proles de caelo," "Ce mois de May"; Senfl, "Gottes Gewalt Kraft"; Pevernage, "Secoure moy, madame"; Carols: "Deck the Halls," "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Es ist ein Ros entsprungen"

    Theme music for program:

    * Chopin, Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, no. 1 and Waltz in B minor, Op. 69, no. 2 (performed by Olga Gurevich)

    Director / Organizer / Sound Editor: Mischa Hooker


    Dickens refers to many children's stories and plays in the course of his meditation, some still very familiar to young readers, others less familiar. Alphabet rhymes ("A Was an Archer") are still popular in easy readers; "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "Little Red Riding-Hood" are also very commonly read. Far less well known today are some of the plays Dickens mentions, such as "The Forest of Bondy, or Dog of Montargis"; or "The Tragedy of Jane Shore"; or "The History of George Barnwell." The internet provides immediate access to many of these historic works of children's literature, and it can especially be quite fun to see the old illustrations in the earlier editions even of familiar works. Apart from massive collections of scanned facsimiles offered by Google Books or the Internet Archive, one initiative to digitize and make available scans of numerous 18th- and 19th-century chapbooks is also worth pointing out: https://digital.library.mcgill.ca/chapbooks/index.php. We have gathered together a goodly collection of these old books mentioned by Dickens from these sources, in order to offer them for your interest in one spot. Warning! Looking into what another century considered good or appropriate is sometimes surprising or shocking — especially, adults should look over any such material before handing it over to children to read! Our repository of downloadable material is here: http://www.tinyurl.com/DickensChristmasTreeReferences

    • 1 hr 5 min
    Stephen Leacock - Oroastus: A Greek Tragedy

    Stephen Leacock - Oroastus: A Greek Tragedy

    Stephen Leacock's "Oroastus: A Greek Tragedy" is a satirical essay by the early 20th-century Canadian humorist (who lived 1869-1944) on contemporary perceptions and performances of Greek tragedy in a college setting. "Oroastus" was published in 1923, and included in Leacock's collection of pieces on the theatre, "Over the Footlights." Performed by Patti Flaherty.

    • 40 min
    Tennyson: The Cup

    Tennyson: The Cup

    Alfred, Lord Tennyson, is best known as one of the most popular 19th century British poets, the author of famous pieces such as "Ulysses," "Crossing the Bar," and his multi-part treatment of Arthurian legend, "The Idylls of the King." Like many poets before and after, however, he also turned his hand to poetic drama, somewhat in the vein of Shakespeare. Although some works of this kind by poets like Byron, Shelley, and Keats, were closet dramas, not meant to be staged, the majority of Tennyson's were indeed staged, and staged quite successfully. One of his shorter verse dramas, The Cup, retells an ancient story from the times of the rise of Rome as the supreme power in the ancient Mediterranean world: in this story, the Galatians (a Celtic people akin to the Gauls, but living in the interior of Asia Minor – the area now known as Turkey) are coming to terms with Rome's rise – by way of resistance or accomodation. The proud heroine Camma resists Roman encroachment in the person of the turncoat Galatian leader Synorix, but in the end her fate, and the fate of her people, is tragic.


    Narrator: Alaina Pascarella

    Synorix:  Aaron E. Sullivan

    Synnatus: James J. Loula

    Camma: Denise Yoder

    Phoebe: Joie Stoefen

    Priestess: Zoe Grabow

    Chorus of Priestesses: Denise Yoder, Joie Stoefen, Alaina Pascarella, Zoe Grabow

    Attendant: Nathan Elgatian

    Boy: Josef Bodenbender

    Maid: Katie Phillips

    Antonius: Bryan Woods

    Publius: Steve Trainor

    Nobleman: Michael Callahan

    Messenger: Jacob Lund

    Director / Organizer / Sound Editor: Mischa Hooker

    Sound Effects: Mike Koenig, Dominic Treis, BBC, and Mischa Hooker

    Music for Tennyson: Brahms, Tragic Overture, opus 81 (performed by Czech National Symphony Orchestra)

    Theme music for program: Chopin, Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, no. 1 (performed by Olga Gurevich)

    Original Music: Denise Yoder, Mischa Hooker

    • 1 hr
    FOG (O'Neill) and ENEMIES (Hapgood / Boyce)

    FOG (O'Neill) and ENEMIES (Hapgood / Boyce)

    In 1915, two Davenport, Iowa, natives, Susan Glaspell and George Cram Cook, started a theater group in Provincetown on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, which turned out to have a profound influence on American drama forever. This visionary new company, the “Provincetown Players,” had humble beginnings in the private home of some sympathetic friends: Neith Boyce and Hutchins Hapgood. Many of the Provincetown shows featured a number of short scripts presented together in a single night of performance, and this program follows that tradition.

    First on the bill today is a script by Eugene O'Neill, first produced in January 1917. This script, unjustly neglected beside some of the playwrights more well known works, combines O'Neill's recurring fascination with the sea, including a setting especially reminiscent of the dangerous Atlantic crossing that had proved disastrous for the Titanic less than five years before the play was performed — with a lively debate on practical life and poetry, and a supernatural eeriness.

    The second play on today’s bill is a shorter script entitled "Enemies" — it was first staged in the summer of 1916. It was written by those hospitable friends of Jig and Susan, Hutchins Hapgood and Neith Boyce, whose house was the first Provincetown Players' performance space, and who were Midwesterners just like Jig and Susan — Hutchins from Illinois and Neith from Indiana. Each of them reportedly wrote the lines for one of the two speaking parts, He and She respectively, in this collaborative, argumentative exploration of the meaning of love, marriage, and fidelity in the modern world.



    Narrator: Susan Perrin-Sallak

    A Poet: Merlin Nelson

    A Man of Business: Marc Nelson

    Third Officer of a Steamer: Philip Tunnicliff

    Sound Effects: BBC, LG (freesound.org), oldestmillenial (freesound.org)


    Narrator: Mischa Hooker

    He: Mike Braddy

    She: Andrea Braddy

    Director / Organizer / Sound Editor: Mischa Hooker

    Opening and closing music: Borodin, String Quartet No. 2 in D Major, 1st and 4thmovements (performed by Musopen String Quartet)

    Theme music for program: Chopin, Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, no. 1 (performed by Olga Gurevich)

    • 1 hr 1 min
    How He Lied to Her Husband (Shaw)

    How He Lied to Her Husband (Shaw)

    George Bernard Shaw is a universally acknowledged classic playwright in the modern British theatre, known equally for his great wit and his theatrical influence. Genesius Guild has repeatedly staged two favorites over the years, "The Dark Lady of the Sonnets" (most recently in 2001), and "Don Juan in Hell" (most recently in 2012). The little play "How He Lied to Her Husband" was a parody-version of a longer play of Shaw's that had caused a sensation and a scandal: "Candida." Just as the guardians of morals suspected might happen in real life, in Shaw's short piece he imagines a love affair prompted, even licensed in the minds of the participants by the love triangle at the focus of "Candida." As in the longer play, a young poet in love disrupts the domestic stability of the married couple; as in the longer play, the woman stays with her husband in the end. But Shaw has of course put his own characteristic witty spin on this sillier version of his own ideas.


    Narrator - Mollie Schmelzer

    She (Aurora Bompas) - Sarah Willie

    He (Henry Apjohn) - Jack Bevans

    Her Husband (Teddy Bompas) - John Wright

    Director / Organizer / Sound Editor - Mischa Hooker

    Sound effects by BBC

    Tim_Y, "Tangled Tango"

    Chopin, Waltz in A-flat major, Op. 69, no. 1 and Waltz in B minor, Op. 69, no. 2 (performed by Olga Gurevich)

    • 1 hr 4 min
    Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Shakespeare & Lamb)

    Hamlet Prince of Denmark (Shakespeare & Lamb)

    Hamlet, prince of Denmark. Shakespeare's play was last presented on the Genesius Guild stage in Lincoln Park in the summer of 2019. For today's presentation, you will hear the story of the play along with excerpts from the play.

    Tales from Shakespeare:

    In the early 19thcentury, the Romantic poet Charles Lamb and his sister Mary embarked on an enterprise to retell the stories of Shakespeare's best-loved plays for a children's audience. Charles took the tragedies, and Mary took the comedies, and together they produced a best-selling reinterpretation of the Bard's works, Tales from Shakespeare, that achieved the status of classics in their own right. They were meant to be introductions to the study of the plays themselves: As the Lambs wrote in a preface on the subject of the benefits their own retelling, but much more so the plays themselves, would provide: "What these Tales shall have been to the young readers, that and much more it is the writers' wish that the true Plays of Shakespeare may prove to them in older years—enrichers of the fancy, strengtheners of virtue, a withdrawing from all selfish and mercenary thoughts, a lesson of all sweet and honorable thoughts and actions, to teach courtesy, benignity, generosity, humanity: for of examples, teaching these virtues, his pages are full."

    Now, here's a challenge: Given the Lambs' intention to retell the stories for an audience of children, can you detect any ways this has possibly affected the storyline of the play or the presentation of the characters?

    Today we present to you "Hamlet, Prince of Denmark," in the Lambs' retelling, narrated by Dee Canfield; and interspersed with the Lambs' text, excerpts from Shakespeare's original play, performed by actors from the Genesius Guild's 2019 production of Hamlet.


    Narrator (reader of Lamb) - Dee Canfield

    Hamlet - Andrew Bruning

    Ghost - Mischa Hooker

    Ophelia - Sarah Willie

    Claudius - Phillip Dunbridge

    Director / Organizer / Sound Editor - Mischa Hooker

    Transition music: John Dowland, "Flow, My Tears," performed by Jon Sayles [jsayles.com]

    Theme music: Chopin, Waltz in A flat Major, Opus 69, number 1, performed by Olga Gurevich.

    • 59 min

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