Darin J. Dunston gets strange looks at yard sales. He likes to give stuff a good listen before purchasing it, rattling pie tins and squeezing three separate puff octaves out of a bicycle hose.
Dunston is the founder of the Hear Again Radio Project, a group of local actors who perform vintage radio dramas in the Skinner Studio at Plays and Players Theater, complete with live sound effects and campy commercials from the classic radio era.
“The idea — that we like the audience to play along with — is that we’re broadcasting coast to coast, so we’re inviting people into our studio to hear a live broadcast,” explains Dunston. “We like to warm people up beforehand, like, ‘If you feel like laughing or crying, please do! It adds so much to the people at home.’”
Hear Again’s “Halloween Spooktacular” hits the stage this weekend, and is perhaps the most challenging to date for Dunston, featuring the 1935 radio drama “Slurp! Goes the Amoeba” from NBC’s popular “Lights Out” series. This show promises plenty of blood curdling, well, slurping.
“We were experimenting with different slurps, and didn’t quite find the right thing, until I came across an article on the original series. There was a photo of a rubber glove with water, and you get such a nice ‘SLURRRRRP!’ that way,” reports Dunston.
Bring the family
Hear Again promises a kid-friendly “Spooktacular.” These vintage radio dramas are a bit creepy (mostly funny), but not intended to freak the kids out.