Radio Drama Theory Lesson Plan

 LESSON 1

 LESSON 2

 LESSON 3

LESSON 4

LESSON 5

LESSON 6

 LESSON 7

 LESSON 8

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS

See Radio Drama Reading List

And RESEARCH - INTRODUCTION

These sessions can last more than one class session, as there is a lot here. But the listing of theory topics is helpful, I hope.

There will be regular updating on this page.

LESSON 1 Analysing the radio play (1)

 1. How to analyse the radio play - INTRODUCTION SUMMARY (1) - broadcasting & techniques - broadcasting play slots in BBC radio drama. The approach through FORMALISM.

 2. LISTENING EXERCISES

'Ten Questions for a Listener' by Darren Copland at

http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/WFAE/library/articles/copeland_listener.pdf

See notes on Darren Copeland's Ten Questions for a Listener

HOW TO LISTEN - Listening - how people listen

HOW TO LISTEN - IN THE REAL-LIFE ENVIRONMENT

HOW TO LISTEN - Sound - sound effects - sound events - physics of sound

See Becoming aware of sound events in radio plays

 3. Rick Altmann, Sound Theory . Sound Practice (Routledge 1992) pp 15-34 'The Material Heterogeneity of Recorded Sound'
 4. Radio Drama Techniques - on this site
 5. Radio as institution - DISCUSSION ISSUE: B.B.C. Editorial Guidelines

 

 Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Andy Rashleigh, 'Smokers', 10-9-2001, pr. Clive Brill, Afternoon Play
Hilary Fannin, 'A Time That Was', 6-2-2001 43" Afternoon Play
Experimental -
Feature - 'A Small Slice of Tranquillity' 8-7-2003 and 15-7-2003

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

TOPICS: What is radio drama? What is radio theory and radio drama theory? What is analysis of these?
Overview of what theories will be studied; requirements for the course.
Introduction to sound theory - perspective & 'mise en scène'

After LESSON 1

So what?
1. How have the readings for this week changed your own notions of listening? Of sound?
2. What theories have you found useful? (About theory - see Theory - what is it? and Radio theory - what is it for?)

Now what?
Where would you like to go from here? How will be relate sound and listening in the Lifeworld, and these theories, to radio drama? And to experimental sound pieces?

A SHORT EXERCISE AFTER LESSON 1

 

 
 
 


LESSON 2 Analysing the radio play (2)

 1. How to analyse the radio play - INTRODUCTION (2) - RECEPTION THEORY
 2. LISTENING IN THE LIFEWORLD - and how does this translate into radio drama realism? Illustrate from plays listened to this week. See RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES OF REALISM - a series of conventions which change through time on radio drama realism
 Theory reading: Andrew Crisell, Understanding Radio, Routledge, 1994 - and see Chapter 7 for radio drama, Shingler, Martin and Wieringa, Cindy, On Air. Methods and Meanings of Radio (London: Arnold, 1998) chapter 2 Words, speech and voices
 Listening - as opposed to just hearing - conscious listening; specific sensations; impressions; contemplative listening; memories; types of sounds; effects; dialogue; atmospheres; acoustics; perspective; silences; rhythm; music and underscoring music; layers-levels-soundscapes of the Lifeworld - see GARY FERRINGTON articles below.
 Continue work in this - Rick Altmann, Sound Theory . Sound Practice (Routledge 1992) pp 15-34 'The Material Heterogeneity of Recorded Sound'
 Radio as institution ISSUE: political economy approach - read (1) Barnard, Stephen, 2000, Studying Radio, London: Arnold - 'Institutions and systems'
 Ditto (2) Hendy, David, Radio in the Global Age (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2000) - Chapter 1 'Industry' (COURSE SITE - Library - Theory and Training)

 

 Gary Ferrington, 'Keep Your Ear-Lids Open' Journal of Visual Literacy (1994) http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/wfae/library/articles/ferrington_earlids.pdf

Gary Ferrington, 'Audio Design: Creating Multi-Sensory Images For The Mind', Journal of Visual Literary (1993) http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/wfae/library/articles/ferrington_design.pdf

Gary Ferrington, 'Take A Listening Walk and Learn To Listen', http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/wfae/library/articles/ferrington_listening_walk.pdf

See also articles World Forum for Acoustic Ecology Online Reader, http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/wfae/library/articles/

PRODUCTION

Radio drama production work: Script 'Ouija Board'

Acting : objective-choice-action - directing the actor
Acting - learn some key terms

Creative scripting and production exercises - hook, signposting, montage
Start learning about different genres of Music - and extending your knowledge and choices

Start researching music genres you do not know enough about. See Music

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Fay Weldon, 'Polaris' 1978
Doug Lucie, 'Small Earthquake', 3-5-2002, Friday Play 1', pr Janet Whitaker

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays
Experimental -
'Learning the Lines', 3-11-2002, Between the Ears - Radio 3, Glen Patterson
'Ways of Hearing', sound track from TV feature on BBC4, Piers Plowright

PRODUCTION TRAINING: Start on Adobe Audition (Cool Edit Pro)
Create a short scene mixing some sampled dialogue + background atmos + some effects.

(Folder - DIALOGUE SCENES; Folder FXs - choose from various effects in folders; Atmos - see Atmos folders.)

Fixed sound centre.
INSIDE A CAR
It has to be raining - so windscreen wipers - It has to be in slow moving traffic.

 

After Lesson 2

A SHORT EXERCISE AFTER GARY FERRINGTON


LESSON 3

Invariants in radio ? - 'hierarchy of sound ' & the 'economy rule' & sonic continuity in broadcast

 What is radio drama? (3) genres - choose two types and select groups of sound effects for
 Theory reading: Beck, Alan, 2002, The Death of Radio? An essay in radio-philosophy for the digital age, electronic book published by Sound Journal - Monograph - Section 6
Section 6 No 1 hierarchy of sound (6.11) - No 2 the 'economy rule' (6.13) - No 3 sonic continuity in broadcast (6.17)
 Listening versus the other senses - McGurk effect (illusion) - hearing AND seeing talk
 Radio as institution ISSUE: Public Service Broadcasting (PSB) - See Barnard, Stephen, 2000, Studying Radio, London: Arnold - see 'Public Service Radio'. Start on Political economy approach
 
 

Script 'Colourlands'
Creative directing - top of scene, naming, address - 'mise en scène'

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Vayu Naidu, 'When', 21-2-2002, Afternoon Play
'Hotel Europa', 7-10-2000 and (repeated) 13-4-2001, B.B.C. R4, Friday Play 1 hour
Experimental -
Joby Talbot's 'The Watchers', 21-4-2002, Between the Ears - Radio 3

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

PRODUCTION TRAINING:
Create a short scene: mixing some sampled dialogue + background atmos + some effects. (Folder - DIALOGUE SCENES; Folder FXs - choose from various effects in folders; Atmos - see Atmos folders.)
FUN - SURREAL COMEDY SCENE - MAD DIALOGUE AND EFFECTS AND BACKGROUND MUSIC
Use the 'zzzPeople' Folder in AUDIOSPARX - 'underscoring music' - 'underground music' etc.

LESSON 4 Genres - related to sound effects

 For sound brigade versus the work lobby - see Beck, Alan, 2000, Playing By Ear: new ways of teaching and researching radio drama, Studies in Theatre Production, 2001 1.1 following
 What is radio drama? (4) genres (cont.) - choose two types and select groups of sound effects
 See further RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES OF REALISM - a series of conventions which change through time on radio drama realism  and apply to experimental piece - 'Homecoming', 9-3-2002, 45 minutes, producer Antony Pitts, Between the Ears - Radio 3
 
 

Script 'The Egg-stremists' & 'Warm-Up Act'

Creative directing - soundscape, double frame and triple frame

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Gregory Whitehead, 'The Marilyn Room', 11-10-2002, Friday Play 1', pr Gregory Whitehead
David and Caroline Stafford, 'The Men Are From ….', 18-7-2002, afternoon play, pr. Marc Jobst (repeat)
Experimental -
'Homecoming', 9-3-2002, 45 minutes, producer Antony Pitts, Between the Ears - Radio 3

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

LESSON 5 Verbocentric

 Specificities of radio - Theory reading: Beck, Alan, 2002, The Death of Radio? An essay in radio-philosophy for the digital age, electronic book published by Sound Journal - Monograph - Section 6 - Section 6 No 4 the verbocentric (6.23)
Gary Ferrington, 'Audio Design: Creating Multi-Sensory Images For The Mind', Journal of Visual Literary (1993) http://interact.uoregon.edu/Medialit/wfae/library/articles/ferrington_design.pdf
 Radio as institution ISSUE: media management systems. See Political economy approach

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
On location and further techniques
Gill Adams, 'Heart', 25-4-2002, Friday play 1', pr Kate Rowland (repeat)
Gill Adams, 'Heart-attack', 2-5-2003, Friday play 1', pr Melanie Harris (repeat)
Experimental -
'The Peggy Carstairs Report', The Wooster Group, 1-12-2002 (repeat), 30", Between the Ears - Radio 3, Festival Productions (Brighton)

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

LESSON 6 'Blind or invisible?' - Radio drama - a sight to behold?

 Theory reading: Beck, Alan, 1999, 'Is radio blind or invisible? A call for a wider debate on listening-in', World Forum for Acoustic Ecology (WFAE), electronic publication, http://interact.uoregon.edu/MediaLit/WFAE/library/articles/beck_blindness.pdf
See sections 1.6 to 1.11 & chase up references in Shingler, Martin and Wieringa, Cindy, On Air. Methods and Meanings of Radio (London: Arnold, 1998) from this article.
 Radio as institution ISSUE: B.B.C. licence - should it exist? Form into two teams to debate

MORE ADVANCED THEORY - RECEPTION THEORY, CONSCIOUSNESS THEORY, LISTENING

 Internalist Model of the senses (academic)
 McGurk effect (illusion) - hearing AND seeing talk
 

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Christopher C. Harris, 'Walk Right By Me', 22-11-2002, pr Douglas Urbanski
Iain Heggie, 'The Zeitgeist Man', 8-11-2002, Friday Play 1', pr Gaynor MacFarlane
Experimental -
Tacita Dean, 'Berlin Project', 2-2-2003, Between the Ears - Radio 3

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

LESSON 7

Scruton question
Is listening to a CD music track and that on broadcast the same?

Beck, Alan, 2002, The Death of Radio? An Essay in Radio Philosophy for the Digital Age. see 5.8

Radio Plays and experimental pieces to listen to:
Drama-documentaries
Lucy Gough, 'Judith Beheading Holofernes', 22-6-2001, Afternoon Play 43"
John Graham Davis, 'Huskar - An Awful Visitation', 16-7-2002, Afternoon Play
Experimental -
'Voices From The Flames', July 2002, Between the Ears - Radio 3

See STUDYING INDIVIDUAL RADIO PLAYS for notes on these plays

 LESSON 8

Theory reading: Beck, Alan, 2000, Cognitive Mapping and Radio Drama by Alan Beck - Consciousness, Literature and the Arts, Volume 1 Number 2, July 2000 - monograph
See - Linear + Abstract Geometry + The radio frame + Flattening of perspective

For more on reception theory and radio - see chapter 7 of Shingler, Martin and Wieringa, Cindy, On Air. Methods and Meanings of Radio (London: Arnold, 1998)

RESOURCES

 IRDP (Independent Radio Drama Production company) - Radio Drama - THE PRODUCTION PROCESS

http://www.irdp.co.uk/production.htm

Charles Potter -  THE DIRECTOR'S ROLE IN THE STUDIO PRODUCTION OF RADIO THEATER

http://www.natf.org/potterdirector.html

 Radio Sound Effects - A Theoretical Outline

http://www.greatnorthernaudio.com/audio_theater/Sound_Effects.html

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 "There was another pitfall good writers tried to avoid, which George Wells called the 'look-see' system,' a form of allegedly dramatic conversation in which a character carefully describes all visual incidents to a companion, or stooge. This treatment is supposed to make everything clear to the radio audience and usually does, including a vivid impression that the character regards his companion as four years old or totally blind. 'Look!' says the character. 'That car at the curb! A blue sedan with white sidewalls!'"
--The Great American Broadcast, Leonard Maltin, P. 31.

 

 Sound Effects - The Art of Noise - Tony Palermo's Sound Effects Closet

http://www.ruyasonic.com/sfx_closet.htm

 Filmsound.org

http://www.filmsound.org/

 Live Sound Effects - how to

http://www.radiohour.wrek.org/links/uscolosfx.html

 Partners in rhyme - royalty-free music

http://www.partnersinrhyme.com/

 FREE - Sound files and sound effects

http://www.webplaces.com/html/sounds.htm

 Digital Playroom - with tutorials in audio - Jay Rose

http://www.dplay.com/

 Jay Rose's Tutorials and Audio Data

http://www.dplay.com/tutorial/index.html

 Jay Rose's book - Producing Great Sound for Digital Video

http://www.dplay.com/book/pgs2e/index.html

Audiotheater.com

 http://www.audiotheater.com/resource.html#sfx1

 

 

 

 

 

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TECHNIQUES - FULL RANGE OF RADIO DRAMA TECHNIQUES ON THESE SITES

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