It Happened One Night


Airing April 16, 8:00 pm on WGLT 89.1 FM & WCBU 89.9 FM

Heartland Theatre Company announces the broadcast ofits third radio play for the radio waves, It Happened One Night, the 1934 hit romantic comedy with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert, written by Robert Riskin. It was featured on the Lux Radio Hour with the original cast in 1939. The critically acclaimed Best Picture Winner is widely hailed as one of the greatest films ever made. A pampered socialite tries to get out from under her father’s thumb and falls in love with a roguish reporter. The plot is based on the 1933 short story, “Night Bus” by Samuel Hopkins Adams. The film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. The script includes around 16 characters, which allows for many of Heartland’s actors to voice the characters.  Heartland partnered with WGLT to bring you the Halloween thriller The War of the Worlds in October and the heart-warming Christmas story, The Gift of the Magi, in December.

Heartland Theatre’s third radio play production, professionally audio-recorded, will be broadcast on WGLT, Bloomington-Normal’s Public Media, at 8:00 pm on April 16th. Listeners can tune in to 89.1 FM or stream at WCBU, Peoria Public Radio, will also air the playsimultaneously at 89.9 FM or

 “Thousands of listeners have tuned in to WGLT & WCBU Present over the last several months,” said R.C. McBride, general manager, WGLT & WCBU. “Heartland Theatre’s productions are a fantastic addition to the series, and we can’t wait to see what they do next with It Happened One Night.”

It Happened One Night is directed by ISU’s Robert Quinlan, featuring Connie Blick as Ellie Andrews and Christopher Stucky as Peter Warne, alongside a cast that the community will recognize: Joel Shoemaker as the Bus Driver, Holly Rocke as Mrs. Dyke, John D. Poling as Mr. Dobbs, Joe Strupek as Mr. Gordon, Leo Vargas Steinbacher as a Newsboy, Carol Scott as the Switchboard Operator, Eric Schacht as Mr. Baker and Craig Fata as the Detective, Rich Tinaglia as Mr. Andrews, and Chuck Pettigrew as Oscar Shapeley. Our Lux Commercial Ladies are played by Jenna Kohn, Gayle Hess, Lynda Rettick and Kendall Katz. The Announcer is Larissa Strong and your host, Cecil DeMille is played by Rhys Lovell.

Heartland is partnering with Donny B’s popcorn to offer you a good deal on old-time movie refreshments while you listen to the play.
Click the image above to order Single or Family size Movie Box!

The ONLY way you can get a playbill for the show is to order the Donny B’s Movie Box shown above!

Rehearsals for the radio drama during the COVID-19 pandemic are conducted entirely on Zoom, with final audiotaping in a large room, with actors arriving at different times, and socially distanced during the taping. 



The Lux Team

ANNOUNCER – Larissa Strong (Understudy Holly Rocke)

CECIL B. DeMILLE, your host – Rhys Lovell (Understudy John D. Poling)

The Leading Players

PETER WARNE – Christopher Stucky (Understudy Craig Fata)

ELLIE ANDREWS – Connie Blick (Understudy Jenna Kohn)

MR. ANDREWS – Rich Tinaglia (Understudy Joe Strupek)

OSCAR SHAPELY – Chuck Pettigrew (Understudy Joel Shoemaker)

The Others


GORDON – Joe Strupek

NEWSBOY – Leo Vargas Steinbacher

BUS DRIVER – Joel Shoemaker

DYKE, of Dyke’s Auto Camp – Holly Rocke

DETECTIVE – Craig Fata

BAKER – Eric Schacht

DOBBS, of Dobbs’ Auto Camp – John D. Poling


Lux Flakes’ commercial characters



1ST HAND – Lynda Rettick

2ND HAND – Kendall Katz

The idea for the radio projects first came to Heartland’s Artistic Director, Rhys Lovell, who was trying to find alternative theatre content during the pandemic, as a way of maintaining Heartland’s vital artistic presence in the community. Lovell talked with WGLT News Director Charlie Schlenker about the possibility of recreating the drama The War of the Worlds on WGLT/WCBU on October 30, in the same style as the 1938 drama with Orson Welles. This process worked so well that WGLT and Heartland Theatre will continue their partnership into the new year.

Listen to an interview with Director Robert Quinlan and Artistic Director Rhys Lovell here about It Happened One Night.

Heartland Theatre Company has been providing provocative plays for the Central Illinois region since 1986. Located in Normal for nearly 35 years, Heartland is known for the quality of its productions and its 10-Minute Play Festivals. Heartland, along with all other theaters in the country, have been hard-hit by the restrictions of the Coronavirus.

This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency, a state agency.

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