"O’Toole From Moscow" is about confusion between Russians and the Cincinnati Reds at the height of the “Red Scare” over possible Communist infiltration of American institutions during the Cold War. Serling originally wrote the one-hour television play for NBC Matinee Theatre and it was only broadcast once on Dec. 12, 1955. The performance was not filmed or recorded.
"O’Toole From Moscow" was adapted for radio and produced by WVXU’s John Kiesewetter, who tracked down the original script with the help of Serling historians. He also met with Serling’s daughter, Anne, who is the program host and narrator of the radio play. CCM Acting students recorded the comedy, which was directed by CCM Professor Richard Hess, at Cincinnati Public Radio’s studio. Sammi Grant, a visiting master’s student from London’s Central School of Speech and Drama, tutored the cast so they would sound authentically Russian.
Hess hand-picked his lineup of eight student cast members for the radio play: Chandler Bates, Austin James Cleri, Matt Fox, Dustin Parsons, Jack Steiner, Frankie Chuter, Cameron Nalley and Lucas Prizant. The team also recruited CCM alumnus and Cincinnati Reds organist John Schutte (Music Theory, ATT '84-'87), who provided the ballpark organ music for the broadcast.
While fans anticipated the return of Major League Baseball, WVXU and CCM's revival of this rare Serling comedy received attention from The Athletic, Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press, MLB.com, Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati Business Courier, CityBeat Cincinnati and more.
Read about the making of this radio play on WVXU.