Radio Daze: Here to Amaze

Allyssa Ertz, Arts and Life Editor

A phenomenon not seen since 2005 is making a comeback at Buena Vista University. One massive production, Radio Daze ’18, will be produced through four divergent media outlets by countless professors and students from different majors throughout all of campus. Spearheading this project is Bethany Larson, Professor of Theatre. 

Radio Daze is a series of nights featuring classic radio theatre, characterized by different storytelling genres from comedy, to crime dramas, to suspense and romance. Each performance will be broadcast through four mediums: KBVU 97.5 The Edge, BVTV, an internet stream, and live for the campus and community to come view the spontaneity.  

“What makes it really special is that you have all these ways of accessing this entertainment, and you could experience all of them in one night!” Larson says. 

The production is scheduled for October 11-13, and potentially the 14th as a matinee.  Each performance will begin at 7:30 p.m. 

David Walker, Assistant Professor of Theatre and Director of Theatre Productions, will be taking on the technical side and stage makeup of this project. Andrea Frantz, Professor of Digital Media and general manager of KBVU, and Jerry Johnson, Assistant Professor of Digital Media and general manager of BVTV, will also be key personnel in putting together the production puzzle pieces of Radio Daze. 

This will not be a normal radio production, as all sound effects will be made live onstage. Intuitive, creative individuals will be needed for participation in each show to make sounds such as a train or even lightning as if they are actually occurring onstage.  

A feature like this is what makes this project so special. The entire campus could be involved. Actors will obviously be necessary, but you don’t have to be that type of performer, or even a performer at all, to be a part of assembling this creative production.   

“We also want to have musicians. We also want to have people who are interested in sound effects and problem solving, and the creativity that comes with that.  In addition to that, we want composers.  We want people who are going to maybe compose theme music for each of the shows, or jingles for the ads that we’re going to get.”  Larson says. 

There is so much room for students from any major to incorporate themselves in this one-of-a kind form of creativity. No memorization is required, so even if you do want to act, but don’t want that extra responsibility, the show’s script is waiting for you to come and be a part. 

Rehearsals are also not going to be a huge commitment. When you’re in four clubs, a sport, and still have to manage schoolwork, you won’t have five nights of three-hour long rehearsals. You can just come for a little while, do your own part, and go on and do whatever it is that you need to. It is designed for extreme accessibility to a large amount of people. 

“That’s what’s great about it, is that you don’t have to be a theatre person, you don’t even have to be a digital media person, or a music production and technology person. You could just be a person who has a guitar and is a composer of your own songs, and maybe one of those songs would fit.” Larson adds. 

Another awesome connection is that people who were involved in the previous Radio Daze production in 2005 will be able to view it, as well as anyone else who cares to. BVU has connections in places throughout the entire world, such as students from Rwanda or alumni in New York, and they will all be able to have access to this through its many media outlets. 

The KBVU and BVTV staff members are committed to helping with this in any way that they can. The general managers of these two organizations will be orchestrating behind the scenes so that this production can go through without a hitch. Digital Media students will be able to use skills that they have built in Lage, which may include inspiration for live sounds from Frantz’ Advanced Audio class. However, they have never had to produce these sounds, so this will be a new challenge. 

The material used will also be interesting for students to experience, as students may not know where it originally came from. For example, a lot of people know about the Marvel universe and superheroes. But did you know that these characters in our movies today were first created for comic books, and second for radio? 

“A lot of the characters that we hear about or see on the big screen today were first voices, well first they were images on a page but then they were voices, and … I know that historically characters like, for example, Green Lantern and others of that ilk, that’s part of the Golden Age of radio,” Frantz says. 

The range of possibilities with these shows is endless. The content of the shows will be accented with the additions of radio ads written by the people involved in the show. For example, the Sugar Bowl may have its own radio ad, but set in the 1940s. The strategic marketing possibilities are endless. 

The elaborate production of this show holds numerous opportunities for anyone that just wants to get involved. From behind the scenes technology, to acting, to singing, to playing an instrument, to designing scenery, to costuming, there is so much to do in this arena. 

“There’s something for everyone in old radio.” Frantz says. 

A link will be available for each stream on the BVU website. As auditions and participation for the show gets closer, BVU News will hold updates on when and where students will need to be to be a part of the show. Each professor will also be completely open with information and reaching out to students about Radio Daze ’18. 

Larson warmly invites students to join from any and every major on campus. 

“Don’t be intimidated. Don’t be worried. Come! We’re a family.”