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!

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Episide 531: Shoppers from Hell

Posted By on October 24, 2017

As David rehearses in Toronto for the No Sleep Live show, he and Jack present the hillscarious show Attention Hellmart Shoppers from Fatecrafters.

Vienna This Halloween Weekend!

Posted By on October 23, 2017

Virginia’s, New Vienna Community Center will help light up their 2017-2018 season with an evening of live radio dramas “In Living Sound – Back Home” for the end of October.

Check out the Connection article on the upcoming performance:

In its first show of the 2017-2018 season in the newly renovated Vienna Community Center, the Vienna Theatre Company is presenting the live radio drama, “In Living Sound – Back Home,” this coming weekend, Oct. 27-28, at 8 p.m.

Directed by Patricia Kallman, the ensemble of six actors is performing four scripts from the Golden Age of Radio during the 1930s and 1940s – one humor, one crime, one sweet tale from the Depression and one horror. The ensemble cast includes: Stuart Fischer, Terry Mason, Jay T. Stein, Jocelyn Steiner, John Totten and Kathy Young.

The first show, “Popeye – Visiting the Zoo,” which is replete with live sound effects by Sherry Kaiser and Roy Kallman, was an episode that aired in the 1930s. In this play, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy and Matey, the newsboy, visit the zoo in search of adventure.

Kallman said she paid particular attention to the voices to get them down just right. “They are so distinctive for Popeye and they were so popular. So I thought that would be the interesting vocal part for this,” said Kallman, 70, of the Greenbriar community who co-founded the Alliance Theater in Centreville with Elaine Wilson in 2000.

HER CHALLENGE was to make the sound effects interesting, she said. “We debated animal sounds. We tried a lot of different things. We tried all kinds of things for the hyena. It would be fun if there were actual animal noises but we did the best we could with them. There weren’t any in the original radio play; we thought we would add something to it.”

The second play, “Boston Blackie – Blackie and the Fur Trade,” which aired in 1945, was created by Jack Boyle, a newspaper reporter and reformed opium addict while serving a term in San Quentin for robbery. Blackie started out as a jewel thief and safecracker, but then became a detective. The radio series spawned 14 films for Columbia Pictures. In this play, Janet and Harry are fur thieves, and are apparently getting assistance from Boston Blackie. But the hare-brained Inspector Faraday is in hot pursuit and we learn that crime doesn’t pay.

Kallman said she was trying to recreate a film noir kind of feel to it – “the mystery and the grit,” she said. “I was really amazed when I started researching it; I didn’t know there were 14 Boston Blackie movies,” she said.

The third play, “The Fleischmann’s Yeast Hour – The Church Mouse” first aired on Dec. 19, 1935. Also known as the Rudy Vallee Show, it was a musical variety show on NBC from 1929 through 1936, and into 1939 when it was renamed The Royal Gelatin Hour. In its prime, it was second only to “Amos ‘n Andy” for popularity and showcased many stars of the future. In this play, a meek but scrappy unemployed secretary lobbies for a job in a bank in a creative and unconventional way.

Kallman said she was trying for something a bit lighter. “It was three times made into a movie and it was on Broadway as a play first,” she said. “I guess it ends up being a love story. I forgot that people were desperately hungry in the middle of the depression. People were trying to get by, so it’s amusing to hear her talk about dividing up a sardine.”

The final play, “Lights Out – Knock at the Door,” first aired on CBS in 1942. This tale begets the supernatural, when an overly protective mother is done away with by her new daughter-in-law. Arch Oboler took over Wyllis Cooper’s series in 1936 when it had 600 fan clubs. Rod Serling counted the duo as his inspiration for “Twilight Zone,” which was to TV what “Lights Out” was to radio.

“We all said Halloween is coming and we ought to end up with something scary,” said Kallman. “We read a number of scripts and thought somebody coming back from the dead was interesting.”

The Vienna Theater Company is presenting the live radio drama, “In Living Sound – Back Home,” Oct. 27-28 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $14. The venue is located at The Vienna Community Center, 120 Cherry St., SE, Vienna, VA. Visit the website at http://www.viennatheatrecompany.org.

Sonic Echo 202: Lights Out!

Posted By on October 19, 2017

Tonight Lothar Tuppan leads the Amigos- Jeff Billard and Jack Ward in a discussion about the classic horror “Valese Triste” from Arch Oboler and Lights Out!

Episode 530: Rabbits Radio

Posted By on October 17, 2017

This week Jack and David explore the world of the podcast Rabbits Podcast with Carly Parker, and talk about the upcoming No Sleep Live show in Toronto.

Episode 529: Fun and Fear Audio

Posted By on October 10, 2017

Tonight on the Sonic Society we begin our double-feature with Chatterbox Audio‘s “Marjorie and the Magic Words” by Robert Arnold, and finish with a tale of fright from Room 503 Productions with  “Just a Campfire Scare”.  Because, IT’S AUDIO DRAMA TIME!

A Great Light

Posted By on October 10, 2017

It is no secret that I have always loved Orson Welles. One of the great compliments I had was back in Teacher’s college when someone saw me on the stage and remarked later that I would take this compliment too far but I had indeed resembled the great man in her mind.

I was humbled. Of course, there never was, and never will be a man like him. This interview was said to be his last, and perhaps even on the day of his death. What charm. What panache. What a man. Here on the anniversary of his death we remark his passing. 32 Years without Welles.

 

Episode 528: Closing the Book on Ancestry

Posted By on October 3, 2017

Tonight we complete the epic fantasy Ancestry: Book One from Dayn Leonardson and Koach Studios! IT’S AUDIO DRAMA TIME.

Episode 527: Aural Ancestry

Posted By on September 26, 2017

Tonight we continue with part two of Koach Studios epic Ancestry: Book One from the mind of Dayn Leonardson! IT’S AUDIO DRAMA TIME.

History in the Making

Posted By on September 23, 2017

Someone wise once said, ‘If your life is worth living, it’s worth writing down.”

I think similarly if your audio has value to you, it’s worth preserving. That’s why when Gregg Taylor of Decoder Ring Theatre said in one of our interviews that he’s been uploading his shows to archive.org it made me consider that it’s probably time to do the same with the Sonic Society. It’s a large process to go back and even upload Season 12, but that’s been accomplished. We’ll go backwards and fill in the last couple years for sure.

There’s untold generations that should have a real understanding where and who started this amazing movement- the modern audio drama medium. And we’ve had front row seats in the past decade. Thank you everyone for your encouragement through the years!

 

Sonic Echo 201: Finger of God

Posted By on September 21, 2017

And the Amigos are back and this time it’s with yet another classic and original OTR show “The Finger of God” from a Columbia Workshop production of Percival Wilde‘s adapted play.