Family ties on and off stage

Thursday, June 07, 2018

There are many well-known acting dynasties: The Barrymores; The Carradines; The Fondas. Did you know that Fairmont has its very own theatrical family? Fairmont natives Shannon and Chris Yost have been appearing together onstage with The Fairmont State University Masquers Town and Gown Summer Theatre since 2006, when they both played orphans in a production of Oliver. Now, 12 years later, they can be seen together again in this summer's presentation, The 1940s Radio Hour.

"When we were younger, it was kind of a pain to spend all the time together at home, and then have to be at rehearsal with him all evening," said Shannon. "But now that Chris and I are older," (Shannon will soon be heading to Grad School in London, and Chris is a father-to-be) it's nice to not only have a shared history, but to be able to always be making new memories."

The two have appeared together in such shows as “Willy Wonka”, “The Boyfriend”, “Annie Get Your Gun”, “Oklahoma”, and “South Pacific.” 

"I remember when Shannon was cast in the 2005 production of ‘Honk’. I was very upset when I was told I was too young to be in the show. The next summer, we were both cast in ‘Oliver!’, and the rest is history."

This summer, Shannon and Chris once again take the stage together in “The 1940’s Radio Hour” where they play a dating couple.  Chris is playing B.J. Gibson, asqueaky-clean, good looking, and preppy student at Yale. Shannon can be foundplaying Connie Miller.  She is a 17-year-old bobbysoxer from Ogden, Utah who is perennially in love and runs an elevator by day. 

Based on the book by Walton Jones, “The 1940’s Radio Hour” captures the spirit of the era. The play is set in midst of World War II as a different time is evoked in this marvelously theatrical and winning show, a live broadcast of a The Mutual Manhattan Variety Cavalcade from the Hotel Astor's Algonquin Room on December 21, 1942. The spirit of that bygone era when the world was at war and pop music meant "Strike Up the Band" and "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" (both are in this show) is accurately captured as the harassed producer copes with a drunk lead singer, the delivery boy who wants a chance in front of the mike, the second banana who dreams of singing a ballad, and the trumpet playing sound effects man who chooses a fighter plane over Glenn Miller.

Escape to a historical time by making live entertainment at Fairmont State part of your late spring and summer plans! “The 1940’s Radio Hour” will be performed in the Wallman Hall Theatre on June 15, 16, 21, 22, and 21 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, June 17 at 2:00 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling the box office at 304-367-4240. For more information please contact Susan Cato-Chapman at