Category Archives: News

Audio drama news stories

Series Premiere: The Lighted Bridge

Be there when “History Meets The Subconscious” as the award-winning Audio Dramatist Kristin Cato, premieres her newest project, are you ready to cross… “The Lighted Bridge”?

Kristin Cato Presents

The Lighted Bridge:

Episode 1

“The Diamond Key”

August 13, 2010

Charlotte, a prehistoric woman discovered frozen in a block of ice, gets unearthed and transported back to a science museum in France. Pierre, a disgruntled night shift janitor, falls in love with her. But political upheaval spells an occupied Paris, and invaders attempt to export Charlotte across the sea. Her soul journey unfolds as she slowly melts while retrieving her memory bank. She must come to terms with the shadow beast that ended her life in order to obtain another…

Can Podcasting Speak For Radio Drama?

July 19, 2010

By Dex Trenchcoat

The focus of the Listening Post has always been modern audio drama podcasts. However, podcasts are far from the only delivery method for audio drama. On the internet there are hundreds of streaming radio stations, some of which carry audio drama all the time, (such as Sound Stages Radio) and sometimes streaming stations only feature certain shows or certain time slots for audio drama. For example Living Dead Media Radio, plays the newest episode of “You’ve Dead On You” one day before its made available for podcast. In another example, Voices In The Wind Audio Theater was able to get their production, “Running To Detroit” aired on both broadcast and streaming radio from Country 92.9 just this past Saturday. Even with all these great listening options, finding the time to listen to a show during a particular time slot can make audio drama a challenge in our increasingly “on the go” world. While you can find audio drama in the United States on satellite radio or even on NPR from time to time, exposing the general public to audio drama, just isn’t as easy as it used to be.

The BBC and Broadcast Radio Drama

While broadcast radio drama may be rare as hens teeth in the United States, in other countries it can be quite common and popular. In the UK for example, you can still find actual honest-to-goodness radio drama; often in prime time and sometimes with A-List talent such as Sir Ian McKellen, (of X-Men and Lord of the Rings fame) who starred in an audio adaptation of Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger which BBC 4 aired earlier this year. One would think in an environment with big name talent and the financial backing of the BBC, it would be easy to to keep radio drama on the air. But sadly, the BBC recently announced plans to drop its Friday Play time slot. The company has stated that radio drama will remain a part of the BBC for some time to come, though one does have to wonder how long it will be before  further cuts are made. In addition to the cut backs it was also announced that the Drama department was being merged with the Documentary department, a move that some feel could potentially destroy radio drama at the BBC, in the long term. On June 20th The Guardian published an article which offered a glimpse into the contributions the BBC has made to radio drama:

Yes, the BBC is still by far the most prolific drama broadcaster in the world, airing 649 hours this year (including readings), with a total of 200 single plays. And yes, the Friday Play represents just 3% of this and was the least popular slot (although many would argue that the quality was more consistent than that of the Afternoon Plays). Nevertheless, it remains a loss for radio drama, not a gain.

While it would be easy to think “This is great, here’s an opportunity for independent podcasters to fill the void and continue to grow“! As long time followers of audio drama can attest, and the Guardian article  goes on to point out, “survival is not the same as growth”. In my opinion, whatever growth podcasters of the medium experienced, it would probably not last long without the type of exposure and growth mainstream radio (broadcast in any country) can give to audio drama.

So is radio drama dying, as Equity warned us? Not yet, not while the BBC still exists. But survival is not the same as growth, and the medium needs to make better use of digital technology. Videos, DVDs and hard-disc recording have fundamentally altered the way people consume television, especially drama. Radio plays remain very difficult to enjoy in the same way. The iPlayer helps a little, but for a limited period“.

The Spotlight on Podcasting

One of the big strengths of the podcasting format is being able to download podcasts to an ultra-portable mp3 player, and listen to shows anytime, just about anywhere. As I understand it, the BBC has begun to podcast “The Archers” a popular audio soap opera, so why not podcast other productions once they’ve aired, as well? The same article went on to point out some new sources of listening material that do use podcasting as their delivery method. Regular readers of The Listening Post will find some very familiar names here:

By far the busiest group of original audio dramatists, however, are the small-scale podcasters. For the most part, this means science fiction, fantasy and mystery stories – try the Pendant Productions website (pendantaudio.com). For a polished zombie drama podcast go to zombiepodcast.com. Mystery stories can be heard at olinemysteries.com and wormwoodshow.com. One well-regarded (and British) ghost story series from 2006 is still available at paranormalists.co.uk. You can find well-packaged guides to what else is out there at audiodramareview.blogspot.com and radiodramarevival.com. And it’s all free.

The Possible Effects

Its great to see so many audio drama groups and people mentioned all at once, the extra publicity should help boost download numbers if nothing else. Reaction to the closure of the Friday Play was so strong that journalists, writers and fans alike began a huge outcry against the move. One such fan is R Frank Wilson who started a Facebook group called “Speak Up For Radio Drama Now!” which is well over one thousand members strong. R Frank Wilson’s group has begun recommending alternatives to the BBC’s well known works. In an encouraging move filled with potential for podcasters, many of Speak Up For Radio Drama Now’s recommendations come from  independent podcasts such as the award winning Icebox Radio Theater and 19 Nocturne Boulevard, among others.

What the ultimate effect of all this will be (assuming the BBC actually goes through with its plans to  merge departments and cut the Friday Play) is difficult for a humble blogger like me to say. After all, I have little knowledge of the BBC or its inner workings. But I think  this is a story that anyone with an interest in audio drama should at least take note of, and not just for the recognition to independent podcasters that has come from from the mainstream press, either.

I am very interested to hear what others have to say about this subject. Where do our readers think all this could be headed?

Press Release: BrokenSea Audio Productions Gains Mat Nastos For Dr. Who!

July 3, 2010

On July 1, 2010 Paul Mannering of BrokenSea Audio Productions released the following statement:

“BrokenSea Audio Productions are pleased to announce that Mat Nastos is joining the creative team as a contributing writer for their 2011 Doctor Who season. With a full episode line up of 13 shows BrokenSea has a lot of material to write building into a complex series arc that will intrigue and entertain fans.

Mat has joined BrokenSea’s writing team after discovering their Doctor Who series online and being impressed by the writing, production and Mark Kalita’s performances as the iconic Doctor.

Mat Nastos has been a professional creator for more than 15 years now.  His work has appeared in 27 countries and been printed in 9 languages, and has been commissioned by everyone from Marvel and DC Comics, to Disney and the Sci Fi Channel, and from Playboy to Highlights for Kids.  In addition to comics (Big Book of Urban Legends, Cadre, ElfQuest), Mat has worked on multiple top tier videogame titles (Throne of Darkness, Barbie Super Sports), role playing games and on approximately 100 films and more than 300 television episodes as a storyboard artist, writer and director.

He has just finished up a run for Disney TVA on a show called Phineas & Ferb as a writer and segment director.”

Congratulations to the entire BrokenSea team, I’m sure fans will have a lot to look forward to in the coming season!

Special Report: The 2009 Mark Time and Ogle Award Winners!

July 1, 2010
By Dex Trenchcoat

This years winners are a diverse group of talented individuals, two of whom have won Mark Time or Ogle Awards previously. Also this year, in a first for the Mark Time Awards, a production from  Australia has been picked as a winner! Julie Hoverson, producer of 19 Nocturne Boulevard has won the Mark Time Gold Award for a second year in a row with her production, “The Rookie“. In their first appearance, Tom Hogan and Hamish Sinclair of nerdsandwhey.com, the producers of Henry Current; Space DJ (and The Broadcast of Doom) took the Mark Time Silver Award home, all the way to Australia! In their first appearance at the Ogles Kc Wayland and Shane Salk, took home the Ogle Gold Award for their production of “We’re Alive, Chapter 10“, and former 2004 winner Jeffery Adams returns again this year for Icebox Radio Theater’s production, “The Thing On The Ice” which won Ogle Silver.

Congratulations To All The Winners for 2009!

If your looking for outstanding audio drama, look no further than the Mark Time/Ogle Awards…

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2009 Mark Time Gold Award Winner

19 Nocturne Boulevard: “The Rookie”

Written & Produced by Julie Hoverson
Seattle, WA

This is the second  Mark Time Gold Award for Julie Hoverson, who first won for
19 Nocturne Boulevard: “The Outpost” just last year in 2008.

2009 Mark Time Silver Award Winner

“Henry Current; Space DJ

(and The Broadcast of Doom)”

Written & Produced by
Tom Hogan & Hamish Sinclair
New South Wales, Australia

In a first for the Mark Time Awards, this winning production is from Australia!

2009 Ogle Gold Award Winner

“We’re Alive”: Chapter 10

Written by Kc Wayland
Produced by Kc Wayland & Shane Salk
Los Angeles, CA

“We’re Alive” has topped the Zune charts and is now racking up awards, with a Communicator Award and a Parsec Nomination in addition to their Ogle Award!

2009 Ogle Silver Award Winner

Icebox Radio Theater Presents

“The Thing On The Ice”

Written & Produced by Jeffrey Adams
Icebox Radio Theater
International Falls, MN

This is the second win for Jeffrey Adams and Icebox Radio Theater
who took home The Gold Mark Time Award in 2004 for the production
Snowbank

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The 2009 Mark Time and Ogle awards are going to be presented at CONvergence 2010 which is taking place right now in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The first Mark Time Awards were handed out fourteen years ago, and have become a showcase of some of the best audio dramas being made today. The Mark Time Awards began in 1996 and are presented by The American Society For Science Fiction Audio. The first Mark Time winners were The Apotheosis Saga, which took home the Gold Award, While The Island of Doctor Moreau by the Atlanta Radio Theater Company, won the first Silver Award.

For the last fourteen years the Mark Time and Ogle Awards have become unique for many reasons; not the least of which is they are one of the few awards strictly for audio drama and there are few barriers to entry into this long running competition. The Mark Time Awards are named after David Ossman’s radio character “Mark Time”, and represent excellence in Science Fiction audio production. The Ogle Awards, are named after Charles Ogle the actor who played Frankenstein’s Monster in Thomas Edison’s 1910 silent film classic and represent excellence in Horror and Fantasy audio production.

Producers and fans of modern audio drama have been grateful to the founders and organizers of the Mark Time and Ogle Awards, who have provided a way to acknowledge contributions to modern audio drama, for twelve years running. The founders and organizers of these awards have also provided modern audio drama a place to shine and grow over the years, giving may fine productions, a voice and platform they would not otherwise have.

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Find out more about the Mark Time Awards HERE.

In The News… June 10, 2010

Misfits Audio Impresses The Press!

May 23, 2010

Captain John Tadrzak, CEO of Misfits Audio was recently interviewed by the mainstream news site The First Arkansas News. The article was not only about Captain John and the Misfits but also briefly touched  upon the state of modern audio theater. Its wonderful to see the hard working Misfits get some much deserved mainstream attention. This coverage along with Fred Greenhalgh’s now infamous write up in The Wall Street Journal is a sign that more folks are  slowly re-discovering audio drama in America. Congratulations to everyone at Misfits Audio. If you haven’t heard any of The Misfits work, like original series such as Jim Nolan Private Eye,  the Strange Stories anthology series, and old time radio recreations such as The Lone Ranger and Classic Radio Restored, which remasters and cleans up the audio of old radio shows. Check them out today and hear what all the talk is about!

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William Shatner To Make TekWar Audio Drama?

May 24, 2010

A big thank you goes out to Fred Greenhalgh of Radio Drama Revival for pointing this story out to us.

William Shatner recently expressed a desire  to make an Audio Drama out of his TekWar Series during an interview at a recent Anaheim Comic-Con, according to The Los Angeles Times. Mr. Shatner is no stranger to audio drama himself, and is noted for performing in the Alien Voices project, which dramatized great works of science fiction such as H.G. Wells “The First Men on the Moon” and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World” along with other Star Trek veterans such as Leonard Nimoy and John De Lancie.

The idea of an American  celebrity making a professional audio drama is quite appealing and it wouldn’t be  the first time either. Claudia Christian of Babylon 5 fame went on to star as Anne Manx, a sci-fi audio drama series produced by the Radio Repertory Company of America. If William Shatner manages to get Tek War  produced as an audio drama series either on CD or mp3 it would be great, but even more appealing would be hearing this on satellite radio because of its  huge listener base. Getting TekWar on the airwaves would be great for the medium as a whole and raise the general public’s awareness that audio drama is alive  in the modern age.

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We’re Alive Hits #1 on Zune &

The Leviathan Chronicles Hits #11 on iTunes

May 28, 2010

Christof Laputka’s The Leviathan Chronicles an epic sci-fi story of immortality and freedom has climbed its way to #11 in the Literature Podcasting Section of iTunes, while “We’re Alive – A Story of Survival” in the aftermath of the Zombie Apocalypse continues to skyrocket toward success, and is now the #1 download  in the Entertainment/Everything Else category of the Zune Marketplace! This demonstrates the current popularity not just of these two shows, but of  audio drama in general. One thing is for certain, Fans are in for a treat as we watch these two shows climb the charts and break records…

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The Makers of Warp’d Space Warp into Audio Stories

June 5, 2010

Kimberly Poole founder of Hole With A Rock Around It Productions and creator of the sci-fi series Warp’d Space, entered the dramatized short story/audiobook arena and premiered Warp’d Stories. This irregularly scheduled series will consist of dramatized short stories. Warp’d Stories will not be a regular part  of the schedule. Instead, it will be  used to fill in the gaps of the production schedule for Warp’d Space.

The first short story in the series is “The Yillian Way” by Keith Laumer which  is part of Project Guttenberg, and in the public domain.

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Habit Forming Films Is Heading Back To Wormwood!

June 7, 2010

Habit Forming Films, the producers of Wormwood: A Serialized Mystery recently announced on their Facebook page that writing has resumed on the final episodes of their show. Wormwood had been on Hiatus since the completion of their “Five Fingers Of Glory” Short Stories which chronicled much of the backstory of Wormwood. This last phase of Wormwood’s third and final season will consist of eight episodes and is being called Wormwood: Revelation. Could this mean that the end is fast approaching for this popular mystery series?… Fans will have to wait and find out.

In The News… May 24, 2010

Site Updates

NEW! – On Saturday May 22, 2010 a short report consisting of headlines and highlights from the world of new audio drama, was aired on Wander Radio.

The Listening Post Report – April 2010

NEW! – The Staff of the Listening Post is expanding. Bohemianroxie will soon be joining me as a regular Reviewer on staff. Once she settles into her new corner office I’m sure we’ll be hearing lots more from her… Welcome aboard Bohemianroxie!

IMPROVED! – Check out our all new Update and Subscription Center, located at the bottom left of our homepage.  We now offer separate RSS Feeds for Comments and Posts as well as Email subscriptions. Now you can get The Listening Post delivered right to your Email box. That’s two new ways to get your dose of the latest and greatest in new audio drama!

COMING SOON! – The Listening Post will soon begin featuring voluntary ratings in our Reviews  and Now Playing listings. A number of shows we feature already use voluntary ratings, and we will  begin posting those ratings whenever appropriate.  Some folks out there might have questions about ratings. Fortunately for our readers, Jack Hosley of Wander Radio has written an exclusive article to answer all your questions. Look for the article and other  changes in approximately two weeks.

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BrokenSea Audio Reaches Out To The Fans

Doctor Who fans may have a great opportunity to flex their creative muscles. It seems BrokenSea Audio Productions  is taking submissions from the fans and giving them an opportunity to write an episode of their Doctor Who series. Broken Sea recently issued this plea for submissions:

<<<>>>

Here’s a unique opportunity for Doctor Who fan-fiction writers. We have ONE episode slot open for our September 2011 episode of Doctor Who. I’ve decided to let fans of our version of Doctor Who write this episode. It can be in the form of a short story – or a radio play script (check the BBC writers room for a template)

The only requirements are:

– It is a stand alone story (complete plot in one episode 30-50 pages long) and features Mark Kalita’s incarnation of The Doctor and his current companion Amanda Waterfield.*

*Amanda Waterfield is a strong and capable English girl in her early 20’s who has a knack for mechanical and engineering wizardry.

– The plot must deal with an historical or futuristic event that has been disrupted (eg: The Roman Empire has modern tanks, the South has won the US Civil War etc) and the Doctor’s efforts to manage this change in time.

Check BrokenSea Audio for our previous episodes. Scripts or stories that can be adapted to scripts in by June 30th thanks.

Any questions and submissions should be emailed to: paul <at> brokensea <dot> com.

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Meet The Decoder Ring Theatre Cast

IN PERSON!

Fan Expo Canada August 27 – 29 2010

Decoder Ring Fans… Get Thee to FanExpo Canada 2010! For the first time ever, Decoder Ring Theatre will be making a convention appearance! The cast will have a booth in the small press/”artist alley” area of FanExpo 2010. Chief Bottle Washer Gregg Taylor will be at the table all weekend except for brief intervals when he will be unchained and allowed to pee.  At various points Peter Nicol, Chris Mott and Scotty Moyle and other cast members will be chained to the table with Gregg, forced to sell audio collections on USB drives, T Shirts and books to throngs of clamoring fans. Could one of these books include  the third Red Panda novel?… only if all the stars align properly!

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“WE’RE ALIVE” Goes LIVE!

7pm Pacific Time on June 2, 2010

The Cast and Writers of the Zombie Apocalypse series “Were Alive” will be taking questions from the public during an upcoming streaming video conference in early June. This Live event was announced on the Were Alive Facebook Fanpage and is scheduled for 7pm Pacific Time on June 2, 2010. Members of the Cast will be on hand to answer questions submitted by fans during the event. So be sure to head over to Facebook and submit your questions, soon!

In the News – May 10, 2010

Site Updates

NEW! – Two new Trailers join Jake Sampson and the  Gods of War here at the Listening Post! Be sure to check out the latest teasers from The Byron Chronicles and The Leviathan Chronicles, both are featured in our Coming Attractions section!

TWITTER! – The Listening Post Twitter Feed has been updated. You can now follow us  on  Twitter @ThListeningPost and get up to the minuet audio drama news!

REVISED! – An updated review of  “Children of the Gods” – An epic sci-fi audio series from Deadweasel Studio! Find it in our Reviews section.

THE LISTENING POST NEEDS… YOU!

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at writing audio drama reviews or articles? Well this is your chance. If you enjoy audio drama enough to write about it on at least a semi regular basis, then we’d love to hear from you.

Writing samples are preferred, but not required.

To find out more, Send an email to dextrenchcoatyahoocom RE:  The Listening Post

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Currently In Production

May 6, 2010

The Byron Chronicles – Eric Busby has confirmed that scripting and voice work has begun on the third season of Darker Projects: The Byron Chronicles. The Byron Chronicles is a modern fantasy serial set in the city of Portland Oregon, and has developed a large, devoted fan base over the course of two seasons.

Children of the Gods – Christopher Mack has resumed work on the  sci-fi serial Children of the Gods, after a long hiatus while he relocated Deadweasel Studio to sunny Las Vegas. The next Episode; Chapter 11: Gone to Ground, is fully scripted and casting is 75% complete while the voice work is 55% complete. Chapter 12: Dust to Dust is fully scripted as well, with several openings for new cast members.

Leviathan Chronicles – Christoph Laputka and Nobi Nakanishi have begun recording  the season finale of their show The Leviathan Chronicles. While Chapter 25 is the finale of season one,  it will also mark the relaunch of the shows website. Christoph and Nobi have assured fans that alot will be going on between now and the release of season two.

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“We’re Alive” Zooms up the Zune Charts

 

Modern Myth Productions proudly announced via Facebook that their production “We’re Alive”; a story of survival in a zombie infested world, is burning up the charts on Zune. This fine audio drama production is now the fourth most downloaded podcast in the Zune Marketplace. Congratulations to the entire cast and crew for this accomplishment!

Not only is this is a great achievement for Modern Myth Productions, its a great achievement for audio drama as a whole. Along with Decoder Ring Theatre’s notoriety on Twitter and Fred Greenhalgh’s Wall Street Journal article, it seems as though modern audio drama is slowly creeping into the mainstream consciousness. Is this wave of notoriety a sign of bigger things to come, or is it just another flash in the pan? We would love to hear what our readers have to say…

In The News – April 24, 2010

The 2010 Parsec Award Nominations Now Open

The Parsec Awards are focused on speculative fiction podcasting and as of April 19th, the nominations for this years Parsecs are open.

You… yes, *YOU* wearing the fuzzy pink slippers with your feet up on the computer desk!… Go nominate your favorite audio drama podcast, now!

“The Parsec Awards are accepting nominations for the best in speculative fiction podcasting from now until June 1st.”


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Audio Drama In The Mainstream Press

Final Rune Productions finds itself on The Street… The Wall Street Journal!

Frederick Greenhalgh of Final Rune Productions, was the subject of a great article describing the kind of work that goes into modern audio drama production today. Find the Wall Street Journal article Here. Getting exposure like this, is a great thing. Articles in major newspapers get people noticing that not only is this type of thing still being made… but made well.

Congratulations Fred! If your a listener or reader who hasn’t heard any of Mr Greenhalgh’s work, check out Final Rune Productions and Radio Drama Revival, now!

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Roger Ebert stands by for adventure with Decoder Ring Theater!

A sharp eyed fan of Decoder Ring Theater discovered a surprise while checking their Twitter feed. Noted Film Critic Roger Ebert apparently Twittered about (and probably listens to) Decoder Ring Theater home of The Red Panda, Masked Marvel of 1930’s Toronto and that hard boiled 1930’s gumshoe, Black Jack Justice!

Heres the Tweet. NOTE: You’ll probably need to be signed up with Twitter to see it.

A heartfelt congratulations goes out to Gregg Taylor and all the hard working folks at Decoder Ring Theater. Way to go guys and thanks for the hours of entertainment over the years!

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Campaign

Can Audio Drama help make the world a better place?… Possibly.

If your a soldier stationed thousands of miles from home and facing long stretches boredom, hearing Audio Dramas from home might help. Maybe even alot. A group of audio drama producers has banded together to see if they can make a difference. The idea is simple: send 10,000 CDs containing hours of audio drama to help fill the long hours of boredom in the field, frequently experienced by our military men and women.

Its a small thing, and even a small donation will help… Wont you Donate Now?