Skip to Main Content

Dance / Drama: Radio Drama

Great resources for everything performing arts!

Radio Drama: History and Background

Video: Behind the News: Fictional Podcasts

We meet one of the young stars of Mackaroy Uncovered, a new ABC fictional podcast, and find out whether or not the old-fashioned art of the radio play is making a come-back.

2020 | 3:43 | Via ClickView (login required)

Listen to Radio Drama

Video: What is Radio Drama?

Watch this video to understand the elements of Radio Drama and explore how a performance is put together.

What is Radio Drama?

  • Radio drama is a dramatised audio performance, broadcast on radio, or other audio media.
  • Radio was first invented in 1895, but it wasn’t until 1922 that the BBC were able to broadcast radio shows in the uk. By the late 1930’s, radio drama was widely popular in many parts of the world and the most accessible ‘digital’ way to experience drama.
  • There were, and still are, lots of different programmes in many different genres, from mysteries to thrillers, soap operas and comedies

The 4 Elements of Radio Drama

  • Music
  • Sound effects
  • Narration
  • Dialogue

Video: Sound Effects Tutorial - Headless Horseman Radio Play

Video: Amazing Short Film on Old Time Radio Sound Effects: "Back of the Mike" (1938)

Insider's view of the 1930s radio studio showing the production of dramatic sound effects.

A boy lies on his bed (wearing a white shirt and a necktie), listening to a radio western. We see the images the radio creates in his mind, then we cut to the studio, where we see that this whole fantasy world is created at a frantic pace by announcers in three-piece suits and sound-effects technicians operating incredibly complicated jury-rigged devices. We get to see such things as one guy doing both voices in a conversation, an adult do a very convincing impersonation of a child's voice, guys playing cowboys impersonating the sound of conversing while riding by playing "horsie" while reading their lines, and all the weird stuff used to make sound effects. Since this is a Jam Handy picture, the good guys catch the bad guys in the end because the good guys are in a Chevrolet and the bad guys are only on horses.

A real gem of a short. Watch it the second time with your eyes closed.

Producer: Handy (Jam) Organization Sponsor: Chevrolet Division, General Motors Corporation

Video: Frasier: Ham Radio