Theater preview: 'Bootleg Radio'

Jim Fischer
Columbus Alive
Dakota Thorn, Brian Gray, Ian Short, Karie Miller and Todd Eckert in Available Light Theatre's “Bootleg Radio.”

What kind of play do you want or need to see right now?

That's (in a nutshell) where Available Light Theatre started with its local team as it began creating an all-new theater production. As that question was answered (which, of course, led to more questions), the prompt was shared with a network of playwrights and theater professionals around the country, soliciting short reactions, scenes and other submissions that AVLT then assembled into “Bootleg Radio,” which opens this weekend at the Riffe Center Studio One Theatre.

“When we make original stuff, it allows us to respond relative to what's happening in the world,” co-director and AVLT artistic director Matt Slaybaugh said in a phone interview. “As we were looking for a play, we were not finding something that spoke to this particular moment.”

“Bootleg Radio” does not follow a linear storyline, although Slaybaugh said a recurring theme is “hope.” The assembled scenes and other pieces of text are interspersed with live music, dancing and poetry. Slaybaugh likened it to changing the radio station.

“We do not have a statement we're making. The production is itself a question,” Slaybaugh said.

Riffe Center Studio One Theatre

Sept. 28 through Oct. 14

77 S. High St., Downtown