Open Air: The Future of Audio Drama

Monday, March 28, 2011

On December 11th 2010, Eugene Lang College, in collaboration with The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC and WQXR, presented a symposium on the future of audio drama in our transformative times.

Listening is our first sense, and storytelling one of our first impulses—these come together powerfully in audio drama, in which the mind of the artist partners with the imagination of the listener.  Radio drama has been an integral part of the history of media since the inception of broadcasting in the early 20th century.  In the United States, it was a mainstay of entertainment programming during the “Golden Age,” and contemporary American writers who have written audio works include Pulitzer Prize winners Nilo Cruz and Suzan-Lori Parks.

But the form has been critically neglected and only intermittently available to modern audiences.  Now, with new technologies and new forms of media engagement, this subtle and compelling form may be poised for a comeback. What is the future for Audio Drama? This is the question that was addressed by artists from all over the audio theatre spectrum, including playwright Elana Greenfield; Producer/Directors Arthur Yorinks and Judith Kampfner; sound designer and director Darron West; and actors Paul Hecht and Barbara Rosenblat.  Award-winning radio drama producer Sarah Montague moderated the event. 

OPEN AIR was produced by Sarah Montague and Cecilia Rubino, in cooperation with Indira Etwaroo and The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space, and was made possible, in part, through the generous support of the Sidney E. Frank Foundation.

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