The thrill of the theatre is not confined to the stage and screen. For years, sound played an important role in theatrical presentations, and it still does today. When was the last time you were transported by an audiobook, mesmerized by a poetry reading, or motivated by a podcast? Vision is said to be humanity’s dominant sense, but it’s sound that stirs our emotions. Just try to separate that heartbreaking movie scene that lives in your memory from its gut-wrenching soundtrack.
Let’s study the history and theory behind one of the largest impacts of sound on human society— radio drama. In looking at how it is written, designed, produced, and performed, we’ll discover the role it has played in history and the influence it still enjoys today. We’ll also look into the literary components of the script itself. Radio drama is a performance-based medium, but it is also an academic pursuit. Delve into its historical, sociological, and literary elements, and learn how to write an organized and precisely planned script. Why is it so popular? What characteristics strengthen its impact? How can we harness its power?
With a firm understanding of those principles, students will propose their own short radio drama to elicit a specific emotional or rhetorical response from their listeners. Upon approval of their proposal, they will research, design, write, and produce their drama, directing actors and creating effects to communicate that response.