The Bronze Age of Radio

Contemporary Radio Drama

Rather than grieving the end of Radio Drama, the last forty years have been sprinkled with hundreds of independent project, some actually created by radio stations, some with no connection to Radio at all - Audio Radio Drama.

These were not readings of books or short stories, but fully produced with actors, sound effects and music. This is nothing near a full list, but certainly are worth your time to hear, just for the pleasure of good writing mostly and possibly for inspiration on what story you have might make a good anthology series, or what long form fiction might make a good serial. Here is a handful of the people who had a story and decided to present it through traditional, or experimental, audio presentations.

ZBS Media

We may as well start with the best the grand daddy of modern radio drama. We mentioned him a few minutes ago. In 1970, Tom Lopez, a New York author and producer writing as "Meatball Fulton" did an experimental series FOURTH TOWER OF INVERNESS which launched the incredible catalog from ZBS Media. This series aired on public radio, like Pacifica and college stations, and some rebellious commercial radio stations offering "Album Oriented Rock" in markets across the country. The series launched Jack Flanders, a mystic adventurer whose adventures continued in MOON OVER MOROCCO, DREAMS OF RIO, DREAMS OF BALI, THE LEAGUE OF GREEN VELVET CHAIRS, and dozens of one-shot shows, plus spin off with the characters LITTLE FRIEDA, MOJO and QUATTLEBAUM.

Lopez continued with dozens of productions ranging from four series of the science fiction, super powered, mystic detective RUBY, THE GALACTIC GUMSHOE and one-shot programs like the opera DISHPAN FANTASY, SARATOGA SPRINGS, the 1920s jazz and voodoo powered MUMBO JUMBO, anthology series like STARS AND STUFF, a series of advanced binaural recording using the human hearing simulation of the schwartzkopf microphone head, and dozens and dozens more - literally. Dozens and dozens. It is an amazing body of work. Not all of them are still available, some of them show up as SOLD OUT in the ZBS catalog. But you can go to ZBS.ORG for details and dozens of sample MP3 files to see what they have been doing more than forty years. Honorable Mentions

Jeff Green

Almost no one in this coutnry knows about Jeff Green. In the late 1980s he was a young Canadian - and Canada still recognizes radio theater. But Jeff was a breakthrough artist with modern mystery and cyberpunk sensibilities through a series of independent shows. They were reality twisting scripts that required you listen closely because other dimensions could become involved, reality could be changed, and if you don't pay attention you might miss some amazing writing. Hard to find, but we have put them up on the website for you to enjoy.

Hayward Sanitarium

This is about twenty five years old now, but Hayward Sanitarium is the story of missing persons at a mental hospital with hints of H.P. Lovecraft presented in a ten episode series and deserved much wider distribution. We have it on our website for you to enjoy.

Atlanta Radio Theater

A long running program of traditional radio theater, mostly detective oriented, you can find their productions on the web and, occasionally broadcast over the air. You can find more information about them on the internet.

RadioWorks

A showcase series from Sue Zizza, who was instrumental with the creation of the Midwest Radio Theater Workshop. RadioWorks was a labor of love from Hofstra University carrying productions from her extended network of producers around the country. It offered new productions of classic horror shows, single episodes of long running series, and several award winning productions by Zizza herself. We have a few from this 1991 series to hear work from independent groups around the country.

American Radio Theater

Two seasons of products from the American Radio Theater workshop program to train new talents using the experience of radio luminaries, who were still available in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Most of these shows have been lost, but some are available through archive.org and on our website. New writers, new actors, new music, and two seasons of one-hour presentation with one to three shows per hour, broadcast on a 32-station network around the country in the early 1980s.

Chapel Perilous

Produced in 1982, this very personal, mind bending exploration of a man facing a terminal illness as he tries to find some meaning in his life. Chapel Perilous was aired through Pacifica Radio and a small network of mostly Western radio stations. It was almost lost, but a copy of the first production mix is now available for free through archive.org.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this serial is from the guy who wrote this presentation for us, Joseph Kessler Adams. We have the full series available on the website for you to enjoy.

It would be impossible to list all of the productions done by talented, dedicated teams of people enthusiastic about their group, or about one author's body of work. Shows like Cape Cod Mystery Theater, Chip the Squirrel, Curse of the Red Jaguar, Invisible Radio Workshop, Little City in Space, Iowa Radio Project and many, many more. If you look for more you will find then.

Your Name Goes here

Your production belongs here. Write your story, compose your script, organize your group and make the sound of radio theater that is right for the Twenty First Century.


Content

Contact the Author