The Furnished Room (radio)

The Furnished Room is a program from the American radio anthology series Radio Tales. The anthology series adapted classic works of American and world literature for the radio. The series was a recipient of numerous awards, including four Gracie Allen Awards from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television (in 2004, [ [ "AWRT Press Release"] Accessed March 21, 2008] 2003, [ [ "NPR Productions Win Gracie Allen Awards"] Accessed March 21, 2008] 2001, [ [ "2001 Gracie Allen Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008] and 1998 [Hear Here: "Tales by American Masters". AudioFile Magazine, pg. 8, Feb/March 1999, Vol. 7, No. 5.] ), a New York Festivals WorldMedal, [ [ "2004 Winners, Radio Programming and Promotion, New York Festivals"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008] and a Golden Reel Merit Award. [ [ "NFCB Announces 2001 Golden Reel Award Winners"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed March 21, 2008] “The Furnished Room" program from the Radio Tales series was an adaptation of the classic short story of the same name by O. Henry.

Broadcast history

The Radio Tales production of “The Furnished Room” was first broadcast via NPR on February 1, 2000. [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Winter 2000". NPR Marketing, Jan. - March 2000, Vol. VI, No. I] The program encompassed one half-hour installment that was distributed to NPR member stations as part of the NPR Playhouse cultural series. Since November 28th, 2002, the entire Radio Tales series has aired in reruns on the Sonic Theater channel (163) of the XM Satellite Radio service. [ [ "Sonic Theater"] Accessed May 22, 2008.] "The Furnished Room" program debuted on XM Satellite Radio on August 23, 2003.

Production information

The program was produced and script edited by series producer Winnie Waldron, who also served as the on-air host. [ [ "Winifred Phillips Official Site: Biography"] Accessed May 19, 2008.] Composer Winifred Phillips created over twenty-eight minutes of music for the program, and also performed as the featured actress. [ [ "NPR Playhouse - January - March, 2001"] Accessed March 21, 2008.] “The Furnished Room” was part of the fifth year of Radio Tales on NPR Playhouse. [National Public Radio: "NPR Quarterly Edition Winter 2000". NPR Marketing, Jan. - March 2000, Vol. VI, No. I]


The Radio Tales production of “The Furnished Room” has been available in numerous formats and venues, including burn-on-demand CDs manufactured and distributed by [ [ " Radio Tales"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed July 15, 2008] and [ [ " Radio Tales"], as indexed by the Internet Archive at Accessed July 15, 2008.] Beginning in 2005, programs from the series, including “The Furnished Room” program, have been available for download via the web site. [ [ "audioVille | Stor>>Fiction | Radio Tales | Download Audio Books, Podcasts and more in MP3. Comedy, Fiction, sport, news, science, drama."] Accessed July 19, 2008]

Opening narration

Plot summary

A young man knocks on the door of a boarding house in the theater district of New York City – this is the twelfth house he has visited this night. The housekeeper shows him a dilapidated room, fully furnished, and describes some of the theatrical people who had previously stayed there. He pays for a week in advance, and then asks the housekeeper if she has ever boarded a young woman – a singer with reddish-blonde hair and a mole near her left eyebrow – by the name of Miss Eloise Vashner. The housekeeper says no, and the young man dejectedly takes possession of the room. For five months he had been searching for his beloved Eloise. He settles into a chair and thinks about the enormous throng that composes the theatrical community of New York City, and how unlikely it is that he will ever find one aspiring singer among so many hopefuls. The room itself seems to testify to the futility of his quest, in all the worn, damaged and artistically eclectic debris which had been left behind by its former tenants.

Then, the strong floral aroma of mignonette fills the air. The young man springs to his feet – he knows this perfume. It was the one that Eloise favored. Convinced now that she has at some point occupied this room, the young man proceeds to search every corner and crevice of the room for some article of hers which might confirm that she had been there. Finding nothing, he immediately seeks out the housekeeper and asks her questions about who had occupied his room before he took possession. The housekeeper describes several previous tenants. None fit Eloise’s description. When the young man returns to the room, the fragrance of mignonette has fled. With all hope gone, the young man uses torn strips of the bed sheets to seal up the windows and the cracks around the door, then extinguishes the flame of the gas lamp, turns the gas fully on without lighting it, and lies down on the bed.

Later, the housekeeper Mrs. Purdy shares some beer and the day’s events with her friend Mrs. McCool, who is astonished that Mrs. Purdy was able to rent the third-floor-back room that day. Had Mrs. Purdy told the new tenant about the suicide that had taken place there? Of course not, Mrs. Purdy answers, and Mrs McCool agrees that the decision was wise. It was a shame, Mrs. McCool adds, that such a pretty girl should kill herself with the gas. Mrs. Purdy observes critically that the girl would have been prettier if she hadn’t had that mole by her left eyebrow.


External links

* [ The Furnished Room Streaming Audio Samples on Audioville]
* [ The Official Radio Tales® Web Site]
* [ Radio Tales Streaming Audio Samples on AudioVille]
* [ XM Satellite Radio – Information on the Sonic Theater Channel]

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