Re-Imagined Radio

Re-Imagined Radio

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Overview | Background | Upcoming Performance | Past Performances

Overview

Re-Imagined Radio rethinks programs from the Golden Age of American radio (1930s-1950s), and contemporary radio works, as live multimedia radio / transmission art performances, with digital media features and affordances. Often, students from my digital storytelling classes contribute backstories, future stories, even alternate stories in the form of interactive installations and live social media. This re-imagining provides listening opportunities where the audience can see, hear, and sometimes participate in sound-based radio narratives as they are created. The result: old medium, new opportunities. Radio like you have never seen, or heard, before.

Background

Start with a 1936 theatre. Re-enact historic radio dramas complete with voice actors and Foley sound artists. Garnish with digital SFX, music, and visual backdrops. Invite a live audience to watch, eat popcorn, and participate via social media. The result: Re-Imagined Radio—storytelling as never before heard, or seen.

Partners include the historic Kiggins Theatre, in downtown Vancouver, WA; the world-renowned Willamette Radio Workshop, based in Portland, OR, under the direction of Sam A. Mowry; Nouspace Gallery & Media Lounge, an occasional, interactive, multimedia art and media gallery; and the Creative Media & Digital Culture Program at Washington State University Vancouver.

Upcoming Performances

***Watch this space for news as it develops***
All performances at Kiggins Theatre — Vancouver, Washington
Doors open at 6:00 PM — show starts at 7:00 PM
Wine, beer, and concessions available
Social media
Twitter: #reimaginedradio

Past Performances

Season 5 (2017)
Laugh Your Dial Off poster
Laugh Your Dial Off

27 September 2017
Skits from Old Time Radio comedians, including Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, Abbot and Costello, Charlie McCarthy and Edgar Bergenand, and W.C. Fields. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Recording by Gerald Gaule, streamed on his American Senior Radio Network.

Stats
Live audience: 133
Live stream audience: 511 listeners in 28 countries as follows
United States (88), Great Britain (80), Germany (76), Canada (61), France (50), Japan (42), Norway (36), China (20), Ireland (14), Australia (10), Netherlands (7), Italy (6), Thailand (3), Romania (2), Panama (2), Mexico (2), Dominican Republic (1), Ukraine (1), Honduras (1), India (1), Poland (1), Columbia (1), Pakistan (1), Zambia (1), Russia (1), Zambia (1), Czech Republic (1), Switzerland (1).

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Save the Date: Spooky Stories, Nature's Bounty, More Dot Calendar. The Columbian, 16 September 2017.
The Golden Age of Radio may be long gone, but it's still hilarious—and now, you can watch as well as listen. The Willamette Radio Workshop, a Portland group that performs old-time radio scripts live on stage—complete with special audio effects and other theatrical magic—will bring a comedy showcase called "Laugh Your Dial Off" to downtown Vancouver's Kiggins Theatre at 7 p.m. Sept. 27. In addition to snappy, silly material from the likes of Jack Benny, Fibber McGee and Molly, Abbot and Costello and W.C. Fields, there'll be genuine radio commercials of the day—"so true and yet so funny," according to Re-Imagined Radio, a project at Washington State University Vancouver that brings these performances to the Kiggins. Doors open at 6 p.m. Sept. 27 at 1101 Main Street, Vancouver. Suggestion donation is $5. Visit www.kigginstheatre.net/events/re-imagined-radio.

Jones, Ken. Mr. Jones's Neighborhood. KBOO FM Radio, Portland, Oregon, 29 September 2017.
Radio interview with host Ken Jones, and Sam A. Mowry, artistic director of the Willamette Radio Workshop.

Peru, Alex. Local Radio Broadcaster Provides Unique Listening Service. Clark County Today, September 10, 2017.
Interview with Gerald Gaule who operates American Senior Radio Network and live streams Re-Imagined Radio performances.

Laugh Your Dial Off. North Bank Now, 25 September 2017.

City of Weird poster
City of Weird

26 April 2017
Five short otherworldly dramas, adapted by Cynthia J. McGean from the anthology City of Weird (published by Forest Avenue Press, Portland, OR, 2016). Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Recording by Gerald Gaule, streamed on his American Senior Radio Network.

Stats
Live audience: 150
Live stream audience: 672 listeners in 44 countries as follows
United States of America (111), Canada (96), Germany (82), England (77), France (54), Romania (41), Italy (37), Austria (29), Finland (24), Ireland (21), Japan (15), Croatia (10), Mexico (10), Netherlands (9), Russia (8), Brazil (7), Bosnia (4), Ukraine (3), Puerto Rico (3), Indonesia (2), Columbia (2), Barbados (2), Sweden (2), Hungary (2), Denmark (2), Pakistan (1), Honduras (1), Australia (1), Serbia (1), Lativa (1), Hong Kong (1), Belarus (1), Argentina (1), Vietnam (1), Taiwan (1), Estonia (1), Luxembourg (1), India (1), Oman (1), Morocco (1), United Arab Emirates (1), Sri Lanka (1), Guam (1), Monaco (1).

Dramatizations included . . .
"How Do You Say Gentrification in Martian" by Jonathan Hill
A short, graphic-novel/comic style story whose artwork will be featured in our pre-show slides

"Transformation" by Dan DeWeese
What does existential angst look like for killer slime molds from outer space and their nurturing spore-filled mothership when they touch down in Portland?

"The Fixer: A Serial - 1 - The Duchess" by Sean Davis
A noire-style piece featuring a sasquatch with a pot dispensary, a local dyed-in-the-wool prophet and a Russian water ghost, plus the classic hard-boiled detective and a femme fatale with a twist.

"A Code for Everything" by Andrew Stark
The poignant tale of a boy and his robot dog in Portland circa 2025.

"Letters to The Oregonian in the Year 30,000 BC" by Mark Russell
Ancient Portlanders Crolak, Chaka, Grub, and Bill grapple with the trendy new invention of fire and its impact on life in the Yak Village and beyond.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Kiggins Hosts 'City of Weird' Radio Drama. The Columbian, 22 Apr. 2015, pp. D1, D2.


Season 4 (2016)
A Radio Christmas Carol

21 December 2016
Based on the 24 December 1939 radio adaptation by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air of the Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Recording by Gerald Gaule, streamed on his American Senior Radio Network.

Stats
Live audience: 300+
Live stream audience: 580 listeners in 36 countries as follows
United States of America (81), Germany (77), Canada (64), Japan (60), Finland (54), New Zealand (45), Russia (30), Austria (28), France (22), Ireland, (17), England (16), Poland (12), Mexico (11), Netherlands (10), Italy (9), Brazil (8), Switzerland (7), United Arab Emirates (5), Puerto Rico (3), Indonesia (3), Columbia (2), Ivory Coast (2), Norway (1), Hungary (1), Tunisia (1), Scotland (1), Honduras (1), Costa Rica (1), Vietnam (1), China (1), Hong Kong (1), Peru (1), Argentina (1), Serbia (1), Taiwan (1), Moldova (1).

Donations to The Clark County Food Bank were requested. Donations of 763 pounds of food and $325.00 provided 2,228 meals for hungry families in Clark County.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Willamette Radio Workshop To Present 'A Christmas Carol' at Kiggins. The Columbian 11 December 2015.
Hewitt, Scott. The Sounds of Scrooge Come To Life. The Columbian 17 Dec. 2016, pp. D1, D2.

Dracula poster
Dracula

27 October 2016
The radio drama adaptation of Bram Stoker's legendary novel, Dracula, first published 1897, by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air for their radio broadcast, 11 April 1938. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

Stats
Live audience: 270

Dracula, the legendary novel by Bram Stoker, first published in 1897, is considered one of the greatest horror novels ever written. The novel examines the concepts of lust, sex, gender roles, and society's fears of the unnatural during late 19th and 20th century Victorian society. Over time, the focus of its many interpretations has come to be how evil abnormality can evolve from one source and infect the surrounding society with discord and misfortunes. Dracula, the vampire, infects others with his evil.

Stoker drew inspiration for his novel from tales of Vlad the Impailer, or Dracula, born 1431 into a noble Transylvania family. His father was called "Dracul" because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon in Romania. "Dracula" means "son of Dracul." Therefore, Vlad was known as "son of the dragon" or "son of the devil" which may have been the beginning of the legend that he was a vampire.

As a warrior, Vlad was known to impale people on stakes and leave them to die. He was reported to have once dined among his victims, and to have eaten bread dipped in their blood. Killed in 1476, Dracula's head was cut off and displayed in Constantinople. In 1931, archaeologists exhumed his grave and took the skeleton to the History Museum in Bucharest, where it disappeared, leaving many mysteries about Prince Dracula unanswered and thus contributing to the legends surrounding Dracula.

On 11 July 1938, the Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast "Dracula" as a radio drama and contributed to keeping these legends alive. Directed by and starring Orson Welles, as both Count Dracula and Doctor Seward, the cast also included Martin Gabel, Agnes Moorehead, George Coulouris and Ray Collins.

The performance was notable, but quickly forgotten as the cast and crew of the Mercury Theatre began immediately working on upcoming performances. Following the broadcast of "The War of the Worlds," 30 October 1938, perhaps the most famous radio broadcast of all time, Orson Welles noted the earlier performance of Dracula to defend the production of realistic tales of horror. Learn more.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Kiggins Presents Radio-Drama Production of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. The Columbian, 22 Oct. 2016.

Gunsmoke-Shadow poster
Bloody Hands and The Silent Avenger

4 May 2016
Episodes from Gunsmoke and The Shadow. Both deal with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) before it was named or understood. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

"Bloody Hands" (Gunsmoke episode 155; 2 April 1955). Marshall Matt Dillon, faced with too much killing and fearing he has lost his edge, quits his job. But when a murderer comes to Dodge City, who will save its citizens? Learn more.

"The Silent Avenger" (The Shadow episode 111; 13 March 1938). Joe Bricker is sentenced to death. He manipulates his brother, a World War I sniper suffering from PTSD, to kill everyone responsible for his pending execution. Can the invisible Shadow find and stop the invisible sniper before it is too late? Learn more.

Sorry, Wrong Number and The Hitchhiker

23 March 2016
Two radio dramas by Lucille Fletcher to celebrate her work in conjunction with National Women's History Month. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

"Sorry, Wrong Number," starring Agnes Moorehead, is called the most effective radio drama ever written and the best episode from the Suspense series, itself called one of the best series of the Golden Age of Radio (1920s-1950s). Mrs. Stevenson is connected into a telephone conversation between two men. She can hear the two men, but they cannot hear her. Apparently, they are plotting to murder a woman at 11:15 that night, just as a train passes outside. Mrs. Stevenson realizes she may be the murder victim. Learn more.

"The Hitchhiker" is, essentially, a ghost story. Driving cross country, Ronald Adams sees a strange man hitchhiking again and again. Adams becomes obsessed with finding this hitchhiker, and learning his identity. Learn more.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. The New Magic of Old-Time Radio. The Columbian 13 Mar. 2016, pp. D1, D8.
—. The Sound Magician: David Ian Demonstrates the Art of Foley. The Columbian 13 March 2016: D1, D8.


Season 3 (2015)
A Radio Christmas Carol

16 December 2015
Based on the 24 December 1939 radio adaptation by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air of the Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Recording from the audio board.

Facebook page for this event.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Christmas on the Radio. The Columbian, 11 Dec. 2015.

The Fall of the City and R.U.R.

7 October 2015
Live performance of these two classic radio dramas by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

"R.U.R." dramatizes a fundamental tension for humans with robots: we want them to be workers who make our lives easier, but if they have the ability to think independently, then are they actually slaves that should have rights? And, if they can think for themselves, would they possibly overthrow humans? Learn more.

"The Fall of the City" focuses on the ambiguous relationship humans have with freedom. We want to be free but we also like order and structure, even if that order and structure is imposed upon us. How much freedom and liberty are we willing to give up to enjoy order and structure. Because of this ambiguity, we both fear and welcome the conqueror. Learn more.

Press
Hewitt, Scott. Bits 'n' Pieces: Radio Plays Scare up Some Chills at Kiggins. The Columbian, 3 Oct. 2015, pp. D6-D7.

Golden Age of Superan poster
The Golden Age of Superman

18 June 2015
Based on Superman of the 1930s-1940s, this radio adaptation by Dan Wyatt, Jr. cast a satirical eye on contemporary issues facing Vancouver, Washington. Starring Vancouver Mayor Timothy Levitt and other local civic leaders, and featuring the talents of students from my summer 2015 DTC 354 Digital Storytelling class. Live performance by unprofessional actors at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.
Facebook page for this event.

Case Files of Dr. Moreau poster
The Case Files of Dr. Moreau

22 April 2015
Inspired by the 1896 science fiction novel The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells, this radio adaptation by William S. Gregory focuses on a scientist who attempts to convert animals into humans using vivisection. Themes include pain and cruelty, moral responsibility, human identity, and human interference with nature. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Students in my DTC 338 Audio Performance class and the Willamette Radio Workshop participated in the production and produced digital backstories for several of the characters. Learn more.
Recording from the audio board.

An eight minute video excerpt by the Willamette Radio Workshop
Facebook page
The Wunderkammer of Dr. Moreau highlights student projects


Season 2 (2014)
A Radio Christmas Carol

18 December 2014
Based on the 24 December 1939 radio adaptation by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air of the Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Facebook page

Press
WSUV Brings Program, Artwork To Downtown. The Columbian, 13 Dec. 2014.

War of the Worlds 2014 poster
The War of the Worlds

30 October 2014
For a second time, the world was utterly destroyed before the ears of an overflow audience at Kiggins Theatre! Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop. Facebook page

Press
'War of the Worlds' Reimagined at Kiggins. The Columbian, 30 Oct. 2014.

Around the World in 80 Days poster
Around the World in Eighty Days

6 August 2014
Inspired by the 1873 Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days. A re-imagined version of the 23 October 1938 radio broadcast of Around the World in Eighty Days by Orson Welles and the Mercury Theatre on the Air. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Included a curated gallery exhibition, Chronicles, of multimedia narrative responses to the novel created by students in my Fall 2014 DTC 354 Digital Storytelling class. Learn more.


Season 1 (2013)
A Radio Christmas Carol

19 December 2013
Based on the 24 December 1939 radio adaptation by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air of the Charles Dickens' novel, A Christmas Carol. Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington.

The War of the Worlds

30 October 2013
Inspired by the 1898 H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. A live re-enactment of the most famous radio broadcast of all time on the occasion of its 75th anniversary. The world was utterly destroyed before the ears of an overflow audience at Kiggins Theatre! Live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at the historic Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Included a curated gallery exhibition, Martians with Moustaches, of multimedia narrative responses to the novel created by students in my Fall 2013 DTC 354 Digital Storytelling class. Learn more.

Press
75 Years of War of the Worlds. OPB, 30 Oct. 2013.