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 the 30th anniversary of the launch of KDKA, the first radio station,
Frank Conrad Jr. hosts a celebratory broadcast and reminisces about his mother Flora and father Frank.. At the request of a reporter, an older Flora Conrad opens the shut up garage studio where she and Frank did the first ever mass broadcast. Frank died years earlier, but she distinctly feels his presence. We journey with her back to their first meeting at a dance hall in Pittsburgh, and through their family years, while Frank was "tinkering" with inventions. His intelligent and inquisitive young son Frank is a chip off the old block, but wishes his father were designing rockets instead of radios.. With Radio now blossoming at KDKA, the first radio station, Flora decides that they should cover the historic 1920 election giving women their first opportunity to vote. Time moves on and Frank and Flora make their annual trek to their Florida home and while there, Frank has a heart attack and dies. Our story returns to the reporter and Flora in the garage, and when the reporter leaves, Flora decides to remain for a bit more reminiscing.
“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