A Class Reenactment

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#636: “A Class Reenactment”
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50: The Best Small Town
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Accidental Dilemma, Part 2
A Class Reenactment
“A Class Reenactment” is episode #636 of the Adventures in Odyssey audio series. It was written and directed by Nathan Hoobler, and originally aired on April 5, 2008.


Summary

Edwin Blackgaard puts on a radio reenactment of the founding of the town of Odyssey. Two of his actors, Mandy Straussberg and Trent DeWhite, are unhappy when they’re cast as a young couple in love.

Plot

Edwin Blackgaard has been commissioned by Eugene Meltsner and the Historical Society to write a play about the founding of Odyssey. Eugene has the right to approve the script on behalf of the society, and he wants Edwin to keep it simple. Edwin, however, has other plans. After Eugene leaves, he and Shakespeare burn issues of The Odyssey Times containing a negative preview of his play by a critic, which includes calling Edwin "unsophisticated" (by entitling him a "country bumpkin" and an "ineffective, talentless Muppet"). Edwin then rants about how he is going to prove the critic wrong by making the radio play the best play ever, and therefore showing the critic his sophistication.

Later, presumably at the Harlequin Theatre, Trent DeWhite and Mandy Straussberg are waiting for Edwin to give them their parts in the play. Marvin Washington comes into the studio with a special issue of The Odyssey Owl, with Trent and Mandy listed as the most studious, and the words "Someday their kids will definitely have I.Q.s in the quadruple digits" are written. Though Trent and Marvin laugh this off, Mandy is upset. She insists to the teasing Marvin that she and Trent are just friends, to which Trent agrees.

Matters are made worse when Edwin comes in and gives them their roles and Trent and Mandy are cast as a married couple! Despite their protests, Edwin refuses to change their parts.

Later Eugene comes to the Odyssey 105 studio to listen to the rehearsal of the play. Edwin has done everything he was not supposed to do, writing in things such as poisoned arrows, golden elephants, quintuple executions, and dancing cauldrons of fire into the play. With nothing but the name of the town and characters historically correct, Eugene insists that he rewrite the script.

Afterwords, as they are walking home, Mandy expresses her distress about the play to Trent and Marvin, venting out her anger and worry about what people will say about her. Although neither of the boys sees anything particularly wrong about the play, Mandy makes a firm decision to stay away from Trent, hoping that if they stop spending time together no one will tease her about her role in the play.

In the next rehearsal (with Mandy making sure to share a microphone with Marvin instead of Trent), the new script distresses Eugene even more, as it not only mocks the town's history, but the characters as well. However, as he debates it with Edwin, Bryan Dern bursts into the studio and makes couple jokes about Trent and Mandy, even deciding to dedicate a romantic song to them on his show, causing Mandy to finally quit and storm out of the studio.

The conversation between Eugene and Edwin continues, and Eugene finally finds out that Edwin is trying to impress a critic. Eugene then tells Edwin that he needs to spend less time worrying about the critic, and that otherwise he would miss out on telling a wonderful story about Odyssey. Edwin (having not read the historical materials he was supposed to base the script on) does not know what story he is talking about, so Eugene tells him the story of Horace McAlister and the Gowers.

Meanwhile, Connie Kendall, who was running the sound booth, goes after Mandy. She catches up to her and asks her if she's willing to end her friendship with Trent just because a few people might tease them. Mandy realizes that she doesn't want to lose Trent as a friend, and she finally agrees do the play.

After the play is over, everyone is happy with how it turned out, even Mandy. Edwin nastily declares that if the play didn't make the critic happy, then nothing is going to...and he declares it right in front of the critic himself. The critic, now annoyed with Edwin (because he called him a naval gazing hack), tells him that the play was the best he had ever seen him do, then walks away. Edwin rejoices at first, then pauses. He runs after the critic, demanding what he meant by this.

Discussion Questions

There are no discussion questions listed for this episode. »

Cast

Role Voice Actor
Bertha Gower Aria Curzon
Bryan Dern Corey Burton
Connie Kendall Katie Leigh
Duncan Banquo Will Ryan
Edwin Blackgaard Earl Boen
Eugene Meltsner Will Ryan
Horace McAlister Kendre Berry
Mandy Straussberg Aria Curzon
Marvin Washington Kendre Berry
Trent DeWhite Corey Padnos
Walter Shakespeare Corey Burton
Wolfgang Gower Corey Padnos

Notes

Trivia
  • This episode’s title reflects the title of episode #218: “A Class Act”.
  • To date, this is the last episode to feature Trent DeWhite. This is also the last episode on air to feature Mandy Straussberg. She is featured in B-TV: Live but that episode has not and probably will not be heard on the radio.
  • Writer Nathan Hoobler based the scene where Connie and Eugene are in the control room and are speechless toward Edwin on a real life incident: When David Griffin (voice of Jimmy Barclay) was recording an episode during his tween age life, his voice suddenly started to crack. Since Adventures in Odyssey usually looks for younger sounding voices to play kid characters, when a young actor’s voice changed, his career with AIO was usually over. No one on the production staff wanted to lose Dave, so when his voice changed, the directors and writers all stood speechless in the recording room, just like Eugene and Connie did to Edwin.
  • The character of Duncan Banquo is named after two characters in Macbeth, one of William Shakespeare's most notable tragedies.
  • This script originally ended with Edwin’s closing narration about the founding of Odyssey. Upon reading the script the day before recording, the team felt that another ending was needed. They quickly wrote a scene where Edwin embarrassed himself in front of the much-discussed theater critic. Actor Will Ryan stepped in to play the critic.
  • At the end of the first draft of Edwin's play, Mandy's character Bertha tells Trent's character Wolfgang that "so long as men can breathe or eyes can see, there shall never be a man more valiant than thee". This line references the last lines of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18: "So long as men can breathe or eyes can see/So long lives this, and this gives life to thee".
  • A Class Reenactment is a Trandy episode (the word being a portmanteau of Trent and Mandy) because it is an episode that directly involves the relationship of Trent DeWhite and Mandy Straussberg. The other two episodes like this are #560: “The Present Long Ago” and #602: “Mum’s the Word”. This episode is the last Trandy episode.
  • This is Eugene's 200th episode, not counting behind-the-scenes and retrospective shows.

Reviews

Quotes

Edwin Blackgaard: No, no, NO, Shakespeare! When I say a ROARING fire, I want to FEEL it singeing my eyebrows!

Edwin Blackgaard: Country bumpkin, am I? Ineffective, talentless muppet, am I!? Mr. Banquo, I stab at thee!

Edwin Blackgaard: All right, children. Are you prepared for an experience you will never forget? <undertone> No matter where your dull middle class suburban lives take you.

Trent DeWhite: We don’t wanna be a married couple!
Edwin Blackgaard: You don’t wanna? Oh dear me, how sad! Shakespeare, fetch me my violin.
Walter Shakespeare: Violin, coming up!

Trent DeWhite: Couldn’t you just, you know...change the script a little?
Edwin Blackgaard: What?!
Walter Shakespeare: Change Mr. Blackgaard’s script?!

Edwin Blackgaard: <talking to Eugene> No, they want to hear drama!
Walter Shakespeare: That’s right!
Edwin Blackgaard: Spectacle!
Walter Shakespeare: Spectacle!
Edwin Blackgaard: Crisis!
Walter Shakespeare: Crisis!
Edwin Blackgaard: And the true story has none of those elements!
Walter Shakespeare: None!

Connie Kendall: Isn’t keeping a good friend better than losing one because of what other kids think?
Mandy Straussberg: What?
Connie Kendall: Mandy, are you willing to end your friendship with Trent just because a few people might tease you? Does your friendship mean so little?

Horace McAlister: <the Founding of Odyssey> Whatever we call it, the name should tell people that...that they’re in for the adventure of a lifetime! It’s in a beautiful valley, a place that everybody...everybody oughta see.
Edwin Blackgaard: <today> No one said anything more. And apart from a spelling change, that’s how our town has been known ever since. A town that survived its reputation as “the stinking swamp” became a town known for community and redemption--a town that all of us are happy to call our home and our dream – Odyssey.

Bertha Gower: When I think of home, I can't think of the word having any meaning without you there.
Wolfgang Gower: Oh, Bertha...you don't mean that. You don't want a poor, blind man.
Bertha Gower: You're my best friend, Wolfgang. How could I live anywhere without you? You're my constant and my touchstone.
Wolfgang Gower: And you're mine. I can't live without you, Bertha...will you marry me?
Bertha Gower: Yes, a thousand times, yes, I'll marry you!
Mandy Straussberg: What?
Edwin Blackgaard: Hair scr-r-r-runchies. You appear to be an expert on them.