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ACTORS CO-OP BEGINS 20TH SEASON WITH THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR

The distant din of a second world war.  A snowstorm that chokes a America’s largest city.  Gifted musicians and actors struggling to put on a show by the top of the hour. And a country hungry for entertainment and reassurance. The drama, music and dreams of a World War II America come to life in the Actors Co-op season opener, THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR.

The longest-running show in the history of Actors Co-op, THE 1940’S RADIO HOUR returns to the Crossley Terrace Theatre to begin Actors Co-op’s 20th Anniversary Season. Opening night is set for Friday, September 23, 2011. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm, Sundays at 2:30 pm with a special Saturday matinee on October 8 at 2:30 pm. THE 1940‘S RADIO HOUR closes Sunday, November 13, 2011.

THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR introduces the stars of the “Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade†as they take audiences on a poignant and nostalgic journey to the Big Band era and the days of live radio broadcasting. Musical numbers include “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy†, “Kalamazoo†and other standards from the 1940’s. Previously produced by Actors Co-op in 1994 (in a production that extended for ten months), THE 1940‘S RADIO HOUR is back ‘on the air’ for a trip down memory lane.

Former Producing Director and long-time member Nan McNamara directs THE 1940’S RADIO HOUR. “I am thrilled to be directing this Actors Co-op revival. The show has an important place in our company’s history. Our co-founder, David Schall, acted in and co-produced the production we did in 1994 which ran for ten months. The success of the production allowed us to open a second theatre.†McNamara’s other directing credits for Actors Co-op include two of the three plays comprising THE NIBROC TRILOGY (World Premiere, LA Weekly Award-winner, “Critic’s Choice†– Los Angeles Times, “Critic’s Pick†– Backstage West, “Recommended†– LA Weekly), as well as THE BOYS NEXT DOOR (“Critic’s Choice – Los Angeles Times, “Critic’s Pick†– Backstage West). In addition to directing, McNamara is an accomplished actress having received the 2011 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award and LA Weekly Award for her lead performance in WIT (also at Actors Co-op).

Linda Kerns is the Musical Director for THE 1940‘S RADIO HOUR. Having performed in Actor’s Co-op 1994-1995 production of THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR, Kerns returns as musical director. She directed last season’s production of THE TRAVELING LADY (“Critic’s Choice†– Los Angeles Times). Kerns has also been a working actress and singer for over 30 years. She made her Broadway debut in the original cast of NINE: THE MUSICAL. Other theatre credits include BIG RIVER (Broadway), LES MISERABLES (National Tour), BEAUTY AND THE BEAST (LA/Shubert Theatre) and the Los Angeles production of WICKED at the Pantages Theatre. Her work as a Musical Director includes productions of SIDE BY SIDE BY SONDHEIM, BIG RIVER and LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS. Ms. Kerns studied music at Temple University and is a graduate of New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

THE 1940’s RADIO HOUR is produced by Teresa Bisson. First-time producer Teresa Bisson has been a member of the Actor’s Co-op since 2003. In her eight years with the company she has appeared in numerous shows such as MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, HENRY V, THE
CRUCIBLE, SHERLOCK’S LAST CASE and KING LEAR.

The design team for THE 1940’S RADIO HOUR includes Choreographer Julie Hall, Set Designer Mark Svastics, Costume Designer Paula Higgins, Sound Designer Fritz Davis, Propmaster Julie M. Smith and Stage Manager Leticia Gonzalez.

The talented acting ensemble includes Gary Ballard, Nathan Bell, Thomas Chavira, Gus Corrado, Gina D’Acciaro, Michael Downing, Catherine Gray, Steve Gustafson, Brian Habicht, Linda Kerns, Tawny Mertes, Jeffrey Scott Parsons, Ben Ryan, Kimi Walker.

Opening night of THE 1940’S RADIO HOUR is Friday, September 23rd, 2011. Regular performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 2:30 pm. An additional Saturday matinee is scheduled for October 8 at 2:30 pm. THE 1940’S RADIO HOUR closes Sunday, November 13, 2011.

About Actors Co-op Actors Co-op dedicates this 20th Anniversary Season to one of its original founders, the late David Schall. His dream to pursue the highest standards of spiritual and theatrical excellence makes this 20th Season possible. Actors Coo-op operates two 99-seat Equity-approved theatres on the campus of Hollywood Presbyterian Church. Actors Co-op began on January 9th, 1987, with a dozen actors. Currently, its membership exceeds 50 professionals. Since the Crossley Theatre opened its doors in April of 1989 and its second theatre, the Crossley Terrace Theatre opened February of 1995, Actors Co-op has produced over 80 main stage productions, over 35 Second Stage productions, staged readings of original works, and has received 125 Drama-Logue Awards, 30 LA Weekly Award nominations (6 wins), 29 Theatre Ovation Award nominations (2 wins), 5 Backstage West Garland Awards and 19 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards nominations (5 wins). In addition, Actors Co-op was honored with the Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Achievement†in smaller theatre from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle as well as the Charlie Award for “Excellence in the Arts†by the Hollywood Arts Council.

Actors Co-op’s Crossley Theatres are located at 1760 N. Gower Street, Hollywood, CA 90028, on the campus of Hollywood Presbyterian Church, one block north of Hollywood Boulevard, just off the Gower Street exit of the 101 Hollywood Freeway. Free, well-lit parking is available on Carlos Street (½ block east of Gower).

For tickets (regular admission $34, seniors $30, students $25. Group rates with six people available) people) and information: www.ActorsCo-op.org or 323-462-8460 ext 300

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