Featured Show: Marta Manzin (Prompt Corner)

For our first snowy December featured show interview, we spoke to Marta, host of Prompt Corner! You can listen to Prompt Corner every other Monday at 6pm on WMBR.


[Photo credit: Eurah Ko]

* How would you describe your show to a first-time listener?

MARTA: It’s a show about theater! I try to spread the word about good opportunities to enjoy live plays in the Boston area. I mostly review local theaters, but I’ve also talked about amateur/student productions, and even about recorded shows that are available online. I often have guests. When it’s helpful, I like to include songs, movies, paintings and articles and that are related to performance arts, or that share a common theme with a play.

* Do you feel like hosting your radio show has changed the way you experience theatre in person?

M: Now I have a great excuse to see more plays!

Besides that, there’s a big step between watching a live performance and trying to share your experience with a listener who has probably never heard of it. Prompt Corner has no spoilers: instead of describing what I’ve seen, I talk about the reasons behind my reactions. There are so many sides to a show: acting and character accents, costumes, sets, lights… too much information! Preparing reviews made me much better at understanding why I perceive a play the way I do.

* What’s your favorite WMBR memory?

M: During my first season, Prompt Corner was on Saturday nights, just before PJ’s Mellow Madness. PJ has a huge following and his listeners kept calling during the evening and asking: “Is he going to be there tonight?” I didn’t know the answer, but calls kept coming in anyway. After a few weeks, I started an experiment called Waiting for PJ: Performance Art At WMBR. I kept asking my own listeners to call the station and ask me if PJ was coming, so every time I could reply “I DON’T KNOW!” I included some Godot-style reflections like “I forgot: why are we waiting for PJ? Is PJ even real?” The true PJ thought it was funny.

This is also how I found out that I had listeners, which was a huge motivation boost for a newcomer! So now I’m doing my third season.

* What song(s) best characterize the end of the semester to you?

M: I had the unwise idea of writing a final paper on the musical Gypsy for one of my classes. The show is about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee, the first international star of burlesque. It’s a fun project… but now numbers like Mr. Goldstone and Some People are stuck in my head on repeat. They’re about a woman on the verge of a nervous breakdown, so maybe not the best soundtrack for my last week of classes 😉 Still, it’s a great show.

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