Arkansas Radio Theatre, an initiative that operates in association with the Arkansas Tech University Department of Communication and Journalism, has announced its fall 2021 schedule.
The series of 14 performances will air on KXRJ 91.9 FM and www.atu.edu/broadcast beginning at 7 p.m. each Saturday from Sept. 25 through Dec. 25.
The fall 2021 Arkansas Radio Theatre schedule includes four debut broadcasts from the continuing "Concealed Carrie: Diamond State Crime Fighter" series.
Dr. David J. Eshelman, head of the ATU Department of Communication and Journalism and professor of communication, created "Concealed Carrie" and introduced it to the Arkansas Radio Theatre audience in 2014. He said the series "follows the comic hijinks of a beauty professional whose power is disguising herself."
Eshelman wrote two of the "Concealed Carrie" episodes that will debut this fall. Their titles are "The Swiss Family Robbingthem" and "The Bachelorette Party."
Two additional new "Concealed Carrie" episodes were written by students in the Podcast/Radio Theatre Writing class that Eshelman teaches. Brady Williams, a journalism major from Fayetteville, wrote "The Arsonist," while Ashley Baker wrote "The Includer." Baker studied theatre at Arkansas Tech and graduated in fall 2020.
"Student performers get cast in recurring roles and then play those roles over the next several episodes, like actors in a television series," said Eshelman while describing the creative process behind the "Concealed Carrie" series. "Student writers create scripts for existing characters under the eye of an executive producer, as they would in the professional world."
Williams' new episode for 2021 completes a story arc that he began in an episode entitled "The Parlous Pop Company."
“I wanted to explore this further and deal with a little of the fallout of the incident,” said Williams. “I've also always been drawn to radio theatre because it feels almost nostalgic. It's an older kind of medium than visual media, and because of that, you can do a lot more with it creatively.”
Eshelman explained the COVID-19 pandemic has forced Arkansas Radio Theatre to adjust how each new episode is created.
“COVID created some issues for this season, in that we were unable to meet physically for recording sessions,” said Eshelman. “Instead, we rehearsed virtually. Actors then recorded their parts and sent them in to be edited together. I appreciate that today's technology has allowed audio theatre to persist."
Arkansas Radio Theatre is the lone source of audio-only performances of original plays and adaptations of literature in the Natural State. It was founded in 2007. Shows are made available to the visually impaired through the Arkansas Information Reading Service.
Archived broadcasts of each performance will be uploaded to blogs.atu.edu/radiotheatre, which is already home to 90 recorded Arkansas Radio Theatre broadcasts.
Below is the complete fall 2021 Arkansas Radio Theatre schedule:
- Saturday, Sept. 25: "A Feline Romance"
- Saturday, Oct. 2: "Concealed Carrie, Episode 22: The Arsonist"
- Saturday, Oct. 9: "Concealed Carrie, Episode 23: The Swiss Family Robbingthem"
- Saturday, Oct. 16: "Concealed Carrie, Episode 24: The Includer"
- Saturday, Oct. 23: "Concealed Carrie, Episode 25: The Bachelorette Party"
- Saturday, Oct. 30: "The Masque of the Red Death" and "The Cryptid Killer"
- Saturday, Nov. 6: "Concealed Carrie: Episodes 20 and 21"
- Saturday, Nov. 13: "Concealed Carrie: Episodes 22 and 23"
- Saturday, Nov. 20: "Concealed Carrie: Episodes 24 and 25"
- Saturday, Nov. 27: "Sherlock Holmes and the Blue Carbuncle"
- Saturday, Dec. 4: "Tammy's Snowy Night Ride"
- Saturday, Dec. 11: "A Christmas Carol"
- Saturday, Dec. 18: "The Christmas Masquerade" and Other Tales
- Saturday, Dec. 25: "The Christmas Masquerade" and Other Tales
Learn more about the ATU Department of Communication and Journalism at www.atu.edu/cj.