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Audio Theatre

What are some of the skills you need to create great radio commercials?  The ability to capture attention, tell compelling stories, involve the listener’s imagination, create effective dialogue, develop distinct characters, and use music and sound effects to weave an audio spell. shutterstock_110410124 Funnily enough, these are the same skills you’ll develop doing audio theatre. The term “audio theatre” is commonly used to describe longer forms of production than radio commercial writers and producers are used to.  Long form for most of us is :30. Or :60  Audio theatre can be 90 seconds, 3-5 minutes, a half-hour, an hour, or multi-hour compilations of episodes.  It might run on commercial, public or satellite radio, be streamed on the Internet, or distributed on CD, as MP3s, podcasts, or any combination thereof. Audio theatre’s purpose is not necessarily to sell, but to entertain, involve, uplift, and enrich the audience.  It has the same demands as any other entertainment vehicle – short story, book, movie, video game, or live presentation.  You’re competing for the audiences’ attention – just like you do when you create a commercial. How can you get involved?  There may already be an audio theatre group in your city, or you may be able to develop one with interested participants from writers’ groups, radio & TV stations, advertising agencies, production houses, theatre groups, improvisation groups, schools & colleges. cropped-girl-at-mic-cu_80677729.jpg Use your favorite web search engines to find books, tapes and courses on audio theatre.  One of the best resources is the National Audio Theatre Festival (http://www.natf.org). I’ve been privileged to teach seminars and direct live radio drama at their annual summer workshops for years.  I learn a lot every time. Attending a NATF workshop will give you a chance to develop skills as well as network with some of the most famous innovators in audio theatre who are very willing to share their knowledge and experience of this wonderful medium. And…did I mention that it’s loads of fun? VNGoogleBanner

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