The Sonic Society

Showcasing the very best in new Audio Drama

Welcome To The Sonic Society!

Each week Jack Ward and David Ault are pleased to showcase the very best Modern Audio Theatre (Radio Drama) from around the world. From the days of Old Time Radio in the early 20th century until the modern age of broadcasts, podcasts, and streaming simulcasts, audio plays are movies for the mind!

August 2018
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Missives from the Masters

Posted By on August 9, 2018 isn’t just a treasure-trove of old-time radio drama, apparently, there are other great classics to appreciate like this one Radio Directing from Earle McGill who was a superstar of the Columbia Broadcasting System. Mr. McGill was a well-known directory, producer, and casting director for their Radio Workshop among other projects.


Sonic Summerstock Playhouse S09E06: Wolfish Smile

Posted By on August 7, 2018

In one of those unusual quirks of Fate, we have a second running of a live classic Nero Wolfe tale “Stamped for Murder” this time from Jeffrey Adams and Icebox Radio Theatre!

The Seneca Awards

Posted By on August 1, 2018

If there’s one thing we hear a lot in the audio drama circles is that there’s just not enough love to demonstrate how much hard work and dedication goes into making our favourite stories. From the writers and actors to the directors, musicians, and producers. Audio Drama is a collaborative process and the Seneca Awards are an amazing opportunity to have your works known. The Seneca Awards focus on celebrating the very best in family-friendly entertainment. Have you created an audio drama the entire family could appreciate?

Enter your submission for this year’s Seneca Awards now!


Sonic Summerstock Playhouse S09E05: Poisonous Listenings

Posted By on July 31, 2018

Back for another triumphant tour this season at the Playhouse, Narada Radio brings to the stage their live performance of the classic screwball comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace”. Pete Lutz is your director and announcer on this last day of July!


To Trigger or Not to Trigger

Posted By on July 30, 2018

The phrase “Trigger Warning” is so ubiquitous it feels like it’s always been a part of the English lexicon. But, it hasn’t reached quite that level of epoch yet. Buzzfeed did provide an interesting history of the phrase back in 2014 with the article- How the “Trigger Warning” took over the Internet.

While the term was embraced through the social media universe, content-creators and artists of all stripes were mixed about their feelings. I remember distinctly a wildly-popular progenitor of a horror audio podcast lamenting that he felt it strange to have to specify a “Trigger Warning” for listeners when the very nature of his podcast was meant to disturb with wild and fantastical stories of the macabre and evil.

Even before “Trigger Warnings” the Sonic Society in collaboration with a number of partners worked to cobble together a film-style method, we produced and hosted on the now-defunct Audio Drama Directory the Audio Drama Ratings System. In the ratings system, we had acting titans John Bell and Tanja Milojevic provide several audio warning stickers that people might be familiar with to help parents and fans better self-select their listening pleasures.

But, “Trigger Warnings” go further. They tend to be extremely specific about their warning labels, giving viewers and listeners foreshadowing of the story’s contents. Ten years of studies can produce a lot of interesting work in science, and now scientists are raising a warning flag about triggers.

In the July 27th publication of the Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry under the article Trigger Warning: Empirical Evidence Ahead scientists have some concerns. Here are some highlights from the study:

  • Trigger warnings increase peoples’ perceived emotional vulnerability to trauma.

  • Trigger warnings increase peoples’ belief that trauma survivors are vulnerable.

  • Trigger warnings increase anxiety to written material perceived as harmful.

Unfortunately, this is one of many such studies that are arising from our understandings. Maybe the most important trigger warning of a “Trigger Warning” is the warning itself.

Sonic Summerstock Playhouse S09E04: A Dangerous Recreation!

Posted By on July 24, 2018

Lothar Tuppan’s steady hand on the audio tiller brings this season an incredible recreation. The Amigos present the very first English-speaking audio drama script “A Comedy of Danger” to the Playhouse stage!

Sonic 211: Summer Parlour- Could Be

Posted By on July 19, 2018

Tonight Richard Frohlich from Texas Radio Theatre joins the Amigos for an exploration into the most geopolitical radio show in the history of the Sonic Society, Norman Corwin‘s “Could Be”.

Have a listen yourself and consider whether you too could be part of a better future world!

Mentioned in the discussion:
H.G. Wells
Things to Come- The Movie
 The Anatomy of Tyranny- Timothy Snyder (Ideas)
Dan Carlin
Afghans life expectancy

Note: Please excuse the poor audio as technical difficulties on skype are often unexpected

Audio on the Rise

Posted By on July 19, 2018

More signs that the Rise of Audio is on its way. Canada’s Booknet Press posted some interesting stats and trends. From the article:

More than half, or 61%, of Canadian publishers are now producing digital audiobooks, which is up from 37% in 2016, according to a new report from BookNet Canada. Increasing production may be related to the confidence felt by firms, with 73% believing audiobook sales will increase in the coming year.

Publishers across Canada were surveyed in early 2018 for the fifth annual The State of Digital Publishing in Canada 2017 report, which tracks trends in the country’s digital publishing landscape. Respondents ranged from large multinationals and Canadian-owned firms to smaller, niche publishers, all of whom answered questions about ebook sales, use of accessibility features, digital revenue, and more.

Among the other highlights of the report was a drop in the percentage of ebooks available in the market that went unsold. Though methodology changed slightly between 2016 and 2017, the survey found that 30% of ebooks had no sales in 2017, versus 46% in 2016. Meanwhile, 69% of publishers reported that their year-over-year digital sales were either growing slowly or staying flat. According to BookNet’s quarterly consumer surveying, unit sales of ebooks have fluctuated over the past three years, accounting for 19% of book purchases in 2015, 16.9% in 2016, and 18.6% in 2017.

Time to pull out the microphone and get in on the act, if you haven’t already!

Sonic Summerstock Playhouse S09E03: Corpsified

Posted By on July 17, 2018

Audio Drama’s one-man band, John Bell from Bell’s in the Batfry returns to the Sonic Summerstock stage, this time with a classic X-Minus One episode “The Haunted Corpse” from Frederick Pohl.

The Game is Afoot!

Posted By on July 11, 2018

Lions Den Theatre roars this summer with another grand live radio drama tradition- Sherlock Holmes. Keith Morrison wrote and directed this epic tale of The Hound of the Baskervilles and “The Aventures of Sherlock Holmes” starring Jesse Robb as Holmes and Dorian Lang as his faithful companion, Doctor Watson. The rest of the expert cast rounds out with strong performances from Christine Daniels, Ali House, Lisa Renault, Dorian Lang, Colleen MacIsaac, Daniel Morrison, Mark Penny, Sean Skerry and Schoel Strang.

Go check out their performances at Sherbrooke Village, July 14th!

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