Mission Statement:

Audio drama is one of the most intimate and expressive dramatic mediums, rivaling theater and film in poetic, visual, and narrative qualities. Many people are unaware of this - a stigma lingers that "radio drama" is a scratchy, cartoonish thing of the past, as if people thought that cinema ended with silent movies, unaware of all the great films made since that time. In reality, audio and radio drama is the great frontier of modern theater - with subtle, intimate performances and powerful, gripping stories.

My aim is to promote a discussion of the art, sociology, theory, and future of this remarkable artistic form. The current state of audio drama is precarious, but through careful consideration of how content is presented, distributed, and interacted with, I believe that the radio and audio drama community can grow and prosper and reach an even wider audience.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Artist Descending a Staircase by Tom Stoppard

Tom Stoppard has written many acclaimed plays for radio, among them Albert's Bridge, Professional Foul, and The Dog It Was That Died. The most acclaimed, I would argue, is Artist Descending a Staircase. This play gets at the primal nature of reality, using the “blindness” of radio drama to great effect. Elissa Guralnick, in her book Sight Unseen, covers the play in detail.

This blog is not intended to be a means of distributing radio drama, by the way – I offer only these few plays as an educational opportunity, because the unfortunate circumstances that surround radio drama, in terms of distribution and socialization, make it difficult for people to access these plays otherwise. My goal is to facilitate a deeper understanding and study of the medium, and to promote discussion of it as well. That's why I am posting these plays, specifically the ones that Ms. Guralnick discusses in her highly recommended book.

There are a few plays that she discusses which I do not have copies of, particularly David Rudkin's Cries from Casement as His Bones Are Brought to Dublin and Robert Ferguson's Transfigured Night. If anyone has a copy of them please let me know, they are very important to the critical discussion of audio drama.

Download Artist Descending a Staircase, Part One

Download Part Two

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