The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 14, 2013

On the air: Bethany showcases live radio, Hitchcock's films in theatre production

Bethany showcases live radio, Hitchcock's films in theatre production

Two years ago, August Jeske added a video to his YouTube channel.

The theater hobbyist and voice impersonator expertly mimicked the voices of more than 30 Star Wars characters, then uploaded the video to his personal channel. Several thousands of views later, Jeske found himself the recipient of a small measure of Internet fame.

His performance was covered on Geeks Are Sexy, a long-running and popular tech blog, as well as Today.com, which is the online component of NBC's TV show. Later, producers from that network's late-night program with Jay Leno extended an invitation for Jeske to appear on the show to re-create his performance.

For a young man with aspirations to be a voice actor, the appearance seemed a dream come true.

Jeske, however, turned it down.

The Nebraska native had just graduated high school and was about to enter his first year as a college student at Bethany Lutheran College in faraway Mankato. He didn't want the appearance to interfere with his studies.

"My friends don't let me forget it," said Jeske, one of five Bethany Lutheran College students who command nearly a dozen dialects and 60-plus characters in "Vintage Hitchcock: A Live Radio Play," which adapts three early Hitchcock films into a live, 1940s-era radio production. "But I don't really regret it. My Bethany experience was worth way more than any 15 minutes of fame."

Jeske's talents are uncanny. His YouTube channel — search "Timeyodie" — contains dozens of impersonations, from video game and movie characters to Disney villains. Yet, as a communications major, he's had to be selective in his theatre participation, appearing in only a handful of Bethany productions.

But when Jeske heard about Bethany's radio play, the same man who said no to Leno couldn't say no to Alfred Hitchcock.

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