'Radio Icebox'

A warm story about a cold place

Festival thoughts from Day 2


Day two of the festival is under my belt and it was an improvement on the first day in terms of the quality of the plays and my comfort with the environment. I should explain a bit about the format of the fest. We listen for 3-4 hours in the morning then another 3-4 hours after lunch. That's followed immediately by a discussion session at a local pub where our chairman Tomas tries to keep us on track. Following that (it's about 8pm by this point) there is a big push by the organizers for all of us to go out to dinner. Only about half take advantage, however, as it's been a long day already. 
I had an interesting experience at jury yesterday. One of the offerings on Tuesday was the only other American play in the festival and I felt compelled to 'explain' American radio drama to the rest of the jury. Here's what I mean: in Europe, production of drama on radio never really stopped. It dropped off sharply after the coming of TV, of course, but it never actually ceased. If you consider how much theatre has changed in the last 70 years, you can imagine how much radio has changed along with it. Anything that has a classic narrative structure is considered a little quaint and old fashioned. In America, however, radio drama came to a near complete stop after WW2. The newest generation of producers ( including me) got our inspiration from old time radio recordings and adapted to their structure as well. The rest of the jury didn't seem to know this and they were interested and generous. They seem to understand that we're all independents in the US with no network backing, and I don't know how experimenting with the form would work at this stage. An artist attempting to be avant garde without the proper training and background is likey to just create finger paintings. More a little later.