Music by Matt Conner
Book & Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith
Amidst the tumbling torrent that was the 1920s, Frank and Flora Conrad were on the edge of discovering mass broadcasting. These two unsung radio pioneers broke through the static and established the first radio station in America in their unassuming garage in East Pittsburgh. ON AIR follows their untold love story, and how radio became a constant companion, messenger and soundtrack of our lives over the past century of American life.
FRANK CONRAD (30s - 40s) introspective genius and inventor of mass broadcast, microwaves.
FLORA CONRAD (30s - 40s) Frank's forceful and supporting wife.
HARRY P. DAVIS/ENSEMBLE (30s - 40s) Engineer and visionary. Friend of Frank and fellow inventor
AGNES DAVIS/ENSEMBLE (30s - 40s) Harry's wife and friend of Flora
FRANK CONRAD JR (10 - 12yrs) Frank's precocious and inventive son.
RADIO VOICE (40s - 50s) Also older Frank Conrad Jr. Largely speaking role
“On Air” is a tuneful, engaging tour through little-known history. Amid the seduction, tyranny and treachery of our own era’s mass media, the Conrads’ story feels meaningful, and maybe a little ominous". - Washington Post
"Fifteen original musical numbers by Conner and Smith provide the engaging, emotional underpinnings to On Air and its easygoing dramatic action." - DC Metro Theater Arts
"This is a lovely show about hope and dreams and a time when America still seemed to be excited about progress and believed that yes, we can" - Maryland Theatre Guide
"On Air‘s heartfelt messages and buoyant music harken to earlier times of discovery, gathering together, listening to new ideas, and brand new concepts. And to each other." - DC Theatre Scene