Radio Theater Podcast
TSVP Radio Theater Podcast
TSVP’s Radio Theater Podcast works with community-based actors and local theater organizations to present classic, contemporary, and original imaginative audio productions, including recorded, staged, and live streamed performances before live audiences.
In addition to showcasing performances, the podcast is dedicated to promoting and celebrating the technical craft of local theater.
During 2020, TSVP also struck up a radio theater collaboration with the Saltworks Theatre Company. Based in Pittsburgh since 1981, Saltworks is a non-profit, professional arts company which addresses the physical, emotional, and spiritual needs of children, youth, and families through the creation and performance of contemporary dramatic works.
Since 2019 the TSVP Radio Theater Podcast has collaborated twice with the McKeesport Little Theater, first to produce its 2019 Christmas fundraiser, It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play and again for MLT’s 2020 Halloween production, The Shadow in Death House Rescue–both directed by Kalee George.
We continue to collaborate with Pittsburgh-based director, Kalee George. Kalee is a local theatre artist who holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Niagara University. She is also a certified Basic Actor Combatant through Fight Directors Canada. She can be seen performing with Saltworks Theatre Co and various other companies throughout the Pittsburgh area including PSIP, New Hazlett CSA, and the McKeesport Little Theater.
The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast collaborated with the Little Beaver Historical Society in Darlington, Pennsylvania to help produce The Bishop’s Wife, a version of the classic radio drama directed by LBHS’s Dave Holoweiko.
The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast collaborated with the Merrick Art Gallery in New Brighton, Pennsylvania to help produce Soldier, Come Home! — a Civil War play for voices recorded and performed before a live audience.
The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast collaborated with the Rochester Area Heritage Society in Rochester, Pennsylvania to help produce the 2018 Comedy Radio Show and 2018 Halloween Radio Show at the Adams Street Theater.
A Short But Successful 2020 Radio Theater Season
PITTSBURGH – January 17, 2020 – The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast completes successful 2020 season despite the COVID pandemic.
“We thought 2020 would be a complete bust for our TSVP Radio Theater Podcast,” says Kevin Farkas, executive producer of The Social Voice Project, “but we were able to work with some very talented and dedicated local directors, actors, and sponsors to produce three high-quality radio dramas.”
While this year most community theater companies either shuttered their doors or chose to create virtual productions, the TSVP Radio Theater Podcast opted to produce their projects “in-studio” following appropriate COVID health and safety protocols.
Rehearsals were organized through online video meetings, but actual recording took place in-person using creative techniques, such as staggered recording schedules, isolated character readings, and small socially distanced groupings of actors.
“The directors did an amazing job organizing production,” said Mr. Farkas, who also serves as the podcast’s sound engineer, designer, and editor. The actual recording days were long and tedious, with actors arriving individually in studio on a staggered schedule. Characters’ parts were read individually in isolation, and then they were re-assembled afterwards during post-production editing–that’s also where sound effects and musical scoring tracks were dropped into the performances.
“Recording actors in isolation and then stitching together individual clips of dialogue in the editing room is not easy, but it’s not a new technique,” Mr. Farkas said. “Animated shows do this routinely, as do most other audio productions created in-studio. We typically record our radio dramas as they are performed live on stage—as was traditionally done in the ‘Golden Age of Radio.’ But COVID made live-stage performances impossible this year.”
Farkas went on to say that in radio theater sound quality is essential. “I understand why some theater companies choose to perform their shows virtually, but as an audio producer I refuse to compromise aesthetics when it comes to radio theater, where everything rides on sound quality. Radio theater is an aural art form. It’s all about what you hear inspiring the imagination. The listening experience matters. This is theater of the mind. Zoom presentations just don’t work for me, and I suspect they’re off-putting to most audiences as well.”
However, as a broadcast platform the internet is exceptionally suited to radio theater in terms of accessibility and world-wide reach. “Our three shows of this short season have been heard in more than twenty countries, including Australia, France, and India,” Farkas said, “and listeners in twenty-six states have downloaded our podcast episodes.”
Podcasting—both visual and audio—is growing in popularity, and radio theater podcasts are springing up everywhere from college campuses, local performing arts communities, to professional productions.
The TSVP Radio Theater Podcast–working with community-based actors and local theater organizations to present classic, contemporary, and original imaginative audio productions, including recorded, staged, and live streamed performances before live audiences–is the first in Pittsburgh, Western Pennsylvania, and surrounding multi-state region to be dedicated to showcasing such performances and celebrating the technical craft of radio theater.