What is a RadioDrama?A dramatized audio performance, broadcast onradio or published on audio media, such as tapeor CD.Because there is no accompanying video, a radiodrama depends on narration, dialogue, music andsound effects to help the listener imagine thecharacters and story.
History of RadioDramasBy the late 1930s, radio drama was widely popularin the United States (and also in other parts of theworld).There were dozens of programs in many differentgenres, from mysteries and thrillers, tosoap operas and comedies.
Decline of RadioDramaAfter the advent of television, radio drama neverrecovered its popularity in the United States.Most remaining CBS and NBC radio dramas werecancelled in 1960.
Elements of a RadioDrama Narration Music Dialogue Sound Effects
NarrationIn most radio dramas, thenarrator laid the groundwork for the show.Listen to the openingnarration for TheShadow, which ran from1937 to 1954.
DialogueThe function of dialogue in radio dramais: to give information reveal character direct attention (or foreshadow) reveal theme establish the level of reality establish the tempo and rhythm of the dramaNormally only two or three charactersare involved in a conversation and theyrepeat their names often.
MusicTo identify the program Every show had a theme that was instantly recognizable.To create a bridge, a short three or four measure musicalconnection between scenes.To underscore dialogue, as in a movie, creating a"dramatic" mood.
Sound EffectsUsed to establish the environment.
The Radio DramaTodayWith the advent ofpodcasting, RadioDramas have onceagain become apopular medium ofcommunication.
Benefits ofPodcastingPodcasts are easy tocreate, cost little to nomoney, and can beproduced by anyone.There are norestrictions on thelength or content of apodcast.
War of the Worlds1938 CBS Radio Broadcast by Orson welles