Producing Radio Dramas
Radio drama is far from dead. In fact, this class proves that it is poised for a revolution. The purpose of this class is to learn about contemporary radio fiction and push the boundaries of what is currently being created. We will listen to emerging works by Jonathan Mitchell, Miranda July, Rick Moody, Natalie Kestecher, Gregory Whitehead, and others. We’ll also analyze programs like “Selected Shorts,” “The Truth,” “RadioEye,” “The Next Big Thing,” “Wiretap,” and others. We’ll also tune the ear to radio works from around the world—England, Australia, Germany, and Norway—to explore how and why other countries have carried on the tradition of radio drama more than here in the United States. You’ll discover how knitting with dog hair fooled a nation and hear the letter that President Nixon wrote if Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin had crash-landed rather than landing on the moon. We’ll also look at how fiction can illuminate truth—and discuss what happens when those lines blur. Class will include author, actor, and producer visits. We’ll also have organized performances throughout the semester for those who would like to participate. Students will learn how to write for radio, produce and mix pieces, and create a podcast. We use Soundcloud extensively to comment on and share works. At the end of the semester, we will upload works to the Public Radio Exchange, and the best work may air on “The Organist” podcast.