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Radio Drama. Lois Duarte. What is radio drama?. Radio drama is a form of audio storytelling broadcast on radio. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the story.

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radio drama

Radio Drama

Lois Duarte

what is radio drama
What is radio drama?
  • Radio drama is a form of audio storytelling broadcast on radio. With no visual component, radio drama depends on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the story.
  • Radio drama achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading international popular entertainment. With the advent of television in the 1950s, however, radio drama lost some of its popularity, and in some countries, has never regained large audiences. However, recordings of OTR survive today in the audio archives of collectors and museums.
  • As of 2006, radio drama has had a minimal presence on terrestrial radio in the United States. Much of American radio drama is restricted to rebroadcasts or podcasts of programs from previous decades. However, other nations still have thriving traditions of radio drama. In the United Kingdom, for example, the BBC produces and broadcasts hundreds of new radio plays each year on Radio 3, Radio 4, and BBC Radio 7. Drama is aired daily on Radio 4 in the form of afternoon plays, a Friday evening play, short dramas included in the daily Woman's Hour program, Saturday plays and Sunday classic serials. On Radio 3 there is Sunday evening drama and, in the slot reserved for experimental drama, The Wire. The drama output on Radio 7, which consists predominantly of archived programs, is chiefly composed of comedy, thrillers and science fiction. Podcasting has also offered the means of creating new radio dramas, in addition to the distribution of vintage programs.
  • The terms "audio drama" or "audio theatre” are sometimes used synonymously with "radio drama" with one notable distinction: audio drama or audio theatre is not intended specifically for broadcast on radio. Audio drama, whether newly produced or OTR classics, can be found on CDs, cassette tapes, podcasts, webcasts and conventional broadcast radio. "Radio drama documentaries" are also called "feature".
  • Thanks to advances in digital recording and internet distribution, radio drama is experiencing a revival.

today s radio drama
Today’s Radio Drama
  • Radio drama remains popular in much of the world. Stations producing radio drama often commission a large number of scripts. The relatively low cost of producing a radio play enables them to take chances with works by unknown writers. Radio can be a good training ground for beginning drama writers as the words written form a much greater part of the finished product; bad lines cannot be obscured with stage business.
  • The audio drama format exists side-by-side with books presented on radio, read by actors or by the author. In Britain and other countries there is also a quite a bit of radio comedy (both stand-up and sitcom). Together, these programs provide entertainment where television is either not wanted or would be distracting (such as while driving or operating machinery).
  • The lack of visuals also enable fantastical settings and effects to be used in radio plays where the cost would be prohibitive for movies or television. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was first produced as radio drama, and was not adapted for television until much later, when its popularity would ensure an appropriate return for the high cost of the futuristic setting.
  • On occasion television series can be revived as radio series. For example, a long-running but no longer popular television series can be continued as a radio series because the reduced production costs make it cost-effective with a much smaller audience. When an organization owns both television and radio channels, such as the BBC, the fact that no royalties have to be paid makes this even more attractive. Radio revivals can also use actors reprising their television roles even after decades as they still sound roughly the same. Series that have had this treatment include Doctor Who, Dad's Army, Thunderbirdsand The Tomorrow People.
  • Regular broadcasts of radio drama in English can be heard on the BBC's Radio 3, Radio 4 and BBC 7, on Radio 1 from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and on RTÉ Radio 1 in Ireland. BBC Radio 4 in particular is noted for its radio drama, broadcasting hundreds of one-off plays per year in strands such as The Afternoon Play, in addition to serials and soap operas. The British commercial station Oneword, though broadcasting mostly book readings, also transmitted a number of radio plays in instalments until it closed in 2008.
independent radio drama
Independent Radio Drama
  • Independent Radio Drama Productions started in 1987 and soon became one of the world's leading independent producers of radio drama. IRDP was a non profit making company and was run by directors Tim Crook, Richard Shannon and MarjaGiejgo. IRDP's ambition was to promote the value of radio drama and to expand opportunities for writers new to radio. IRDP ran festivals and competitions which resulted in the production and broadcast of many plays by new writers who would not otherwise have had the chance to hear their work aired on the radio. In 1996, IRDP received a nomination at the Writers' Guild of Great Britain Awards for 'Developing and Fostering New Writing' in recognition of this work. The Woolwich Young Radio Playwrights' Competition was awarded the Daily Telegraph / ABSA award for Best Youth Sponsorship in 1991.

rwandan sex soap opera wins award
Rwandan sex soap opera wins award
  • A Rwandan radio soap opera that takes on controversial issues about sexual health has won a prestigious One World Media Award at a ceremony in the UK.
  • Urunana follows life in the fictional village of Nyarurembo and each week has an estimate audience of 10 million.
  • NarcisseKalisa, Urunana's director, says the show is not afraid of taking on taboos by making people laugh.
  • "Our most controversial story was when a wife asked her [cheating] husband to use a condom," he told the BBC.
  • "People can laugh at the way the issues are addressed and the language we are using. It's an entertainment - a blend of education and entertainment," he says.
  • The show's writer Samuel Kyambagidwa says the main characters are Bushombe, a comic figure who has recently gone back to school at the age of 50, and Mariyana, a respected health worker.
  • Urunana, which means hand in hand in Kinyarwandan, won the One World Special Achievement Award for Development Media on Thursday night in London and takes on subjects from HIV/Aids to infertility.
  • "Before the programme it was taboo to talk about sexuality - and things like wet dreams and menstruation," Mr Kyambagidwa told the BBC's Network Africa programme.
  • "Now it gives people a starting point; for example, it gives a grandparent courage to discuss things with their grandchild that they have heard on Urunana," he says.
  • Figures from the World Bank last year put the prevalence of Aids in Rwanda at about 3%, down from 11% in 2000.
  • The World Bank report suggested that education at a grassroots level played an important role in slowing down the spread of Aids in the country.
  • The soap, which was started in 1999 by UK charity Health Unlimited, is broadcast twice a week in 15-minute episodes on the BBC's Great Lakes Service.
  • The current storyline is about a student who drops out of secondary school to marry a shop owner, but then discovers she is HIV positive.
  • Mr Kalisa says the audience has been kept on tenterhooks about whether the wedding would go ahead.
  • For those not tuning in...
  • "He did marry her at the end of the day," Mr Kalisa says.