What are the Audio Drama Genres?


The late great (and sorely missed) Blake Snyder argued that the terms that we know as “genre”- those of fantasy, science fiction, mystery and the like- are poorly chosen. There are, after all many different kinds of horrors stories, westerns, even romance stories, and often they intersect with each other.

Instead, Mr. Snyder, in his book Save the Cat Goes to the Movies, brilliantly breaks down ten different genres. some of which are covered in this scriptmag article by Erik Bork.

One example, is Monster in the House in which Blake Snyder argues quite effectively that Jaws, Alien, and Cable Guy are all the same genre.

Take a moment to think about audio plays/radio drama. Certainly, there are crossroads with the movie genres that Blake Snyder identifies. But the question remains, are there genres you’ll only find in the audio drama medium?


Socially Sonic

hammockIt’s the summertime and that’s a good time to sit back and listen to audio drama. But, for many writers, it’s also the time they can find a quiet place to work on their latest opus. The purpose of your writing may be entirely up to you, but Esta de Fossard decided that writing audio drama for social development was an excellent way to get the message across when you entertain.

Here is her own opus, appropriately titled How to Write a Radio Serial Drama for Social Development. While you’re lazing in your hammock, have a read, and a thought to how you can transform the world today with Audio story!

OTR Appreciation 101

Jack and David provide a little post mortem on Season 10 and the first decade of the Sonic Society while giving away hints at the upcoming season in the Fall. Meanwhile, John Bell and the gang from the Batfry give us a brief interlude from our recreations of OTR for Sonic Summerstock Playhouse with an analysis of one episode of The Lone Ranger in OTR Appreciation 101.


Talking Heads?

talkingheadsThere’s always been a concern that you shouldn’t write your audio drama with just “talking heads”. The concept suggesting that characters need to be active to be effective in an audio story.

I’m not sure that’s entirely true. While we love action, we can think of some really effective stories that don’t need a lot of change of settings or violence or even massive change ups of characters.

My Dinner with Andre is a good example as is Jerome Bixby’s The Man from Earth. or the classic 12 Angry Men by television pioneer and dramatist Reginald Rose which has been recently re-enacted by Narada Radio Theatre and Society member in good standing Pete Lutz.

As a writer make a good story. Whether its Sherlock Holmes in the study explaining the crime to Watson or Percy Atherton and the Maudelayne team breaking up ancient deities’ poke matches, the beginning and ending point is always good story and great characters.


reparations_I_the_attorneys_k_anderson_yancyAn astounding twenty-three year project of research and production with over fifty actors in this full-cast audio drama called Reparations I: The Attorneys, provides a powerful tale of two African-American best friends and attorney’s seeking restitution and reparations for over 400 years of: Slavery, apartheid and vast forms of discrimination and genocide at the hands of the United States, all dealing with the fall out in their personal lives from such an action. At fifteen and a half hours, this colossal series would make an excellent summer listen! More on the details from the Birmingham Times.

Ear Canals

OxfordMatt Oliver in the Oxford Mail points out a new trend in audio drama goodness- walking tours of historic sites. Or in this case, paddling tours of the Oxford Canals. Tom Dick and Debbie Studio, local based producers, have taken the winners of some historical plays about the Oxford Canal, developed, edited, and uploaded the four, 10-minute pieces to the Oxford Canal Heritage Project’s website. All were performed in the St. Barnabus Church, Canal Street structure and do an excellent job chronicling the history of the historic waterways.

In our interactive society, how many more great audio are we going to find out about?