Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock won fame as a director of suspense films, told with a strong visual sense, but a Brazos Theatre cast will explore another dimension of his storytelling this weekend, one complete with creaking doors, foreign accents and limping footsteps.

The theater will present “Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play,” a collection of three Hitchcock films adapted for radio: the murder mystery “The 39 Steps,” the espionage film “Sabotage” and a search for a serial killer in “The Lodger.”

Brazos Theatre director Beth Richards said the radio play by Joe Landry merges two of her company’s regular offerings: murder mysteries and radio shows, the latter featuring actors reading scripts rather than fully staged and costumed theatrical pieces.

“I was looking for something a little bit different . . . and this show kept popping up in my search,” she said.

While Brazos Theatre has done shows such as “The Golden Age Of Radio,” the triple Hitchcock billing ups the challenge of a predominantly aural production in terms of characters and sound effects, she said.

The radio play will feature 10 actors plus narrator Bob Scattergood, who will play a wide range of characters, shaping them largely through vocal inflection and accents. Given the English setting of the three Hitchcock stories, that means British, Irish, Scottish and American accents, plus character development communicated through tone and timbre.

The movable action of the plays, with interior and exterior scenes, also requires imagination and dexterity for a sound effects person, who’s called upon to create the sound of creaking doors, window blinds and a limping man using a crutch.

Watching the sounds as they’re produced creates part of an audience’s enjoyment, noted Richards, whose years as a Waco radio personality gives her plenty of experience in telling stories and communicating through voice alone.

A dinner catered by Baris Italian will accompany the radio play for those who buy a dinner theater ticket. Deadline for dinner theater reservations is Friday morning.

Tribune-Herald entertainment editor