Fortitude: A Radio Drama

Special rebroadcast: Friday, Oct. 30, 2009 at 9:00 PM

Taking inspiration from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, acclaimed American author Kurt Vonnegut deals with issues of life and death in his darkly comic play Fortitude. Tonight, ideastream presents a radio drama adaptation of this little known Vonnegut work starring local theater legends Dorothy and Reuben Silver. The radio drama is staged before a live studio audience in the Idea Center® at PlayhouseSquare’s Westfield Insurance Studio Theater. This production is a partnership between ideastream and the Center for Literature, Medicine and the Biomedical Humanities at Hiram College. Pictured: Dorothy and Reuben Silver at a Fortitude rehearsal.

Listen to the play:

This production is a partnership between ideastream and the Center for Literature, Medicine and the Biomedical Humanities at Hiram College.

Listen to an interview with Dorothy and Reuben Silver and David Hansen:


David Hansen (Director/Narrator)
Fortitude marks David's fourth production with WCPN ideastream. Last fall he directed and narrated Eric Coble's radio adaptation of The Machine Stops, and in 2005 his stage solo performance I Hate This (A Play Without the Baby) was adapted into an hour-long radio drama, which won an eTech Ohio Public Broadcasting Award. And in 2004 he collaborated with his wife Toni K. Thayer on the Around Noon radio diary, Spencer Tunick: The Naked Truth, which received awards from the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists and the Press Club of Cleveland.

Nick Koesters (Gordon)
Nick Koesters has lived in Cleveland and has worked as a professional actor all over Northeast Ohio since 1994. Some of his favorite roles are Biff in Death of a Salesman, Nathan in Sarah Morton's Night Bloomers, Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest and The Chesire Cat/ White Knight in Alice at Porthouse theatre. He regularly performs as the Voice of Gilby and Mr. Nick in Akron Public Schools' Ask Gilby TV show. Nick lives with his two muses: his amazingly beautiful, talented and supportive wife Carolyn and their daughter Calliope.

Dorothy Silver (Sylvia Lovejoy)
Dorothy Silver has performed and directed at most area theatres including Great Lakes Theater Festival and the Cleveland Play House as well as in New York at American Place Theatre. Among her favorite roles are leads in The Visit, All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, and Master Class. She served l2 years as Director of Performing Arts of the JCC and as longtime resident guest director of Karamu Theatre. She has shared many theatre experiences with her husband, Reuben Silver.

Reuben Silver (Dr. Norbert Frankenstein)
Reuben Silver, actor/director/theatre educator, became Director of Karamu Theatre in l955, and Head of CSU Theatre in l976, where he is now Professor Emeritus. Dr. Silver, a member of Actors' Equity for over 50 years, played in Nicholas Nickleby and The Dybbuk (Great Lakes), The Visit and Death of a Salesman (CSU), Talking Heads and Mrs. Warren's Profession (Beck), The Chosen and All My Sons (Halle), among many, many others. In November, Reuben will direct Dorothy Silver, his partner in life and theatre, in Alan Bennett's Talking Heads Two at the Beck Center.

Robert J. Williams (Dr. Tom Swift)
Robert J. Williams has performed in the Cleveland area for almost 20 years as an actor and musician. Recent credits include, The Negro Resurrectionist in Venus and Howard in The Designated Mourner at Cleveland Public Theatre. Seth in Joe Turner's Come & Gone at Tri-C Metro Theater. Chuck in Hard Lovin' Gone Bad at The Access Theatre, New York, N.Y., and The Cancer Doctor in the Sundance Award winning film American Splendor.

Dawn Youngs (Dr. Alberta Little)
Dawn Youngs, the former Associate Director of Theater Education at the Beck Center for the Arts, is now a freelance actor, director and visual artist living in Austin, Texas. Dawn has her MFA in Acting from the University of Missouri in Kansas City and has performed on stages, in independent film, and over the airwaves across the country. She has most recently directed A Streetcar Named Desire on stage now at Lorain County Community College.

Dennis Yurich (Composer/Sound Design)
Dennis Yurich was the music director for Hedwig and the Angry Inch at CPT. He composed the original score and did the sound design for Lord of the Flies and The Dying Gaul at the Beck Center; for Closer and Safety at Dobama; for Cloud 9, Lysistrata and Sin at Bad Epitaph; for David Hansen's I Hate This and the Vampyres; and for WCPN's radio broadcast of The Machine Stops.

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