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New Dramatic Media Season Explores Golden Age Of Radio

At this time, and given the broader guidelines provided by TLU and the federal, state, and local agencies, the productions of the 2020-2021 season will feature streaming media content.

Radioactive: The 2020-21 Dramatic Media Season

This season focuses on a wide range of content inspired by the golden era of radio drama. From timeless classics to new stories that revive the format for the age of COVID, this season has something for every audience member. We invite you to tune in!


The 2nd Annual 49 Hour Film Festival
A TheatreXpress Student Production​​
Production Weekend: Sept. 18-20 &
Streaming Oct. 2*

Modeled after the international 48 Hour Film Project, which hosts events all around the globe, the students of TheatreXpress are proud to produce their own TLU version—complete with one extra hour for good measure. Participation is open to all TLU community members and their network of family and friends. Beginning on a Friday evening, entrants will receive the basic parameters of the competition. You draw a genre from a hat. You’re assigned a required character, line of dialogue, and prop. The rest is up to you, as you make a movie in one intense weekend. Completed films are due just 49 hours later and will be featured via beginning on October 2. ​

Viewer discretion advised: may contain mature subject matter.

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by Jim Martyka
Streaming November 2020*

This beloved holiday classic has been adapted as a play within a play in this clever new version by Jim Martyka. The poignant tale of George Bailey and Bedford Falls is told as a radio drama over the airwaves of KAWL, a struggling 1940s radio station. Good-hearted owner Michael Anderson is barely keeping the station alive when he calls on some old friends (with big personalities) to join a motley crew of station employees as they produce a live radio version of Frank Capra’s touching masterpiece. While the themes of the film are communicated with traditional warmth and charm, the mood of the company is notably melancholic, as they voice what might be the last live show for KAWL. But it’s the holidays, a time when miracles can happen…. Join us to celebrate the nostalgia and themes of the film you love, while enjoying a new and engaging context for the story.

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a new adaptation from the novel by H.G. Wells
Streaming March 2021*

You’ve never seen (or heard) the classic tale from H.G. Wells quite like this! First written in the late 1890s, this seminal work in the science-fiction genre was one of the earliest stories to explore a conflict between humans and extra-terrestrials. It’s notoriety and impact on popular culture was cemented in a famous adaptation for radio in 1938, produced by Orson Welles, a broadcast that caused confusion and mass panic among many audience members, who presumed that an alien invasion was indeed happening. More cinematic adaptations were produced in the years that have followed. Now, in 2021, the artists of TLU Dramatic Media will produce a new version, reflecting the conflicts and tensions of a contemporary world on edge as we face our own fears about invasions.

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an original multimedia project, featuring voices from the age of COVID-19
Streaming Spring 2021*

The impact of COVID-19 has been global, with stories and ramifications that have gripped our collective consciousness. In this new multimedia piece, the students of TLU Dramatic Media will document unique perspectives from the pandemic, providing a forum for processing the current crisis while also creating a time capsule for the future.

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​by Jordan Harrison
A TheatreXpress Student Production​​
Spring 2021 TBA*

Moll, a girl who invents things, wins the science fair with a machine for hearing sounds that can't be heard. But when a shapeshifting Mercenary steals the invention (and her heart), she must embark on a quest to save noise as we know it. Accompanied by the last boy-virgin in the eleventh grade, Moll crosses chasms and rafts rivers into a world where sound is always more than what meets the ear. A quirky fable of innocence and experience, featuring live sound effects, mutinous onomatopoeia, and a host of woodsy temptations.

Viewer discretion advised: contains mature subject matter and language. ​

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​​​by Alvaro Saar Rios
A TheatreXpress Student Production​
Spring 2021 TBA*

Imagine the Chinese legend Hua Mulan set in the world of lucha libre—Mexican wrestling. The discovery of a worn pink wrestling mask prompts Nana Lupita, a Wisconsin grandmother, to share her tale about growing up in 1960s Texas. As her tale unfolds, Lupita's life as a teen tomboy comes alive—bike riding with her friends Leopold and Liesl, working at her father's flower stand and lucha libre. When a World Championship match is announced, Lupita anticipates seeing it until she discovers a surprising and ailing figure is one of the wrestlers. With the help of a magical mask maker, Lupita secretly trains to wrestle incognito. She soon finds it difficult keeping her secret from her friends and, most importantly, her father. Originally produced in Milwaukee, a city that features heavily in the plot, LUCHADORA! Has been described as “An absolute gem. … A beautiful story with an upbeat message for young people and their parents.” ( and “One of the most moving and important productions likely to be seen in Milwaukee.” (

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A TheatreXpress Student Production​
April 2021 TBA*

The 21st annual XpressFest showcases original student plays, movies, and class projects. Join the student artists of TheatreXpress for this culmination of their annual work, including senior capstone projects.

Viewer discretion advised: may contain mature subject matter and language. ​

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All dates, times, and content are subject to change. ​*Dates and mode of delivery will also depend upon the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.