Interested in writing for radio?

Aberystwyth Arts Centre has invited two leading playwrights Alan Harris and Dan Rebellato to Aberystwyth to lead radio writing masterclasses. The masterclasses will take place on Sunday 21st October and Sunday 11th November.

Alan Harris is a playwright and new writing tutor who teaches the advance writing programme at Sherman Cymru. His radio plays include “The Gold Farmer” which was nominated for the Imison Award. He has worked extensively with companies including Pentabus, Hijinx Theatre, Sherman Cymru and Paines Plough. His play “A Good Night out in the Valleys” launched the new National Theatre Wales in 2010.

Dan Reballato is a playwright and Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Royal Holloway.  He has written extensively for radio including “My Life is a Series of People saying Goodbye” and includes adaptations of “Gogol’s Dead Souls” and “Girlfriend in a Coma” .  He has been shortlisted twice for a Sony Award for radio writing. His plays for theatre include “Chekov in Hell”, “Mile End” and “Here’s what I did with my Body”.

Gill Ogden, Head of Performing Arts at Aberystwyth Arts Centre said, ‘Aberystwyth Arts Centre is extremely thrilled to have writers of the calibre of Alan Harris and Dan Reballato teaching as part of its creative writing programme. This is a great opportunity for local writers with some experience  or those interested in taking it up for the first time.’

Alan Harris Masterclass – Sunday October 21st 2- 5pm £15

Dan Rebellato Masterclass – Sunday November 11th 2-5pm £15

The classes are taking place in partnership with Aberystwyth University department of Theatre, Film and TV Studies with the support of Literature Wales.

Book through the Arts Centre box office 01970 623232 /www.aber.ac.uk/artscentre or in person prior to the workshop days.

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Future Projects #2 Writing for Radio Drama

The writing for radio project will look at all forms of writing for radio drama, it will  lead to an event in May 2013 where we will launch the plays from a web platform hosted by Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

The plays will be recorded in the Aberystwyth Arts Centre recording studio, a director and engineer. There will be two female and two male actors.

The plays should be no less than 5 minutes and no more than 10 minutes.

The plays will be recorded end of April beginning of May.

The deadline for final drafts of radio plays will be March.

The deadline for drafts of radio plays will be in February when there will be a workshop session with a radio writer and actors.

Alongside looking at short plays we will also look at other slots for radio plays including 45 minute, 60 minute and 5 x 15 minute. It is also worth thinking about the readings slots which are short stories, monologues or dramas written to be read by one actor.

In the autumn there will be two masterclass sessions with radio writers. Dates will be announced shortly.

Tips
1. Listen to radio plays. There are a vast range of radio plays available on –line
Afternoon Drama for BBC radio 4
More Drama here including the womans hour drama slot
Drama of the week that can be downloaded is here
Lots more radio on Radio4 Extra 

2. Read radio play scripts  here

3. Use your character exercises to develop you radio play characters but add this to the list of questions – what sounds do you associate with your character; bird song, rock music, running water, humming, a hammer banging, a whisper

4. Lots of tips on writing radio here

5. Think about the beginning. If you get this wrong then you will lose your listeners before you even begin because they will literally switch off.

6. Think about the medium. It is radio; flashbacks, complex time shifts, large casts are going to make things very difficult.

7. This is the medium to let your imagination run free.

8. Radio is a great medium to write for so respect it. Don’t just think I can just change this idea a bit and it will work – it won’t. Here are my thoughts on writing for different mediums

9. Find out about the radio writing commissioning process in this great blog from Michelle Lipton on radio commissioning process