Radio Play Sound Production Activity
Suggested Learning Outcomes
- The activity is great for developing creative thinking
- Time management skills come into play
- Team work and communication
Teams must work alongside each other to produce and then perform a radio play. In other words, the performance requires no acting. Once teams have finished preparing, they will then have to perform their play.
Resources: Paper, pens and a box of props to create a variety of sounds
Space Required: Very Low. Indoors or Outdoors.
Group Size: From 6 to 48. Working groups of 6 to 12.
Total Time: 60 – 90 minutes
- 5 minutes to brief and setup
- 60 minutes maximum to plan, prepare and practice radio play
- 10 – 15 minutes to play back recordings
- 10 minutes to review and debrief
Running the Radio Play Sound Production Activity
- Gather the group and explain the next challenge they will be doing is called ‘Radio Play’. Discuss what a radio play is and give a few examples such as The Archers (on Radio 2 UK).
- The group can work as one big group or be divided into smaller working teams depending on the number of people. Six is the minimum number for this to be effective (the more participants in the group, the harder the challenge becomes).
- Give the group five random words that must be included e.g. a shark, marmalade, a nun, sheep and a pirate ship. Or you could start by giving them one item and asking for suggestions for the other four – this allows them to develop creativity and also bring in items that are ‘in jokes’ for the group.
- Give the group the props box/bag and a place to rehearse. Leave them on their own as much as possible though some guidance may be needed, especially if working with younger children. Check on progression periodically and give them countdowns at the 30 minute, 15 minute and 5 minute marks.
- When it is time for them to perform their plays, select a group to go first and either blindfold or ask the audience (other group members) to face the opposite direction.
- Another option is to get the groups to record their work and then play back the recordings at the end.
Rules of the Radio Play Sound Production Activity
- Teams must perform their play in five minutes.
- Teams will have 60 minutes to plan and then rehearse before performing.
- Each participant within a team must have a role, they can either use a prop or have a speaking role.
Activity Guidance and Notes
A great way to create more of an atmosphere, is to get in an audience for the event. You may be thinking that 60 minutes is a long time for teams to prepare. In this case, teams will be asking for more time, as an hour goes by pretty quickly. Depending on your schedule, you could add in an extra few minutes, but it is not necessary, as teams will still have something to produce.
You can also adjust the overall time to suite your needs. Just lessen the amount of time the teams are given in all areas including taking off a few minutes during the review segment.
Here are a few questions, which can help teams process their experience of Radio Play:
- As a team, who was assigned what role and how did you reach these decisions?
- What was the process, which lead you to your idea for the play?
- Do you think the time you had was enough? Do you think you managed the time well?
- What did you observe when something wasn’t going according to plan?
- Tell us what you think the funniest moment was during the challenge?
- Were you amazed by anyone in the team?
- Is there something you would change, if you had to do the challenge all over again?
- Taking the whole experience into account, what is one thing you have learned?
Sound Production Radio Play Activity
Working in smaller teams, you must create your very own radio play. Once you have planned and prepared your play, you will then perform it in front of the other teams.
Each radio play must last at least three minutes and a maximum of five minutes. When you are performing your play, the other teams will be positioned to look in the opposite direction, so they will not be able to see you, just hear you.
Each member of the team must have a role in the performance, whether speaking or operating props.
When you are writing your play, you must include the five random words specified by the leader.
Sound Production Radio Play Explained
Radio still captivates many listeners around the world and is a great medium for a play.
Radio drama achieved widespread popularity within a decade of its initial development in the 1920s. By the 1940s, it was a leading and popular form of entertainment. However, with the advent of television in the 1950s, radio dramas through the years have become less and less popular.
The key to writing successful radio plays is to realise that the listener can only understand what is going on by what they hear, so remember to paint a picture in the audience’s mind. With no visual component, radio plays depend on dialogue, music and sound effects to help the listener imagine the characters and story.