Old Time Radio

We're talking in my speech classes about radio and television, and we're in the section of the chapter that touches on radio drama. I've tried to explain to my kids how the radio actor had to use his voice to convey meaning, as opposed to the television or film actor, who can also use body language.

I put the students in groups, handed out radio scripts, and instructed them to HAM IT UP. "You can't be afraid to make fools of yourselves," I said. "And don't worry--I do it ALL the time." (true)

Even so, I still got complaints: "Ms. Flower, this is stupid!" And it's hard to explain that audiences in the early part of the the twentieth century wouldn't have the same reaction. It's made me realize--yet again--just how cynical and world-weary they are, especially considering how young they are. Nothing is new to them; they've seen it all and nothing excites them anymore.

During the lecture about the elements of radio drama, I mentioned some of the most well-known of the genre: W.W. Jacobs' The Monkey's Paw, Orson Welles' War of the Worlds, and Abbott and Costello's Who's on First (one of my favorites). I'm going to show them this clip during our next class. I hope they love it as much as I do.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Did they like it?


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