Before there was Dodie Bellamy, chronicling insular lit-world gossip and the sexual- politic of the text via the epistles of Mina Harker, there was another hybrid form: the American radio drama. Complicated cast politics, genre fiction, and the aesthetics of sound dominated this theater of the mind, from the Depression to the Cold War.
The legendary ensemble behind The Mercury Theatre on the Air promoted and evolved sprawling conceptual recreations of everything from A Tale of Two Cities to John Dillinger biopics, largely under the helm of cofounder Orson Welles (War of the Worlds, right?).
Somewhere in America, I have to think that Dodie would be just as into Agnes Moorehead’s star-turn as Mina Harker as I am:
Dracula by Bram Stoker (aired July 11, 1938)
Cast: Orson Welles (Dr. John Seward, Count Dracula), Elizabeth Fuller (Lucy Westenra), George Coulouris (Jonathan Harker), Agnes Moorehead (Mina Harker), Martin Gabel (Dr. Van Helsing), Ray Collins (Russian Captain), Karl Swenson (Mate).
More in Theater of the Mind: Imagination, Aesthetics, and American Radio Drama by Neil Verma