What constitutes a good story? Good acting? A great arc? A strong protagonist? A compelling antagonist? A witty sidekick? A laughable fool? For centuries man has been writing and creating tales. Be it the master works of Chekhov or the eye of Kubrick, our obsession with drama and spoken word spans all of man’s history.
Remember the days of yesteryear when vaudeville burned the microphone with witty banter? Or when suspense played on the minds ability to fill in the void? Return to those days of mystery and laughter from the ole towering General Electric Radio at Hedgerow Theatre Company as it presents a new Storyboard series of Radio Mystery Theatre: Theatre for the Mind.
Homer filled our dreams with the spoken word and created heroic odysseus and influential gods. Shakespeare’s use of language in unparalleled in evoking human emotion and thought through speech. These masters of the spoken word turned language into music.
Our ear and brain are acutely tuned to create truth from this barest of experience. For years, this power of sound was capitalized on by one of the most revolutionary tools of its era, the radio. Men such as Thomas Edison, Nikola Tesla, and Braun (yes, that one) put their focus on the technology and a boom occurred from use of frequency to the standardization of the radio from submarines to homes.
Today, podcasts are reinvesting in the power of headphones open our imagination to the sound of great voices. However, for a generation Amos & Andy, Suspense!, The Shadow, Buck Rogers, Jack Benny, and The Adventures of Superman filled the airwaves and made great language king.
Drama, comedy, and variety could be found at all hours of the day, next to news and advertisements seeking to reach the masses. From the late 1800s to the 1960s radio was creating the “theatre of the mind.” Tales such as Three Skeleton Key were being produced with writers like Rudyard Kipling, Robert Louis Stevenson, and F. Scott Fitzgerald fueling their plots.
The radio powered the sounds of vaudeville, American folk music, and Red Rider. By 1944 over 30 million U.S. homes had 57 million radio sets. However, by 1949 nearly 4 million TV sets were produced and the stories that filled audiences ears and minds moved to the new medium.
Now, Hedgerow brings the “Theatre of the Mind” back to life. Bringing mystery, adventure, and comedy, Hedgerow presents a new Storyboard series, “ The Radio Mystery Plays,” featuring the voice talents of the Hedgerow Theatre company.
Running March 10 to the 19, this show will put human voice and the imagination back in the driver’s seat.