Radio Plays are Mind Movies

Uncategorized by Elizabeth English


Radio is sometimes known as the writer’s favorite medium; as Malcolm Bradbury once said, it is “a world made with words shaped into being, without a physical presence.” With radio, you have to use your imagination – something you don’t need when watching TV or movies. We can be whomever we want to be, travel wherever we want to go; all in “our mind’s eye”, thanks to radio programs. The stories and scenarios are often planted forever in our memories and in our own personal “theatre of the mind”.

Radio drama has long been a fertile training ground for writers and is a genre in which screenwriters, playwrights and television writers feel at home. It has given voice to generations of writers. From Welsh poet Dylan Thomas and Irish writer Samuel Beckett, to Orson Welles, to American playwright Harold Pinter; all have been involved with radio drama.

Moondance is dedicated to ensuring that radio drama remains an integral and dynamic part of our international broadcasting and cultural heritage.

Is the story interesting? Does it have a logical progression? How is the plot development? Is the story told completely? Does it have a great ending?

Does the script utilize the medium to its fullest? Does the script show how sound can tell a tale? Are the sound effects used intelligently? Does the use of sound add to — or distract from — the action?

Are the characters believable? Interesting? Do they help move the story forward? Does the reader care about them? Does each character add something to the overall story?

Do the characters speak as they should, depending on the era, character, personality, psychology, & various events in the story? Do they react to each other and events?

Does it have conflict that is believable? Does it add dramatic tension to the story? Is the resolution of the central conflict reasonable and satisfying?

Does the play feel as if it actually takes place where & when it should? Does the audience know the locale or setting? Can it make the listener imagine the visuals of the location, scenes and characters? Does the radio play transport the listener to that time and/or place?

The best radio scripts grab the listener, the readers/ & judges, and demand attention. They beg to be produced.