October 30th is the perfect time to sit back and enjoy a terrifying tale.
How did Audio Drama Day get started?
Well, October 30th, 2013 was the seventy-fifth anniversary of the broadcast of “War of the orlds,” by the Mercury Theater on the Air, an event that fans of classic media savored. In hat year, PBS released a new documentary about the production of the show; friends and former colleagues reminisced about working with Orson Welles, John Houseman, and Howard Koch; many terrestrial stations rebroadcast the show, or a new adaptation; and audio dramatists created a special contest to reimagine “War of the Worlds”.
That day was also the first “Audio Drama Day”, the beginning of an annual celebration of audio drama in all its forms: new, old, scary, funny, serious, silly,classic, and modern. Originally through our defunct Sound Stages Radio station, and now through our small production company, Kettle Falls Media, we (Sibby Wieland, and David Jarvis) have been pushing to get the word out about the resurgence, and continued pleasures, of both new and traditional audio and radio drama. Audio Drama Day has taken off beyond our original dreams, particularly thanks to 11th Hour Audio Productions, a highly regional and crowdsourced method for audio dramatists to get together and create frightful new audio that can be savored on Audio Drama Day (and why not? Halloween night too). Itʼs certainly also a day to celebrate old time radio, which can still – thanks to the tales of “Lights Out,” “Suspense,” “Quiet Please” – draw a cold finger of fear down your back.
Why else is the late fall such a good time for audio and radio?
It makes sense that in October listeners are involved with the joys, thrills and swoons of audio drama: people in the Northern Hemisphere see the skies darken earlier, and the temperature begins its steady drop. Bundled up in the covers, a warm bed or a comfortable robe, listeners can turn out the lights and imagine themselves somewhere new and exciting. People in the Southern Hemisphere, too, see the shifting of the seasons, and the approach of a new year: a time, perhaps, to tune in the classic old-time adventure of “Escape”, or remind yourself that “Weʼre Alive,” a survivor of killer zombies.
Whether itʼs a podcast of a new story line, or an old time radio broadcast saved from the past, tune in this autumn – and every autumn – to audio drama. We hope that youʼll enjoy checking out – or creating your own – events around the world, from digital releases to regional stage productions, our articles, trivia, and more.
Happy Audio Drama Day! Long live Audio Drama!