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Local

Radio troupe captures imagination of crowd at Geneva Library

The "Need to be Seen" Live Radio Troupe performs a play Sunday at the Geneva Public Library.
The "Need to be Seen" Live Radio Troupe performs a play Sunday at the Geneva Public Library.

GENEVA – Bobbie Ildefonso of Geneva and her 10-year-son, Tobias, enjoy using their imaginations.

"We like imagining a story coming to life," Ildefonso said.

They did just that Sunday afternoon at the Geneva Public Library as The "Need To Be Seen" Live Radio Troupe presented two plays from actual radio scripts, Sherlock Holmes' "Murder In The Casbah" and Agatha Christie's Poirot in "The Case Of The Careless Client."

The shows were presented straightforward, without costumes or scenery. The Geneva-based troupe got its start about two years ago, as the Geneva Cultural Arts Commission was seeking entertainment for its RiverPark Summer Series. Attorney Dan O'Brien said he decided to join the troupe after taking voice-over classes as a hobby.

"It's a lot of fun doing it," O'Brien said. "You do all the acting with your voice. I tend to do different voices in the the troupe."

O'Brien showed off his different voices Sunday, including playing the part of Dr. Watson in "Murder In The Casbah."

Mary Jean Bankmann juggles both acting and directing the troupe's shows. It's a role she is used to.

"I used to direct plays at Geneva Middle School," Bankmann said. "I like anything to do with theatre."

The troupe regularly performs shows throughout the area. On Nov. 11, The "Need To Be Seen" Live Radio Troupe will perform "The Case of the Big Top Murders," an episode from the popular Dick Tracy radio program, as part of an open house to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Lake Ellyn Boathouse in Glen Ellyn. More information is at www.gepark.org.

Bankmann enjoys the fact that the troupe is bringing back memories for those old enough to remember live radio shows, and creating new ones for the younger generation.

Among the troupe's fans is Ellen Schmid, adult services reference coordinator at the Geneva Public Library.

"My family loves to listen to old time radio," she said. "That's the perfect thing to listen to

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