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Transcript of RADIO PLAYS
Orson Welle's, War of the Worlds
The War of the Worlds was an episode of the American radio drama anthology series Mercury Theatre on the Air.
It was performed as a Halloween episode of the series on October 30, 1938 and aired over the Columbia Broadcasting System radio network.
Directed and narrated by Orson Welles, the episode was an adaptation of H. G. Wells' novel The War of the Worlds.
War of the Worlds is known as the most famous piece of radio drama as it convinced a large number of North Americans that an actual Alien invasion from Mars was taking place.
Lurene Tuttle (left) and Rosalind Russell in "The Sisters" on Suspense in 1948.
Contemporary voice actors working on a BBC Radio Play.
What are radio plays?
History of Radio Drama
Started in the early 1900's, radio drama reached it's peak of popularity between the 1940s-1960's
Began to decline once television developed widespread popularity
In the 21st century in North America, radio drama has minimal presence in our culture; taking a back seat to other popular forms of drama such as film, television and live theatre
In many other nations however, such as the UK, have thriving traditions of radio drama
BBC produces and broadcasts new readio plays each year
Podcasting has also offered the means of creating new radio dramas, in addition to the distribution of vintage programs.
Radio's were the epicenter for entertainment in every mid-20th century home.
Sample Radio Drama Script.
DANIEL: Come on Jessica, don't be a baby! No body's lived in this house for years it's empty.
JESSICA: But everyone says it's haunted...
THUNDER CRASHES. JESSICA GASPS. RAIN BEGINS TO FALL SOFTLY.
DANIEL: That's just an old wives tale. Anyways, it's starting to rain, I'm going inside are you coming?
JESSICA: Oh fine, but you better not scare me on purpose or I'll kill you.
JESSICA AND DANIEL WALK UP THE CREAKY WOODEN STEPS. DANIEL OPENS THE DOOR WITH A LOUD CREAK.
What images did this short script create in your mind?
How did it make you feel?
-strategic silence helps to create tension especially in thrillers/horrors/mysteries
Genres of Radio Plays
Classical Theatre (Shakespeare)
Contemporary Radio Plays: Alice and Wonderland
Radio drama (also known as audio drama, audio play, radio play or radio theatre) is a
purely acoustic performance
, broadcast on radio or published on audio media, such as tape or CD or now in an MP3 format.
With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story
Elements of Radio Drama
(establish setting and describe action for the listeners)
-characters are established through a variety of vocal techniques (playing with pitch/tempo/volume/tone)
help to establish the setting (like a soundscape) and help communicate action (like footsteps or a door slam)
often an introductory tune leads the listeners into the radio play
-contains a clear beginning middle and end
main players in the story who drive the plot and endure conflict