Creative Cauldron Presents World Premiere Musical On Air

Victoria Dandrea Art & Culture, Theatre & Dance

Music by Matt Conner and Book and Lyrics by Stephen Gregory Smith

Celebrating its fifth and final installment of “Bold New Works for Intimate Stages,” Creative Cauldron presents the world premiere of On Air. Set in Pittsburgh, PA during the 1920s, On Air tells the story of Frank and Flora Conrad, who were on the edge of discovering mass broadcasting. These two unsung radio pioneers established the first radio station in America in their unassuming garage. 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. Matt Conner and Stephen Gregory Smith, the critically acclaimed creative team for Creative Cauldron’s past Bold New Work premieres (Turn of the Screw 2015, Monsters of the Villa Diodati 2016, Kaleidoscope 2017, Witch 2018,) are mining the nostalgia of a bygone era and shedding light on a relatively unknown piece of American history with this newest work. On Air runs May 2 – 26, 2019.

Composer Matt Conner has been performing, composing, teaching and music directing in the DC area for fifteen years. He has created original music for Creative Cauldron’s Learning Theater shows.  With his artistic partner Stephen Gregory Smith, he composed original musicals: The Turn of the Screw (Helen Hayes Awards Nomination for Outstanding Direction), Monsters of the Villa Diodati, Kaleidoscope, and Witch.

Stephen Gregory Smith is a veteran DC Helen Hayes Award winning actor, writer, and director. He directed Creative Cauldron’s Witch, Kaleidoscope, Monsters of the Diodati, Turn of the Screw, Cole Porter; You’re the Top!, and Thunder Knocking on the Door. Stephen was nominated for the Helen Hayes Awards – Outstanding Supporting Actor, Resident Musical for 110 in the Shade.

Jimmy Mavrikes makes his Creative Cauldron debut as radio pioneer, Frank Conrad. Mavrikes has appeared at Signature Theatre, Girlfriend (Will) [Helen Hayes nom. For Best Actor], Cabaret, Signature Tenor’s Cabaret; Constellation Theatre Co, Wild Party (Burrs) [Helen Hayes nom. For Best Actor]; Arena Stage: Fiddler, Oliver; Olney Theatre: My Fair Lady; Adventure Theatre: Petite Rouge, James and the Giant Peach [Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Ensemble]; Imagination Stage: Looking for Roberto Clemente, Princess and the Pauper; 1st Stage: Bat Boy (Bat Boy) [Helen Hayes nom. for Best Actor]; and Toby’s Dinner Theatre, Into the Woods (Jack), Spamalot.

Returning to Creative Cauldron, Nora Palka appears as Flora Conrad, wife of Frank Conrad. She was last seen at the Cauldron doing her solo cabarets “Girls Like Us,” and “Live Your Truth.” Other DC area credits include: GirlstarGypsy and Best Little Whorehouse… (Signature Theatre), ShearMadness! (Kennedy Center); Orphie and the Book of Heroes, Elephant and Piggie: We are in a Play!, The Gift of Nothing (Kennedy Center TYA); Back to Methuselah, Pygmalion (Washington Stage Guild); Rocky Horror Show (Studio Theatre); Spring Awakening (Keegan Theatre); and Into the Woods (NextStop Theatre Company). 

Garrett Matthews stars as founder of the first radio station in Pittsburgh, KDKA: Dr. Harry P. Davis/Ensemble. Matthews appeared last season at Creative Cauldron as Homer Zuckerman in Charlotte’s Web. Garrett has been performing regularly with the In Series, appearing in the American Songbook cabarets, featuring the music of Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin as well as a concert of operetta favorites. Other In Series credits include The Magic Flute, Don Pasquale, and Goyescas

National Young Arts Foundation Award winner, Erin Granfield, returns to Creative Cauldron once again this season as the wife of Dr. Harry P. Davis, Agnes Davis/Ensemble. Granfield most recently appeared at Creative Cauldron in the Holiday Cabaret Series and as Elmira in Nevermore. She also played the role of Francesca Johnson to critical acclaim in the DC/Baltimore regional premiere of The Bridges of Madison County (Red Branch Theatre). Other credits include Pallas Theatre Collective: Crazy Mary Lincoln (Mary Harlan Lincoln), Lost in Wonderland (March Hare), and a national tour of The Music Man (Marian).

Sixth grader, Owen Thiebert appears as Francis Conrad/Young Frank. Thiebert made his stage debut as Pinocchio the “real boy” in the Creative Cauldron’s production of Pinocchio. He is a now a veteran of 11 Cauldron productions, including the role of “Oliver” in Oliver Twist and “Uncle” the pig in Charlotte’s Web, and was last seen playing the “Caterpillar” and the “Two of Hearts” in Alice in Wonderland on the heels of his portrayal of “Roo” in the Alden Theater production of Winnie the Pooh.

Television and radio personality, Robert Aubry Davis joins the cast of On Air as the Radio Voice. Davis is a native Washingtonian and an active member of the area’s cultural community. Davis is the creator and host of “Millennium of Music,” a program dedicated to music from the thousand years before Bach. The program now in its 40th season, is carried by more than 100 public radio stations nationwide, internationally, and on SiriusXM Satellite Radio. He has been host and moderator of WETA TV’s Emmy Award-winning weekly arts discussion program, “Around Town,” since its inception in 1986. Davis can also be heard on SiriusXM’s classical music channel.

Tickets for On Air may be purchased on-line at
or by calling 703-436-9948.

On Air
Music and Lyrics by MATT CONNER
Principle Sponsor: Jon Wiant
Additional Sponsors: Mike Blank, and John & Jackie Chewning
& The Juan C. Febles Memorial Fund 

May 2 – 26, 2019​
Thursday 8:00 PM, Friday 8:00 PM, Saturday 8:00 PM, Sunday 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM

Creative Cauldron                       
410 South Maple Avenue                       
Falls Church, VA 22046           

Tickets: Adults $32 | Seniors $28 | Military $28 | Students $20 | Groups $20
Free Parking in 410 and 400 South Maple Building Garages