Welcome to the Raven Radio Theater of the Air, a unique opportunity for your organization to put on an old-fashioned radio play, complete with period microphones and a variety of hand-operated sound effects, a wind machine, thunder sheet, crackling campfire, ringing telephone, and of course, coconut shells for the sound of galloping horses. And the best part is that Raven Radio Theater plays are performed “live,” not by professional actors, but by twenty or more members of your own organization who have volunteered to be part of the fun. There are even moments in the play when the audience is prompted to join in as a cheering crowd or an angry mob.
And the beauty of these Raven Radio Theater plays is that no memorization is required on the part of the volunteers. As it was during the golden age of radio, cast members read from scripts while the six to eight members of the sound effects team respond to a series of cue cards held up by the sound effects’ director. That means the cast and sound effects team are ready to perform with as little as one hour of rehearsal. That’s right. One hour. It’s all thanks to the years of experience the Raven Radio Theater brings to the design of this unique activity, a design that guarantees that anyone, including those with no theatrical experience, can enjoy the pleasure and excitement of this form of collective storytelling. Following the show the Raven Radio Theater will provide your organization with a professional audio recording of the performance.
The Raven Radio Theater was created by Joe and Paula McHugh in 1990. During the performance, Joe directs the readers with hand gestures while mixing in music and pre-recorded sounds, such as night time crickets or a raging river. Paula teaches and directs the sound effects team. And let me tell you, there’s a lot of laughter coming from the sound effects table as they learn how to imitate the turning of wagon wheels, the crack of a whip, and the approach of hurried footsteps.