Recent Grads Share Old-Timey Tastes in Radio
Imagine it is 1918. At the climax of World War I, aliens have crash landed and now the race is on between the "Central Powers" and the "Allies" to put the new alien technology to use to win the war. The Germans have resurrected the infamous Red Baron, believed dead, and plan to send him back into the skies.
This is how "1918" begins. An old-time radio drama, The show was born when Samantha Mason '06, Matthew Boudreau '06 and Monique Boudreau '05 decided they wanted to modernize the art of the radio drama. Their radio show's first season, which includes four 10-minute episodes, is reminiscent of "War of the Worlds," but with a twist. In this show, the aliens' technology is used against them.
Samantha, Matthew and Monique revamped old plot ideas with modern touches. Many of the sound effects were produced digitally. The radio drama is available free online and each episode was limited to less than 10 minutes to keep the attention of online listeners.
The trio became friends and worked on several projects while at SUNY Oswego. They created a radio show based on a common interest in old-time voice acting.
"I grew up on radio dramas," Matthew said.
His parents were children of the 1940s. He and Monique listened to the same radio shows their respective parents grew up on. Samantha was influenced by listening to books on tape as a child.
All three worked with the Theatre Department to some degree as students. Mason, an actress in New York City, majored in theatre. The Portland, Ore., native was also in the honors program. Matthew majored in English writing arts, but minored in theater. The Auburn native is now a sound designer and composer. Monique majored in anthropology, but took classes in theatre.
They credit their success to many caring professors that went the distance for them at SUNY Oswego.
The trio recruited help for the production from friends. Samantha knew actors who were interested in the project. They hired a friend to write the script. The cast and crew consists of about a dozen people.
Samantha, who made her first foray into radio show directing with "1918," said one of the most challenging aspects of this radio drama was getting everyone together under one roof. The entire group was scattered across hundreds of miles. They also have day jobs, which made scheduling even harder.
They finally met in a studio in Brooklyn. After they got all the audio compiled for the script, each person went his or her separate way. They were not together again until they were listening to the finished project.
Samantha said the radio drama has received a lot of favorable feedback and has been submitted to an awards contest. The group is planning a second season for "1918," which was written as a five-season radio drama, but the show's future is contingent on funding.
Since the show is available free and they have avoided advertisements on their website, the group has relied on donations to help fund the project. They are currently fundraising for the second season.
— Ken Sturtz '12
Former Oswego professor Mike DeAlmeida, left, and Matthew Boudreau '06 finalize an episode of "1918."
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