Here it is! My number one best selling product is here– radio theater. Ta-da.
This is my number one most popular product in my store, Dramamommaspeaks on Teacherspayteachers.com. Check it out here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/RADIO-THEATRE-UNIT-I-3319922
Because everyone has heard of radio theatre, but few drama educators know much about teaching it!
For twelve years, I taught in a middle school each year instructing nearly 400 sixth graders each year. All. about. theatre.
Now, if you are a creative person like I am, then you know this is going to drain you pretty quickly. I taught everything to them: tableau, sound effects, movement, storytelling, set and costume design, stage properties and acting.
At the end of every twenty-five days of the school year, we put present a short play for their parents. (You have to perform something otherwise it’s not really theatre, right?)
After about five years and multitudes of different ways to teach theatre, I was exhausted creatively.
Then I discovered radio theatre.
I had some experience with it prior to the class. In fact, when I was a high school girl while everyone else was studying or talking on the phones to their friends, I would stay up late at night and listen to old radio shows from a Chicago station. It was terrific!
So, I got to thinking…..what if I taught the kids about radio theatre?
It had everything I needed–a script, no memorization of lines, plenty of parts and also non-threatening jobs like sound effects and running the music.
Back then, the internet was pretty new. It’s hard to believe, but we didn’t even have computers in our classrooms yet. I ran upon the Museum of Television and Radio (now called the Paley Center for Media) in California and discovered they had radio theatre workshops for families. Bingo!
Desperate, I wrote them asking for help and as luck would have it, a very nice man Tony Palermo sent me six scripts to use with my students.
I had some experience with voice over work myself and I was familiar with many aspects of radio theater production. Over the next several years, I perfected the unit.
This THREE WEEK unit suitable for middle and high school drama classes or gifted classes includes:
• a lesson on the history of radio theatre,
• information about Foley engineers
• three links to video clips of Foleys
• student created sound effect project
• five links to radio play performances (some vintage and some recent)
• a lesson in writing and producing radio commercials
• links to four commercials and two acting exercises focused on sound effects
• a FREE script of my adaptation of H.G. Welles’ The Invisible Man suitable for classroom use
• procedure plan to follow throughout the unit
• teacher’s questions
• a sound effects quiz
• a student group example of a radio commercial
• trivia about radio theater stars
What I like about the unit is the creativity of it as well as the production possibilities. It gives students an opportunity to learn, write, produce and perform. What’s not to like about that?
Now I have a second radio theater unit product! I wanted to give teachers a script which was based on a classic book (Oscar Wilde’s The Canterville Ghost) and more scary thinking it might be good for Halloween but still be fun. Check it out here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/RADIO-THEATRE-UNIT-II-4018450
In the near future, I plan to have one for the elementary grade level, too. That’s a promise!
Comprehensive? You bet! If you are looking for my number one most popular product in my store, this is it!
You will have a successful teaching and learning experience created by a veteran drama teacher of thirty-eight years. Can everyone say that?
Do you have any experiences with radio theater? I’d love to hear about them. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or DeborahBaldwin.net