Delving Into Frankenstein, GVHS’ Anticipated Radio Play


The beginning of November marked an important period for Golden Valley High School’s theatre program with the release of their anticipated radio play Frankenstein, directed by Janie Cromsigt Prucha. The radio play, adapted by Philip Grecian and based on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, follows the classic story of Victor Frankenstein (Andrew Cunado) and his Creature (Grant Witkop), a being he brought to life in an attempt to satisfy his eagerness to create a perfect race of man. Although the Creature has a grotesque appearance, he possesses a sense of humanity and is befriended by an empathetic man named De Lacey (Adrian Rabago). However, Creature is soon attacked and confronted with the severe prejudice of those who fear him. Disaster strikes and the town comes to face the consequences of Frankenstein’s creation.
When one imagines a theatre production, they typically picture a performance characterized by actors upon a stage. However, the ability to deliver such a performance on stage is inhibited due to current conditions of virtual learning and COVID-19. Although theatre was unable to perform on a stage, this production of Frankenstein demonstrates the ways in which a theatre production can be showcased in an environment other than the traditional stage setting.
Throughout my experience listening to Frankenstein, I came to realize that there is something undeniably unique about a radio play. Although one can not experience the story visually, the audio alone can communicate emotion and connect with listeners just as adequately as a stage play could. The appeal to the auditory sense allows listeners to experience the story in a completely different way than they would in the traditional setting. Moreover, the visual aspect is unique to every individual since the visualization of the story depends on the imagination of those listening. This fact alone is fascinating and the reason as to why a radio play may go downhill if the auditory aspect is not executed properly. However, Golden Valley’s production of Frankenstein did not disappoint. Their ability to effectively execute auditorily was clear and deserving of praise.
Overall, the production was exceptionally cohesive. The smooth flow of the dialogue, as well as the utilization of background noise and music were the factors that most contributed to this sense of cohesion. The background noise was seamlessly embedded into each scene and the music set the tone for the plot. The description (including timestamps, summary, and cast) was concise and the presence of an intermission created a heightened feeling of professionalism.
Furthermore, the theatre program’s professionalism and ability to uniquely portray such an iconic story was a result of the excellent choice of cast and crew. Two of the main characters, Victor Frankenstein (Andrew Cunado) and Creature (Grant Witkop), especially caught my attention. Their ability to assume the roles was outstanding and really helped the story come to life. The skilled nature of the cast and crew was truly impressive, especially since such a production cannot be easily formulated due to the limitations that exist with virtual learning.
Although I was immersed in the story for the majority of the radio play, there were only a few issues that were slightly distracting and a reminder that this was indeed a piece of fiction. These issues lay in the microphones as it was evident that some actors recorded in different settings, which detracted from the authenticity of the scene. Occasional microphone sounds were also noticeable. However, there is little that can be done to solve this issue and it did not degrade the overall quality of the production.
Ultimately, the radio play was impressive and an excellent portrayal of the classic story of Frankenstein. Frankenstein showcases the vast capabilities of the Golden Valley theatre program as they exhibit, once again, a production of high quality and completeness.