“Operator! Operator! — I — I’m in desperate trouble — I — I don’t dare speak louder. I — There’s someone listening. Can you hear me now? But you’ve got to hear me. Oh — please… You’ve got to help me. There’s someone in this house — someone who’s going to murder me — and you’ve got to get in touch with the — Oh, there it is. Did you hear it? He’s put it down. He’s put down the extension phone. He’s coming up the stairs. Give me the police department. Give me the police. I can hear him. Hurry — hurry AHHHHH!”
~Mrs. Stevenson from Lucille Fletcher’s radio drama Sorry Wrong Number
Radio Drama is on the verge of becoming nothing but a nostalgic memory in the US collective conscience. In the first half of this week’s episode of From the Vault, we will honor the art of radio drama by presenting a recent Pacifica Radio Archives production of one of the most famous plays penned specifically for radio. Sorry, Wrong Number was written by Lucille Fletcher, stars Miss Shirley Knight and Ed Asner, and is directed by Erik Bauersfeld. This broadcast is as creepy today as it was in 1943!
In the second half of this week’s program, we’ll touch on the history of Sorry, Wrong Number and learn a bit about the author, Lucille Fletcher. We’ll also hear excerpts of the original 1943 broadcast starring Agnes Moorehead, and have a discussion with the director and star of the 2003 radio production, Erik Bauersfeld and Miss Shirley Knight, about radio drama and the behind-the-scenes making of Sorry Wrong Number.
2003 production of Sorry Wrong Number cast and crew list:
Ana B. Gabriel
Producer: Brian DeShazor
Director: Erik Bauersfeld
Sound Designer: Jim McKee
Sound advisors: Steve Barker, Randy Thom
Special thanks to: Cristine Blosdale, Tim Forrest, Eva Georgia, Steven Starr, Mark Torres
From the Vault is presented as part of the Pacifica Radio Archives Preservation and Access Project, funded in part by an award from the GRAMMY Foundation and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives and Records Administration, and past grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and the American Archive funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, along with the generous support of Pacifica Radio Listeners. We also thank our partners and collaborators at the Pop-Up Archive, Amara, Other Minds Archives, George Blood Audio, and the California Audio Visual Preservation Project.
PURCHASE a copy of this program or learn more about the historic archival recordings used within this episode. To purchase a CD copy of this program by phone, please call Pacifica Radio Archives at 800.735.0230 x 262.