Additions and updates for Chapter 3 Instrumental utilitarianism in radio playwriting

Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook published by Routledge 31st March 2023

Book Description

Writing Audio Drama offers a comprehensive and intelligent guide to writing sound drama for broadcasting and online. This book uses original research on the history of writing radio plays in the UK and USA to explore how this has informed and developed the art form for more than 100 years.

Audio drama in the context of podcasting is now experiencing a global and exponential expansion. Through analysis of examples of past and present writing, the author explains how to create drama which can explore deeply psychological and intimate themes and achieve emotional, truthful, entertaining and thought-provoking impact. Practical analysis of the key factors required to write successful audio drama is covered in chapters focusing on audio play beginnings and openings, sound story dialogue, sustaining the sound story, plotting for sound drama, and the best ways of ending audio plays. Chapters are supported by online resources which expand visually on subjects discussed and point to exemplar sound dramas referenced in the chapters.

This textbook will be an important resource for advanced undergraduate and postgraduate students taking courses such as Podcasting, Radio, Audio Drama, Scriptwriting, and Media Writing.

Chapter Three

This is a webpage providing updates and additions for Chapter 3  ‘Instrumental utilitarianism in radio playwriting- the evolving thoughts of Val Gielgud’ from the book Writing Audio Drama by Tim Crook, published by Routledge in 2023.

Analysing the thoughts, advice and guidance for radio playwrights developed by the BBC’s second and longest serving Director of Radio Drama Productions, Val Gielgud between 1929 and 1962.

Gielgud emphasised the practical over the excessively experimental and avant-garde.

He headed radio drama development during the time when sound drama enjoyed its most popular following during the Second World War and adapted and evolved alongside the introduction and development of television drama.

This is also combined with a summary of the key principles to successful sound playwrighting cited by one of the leading teachers of radio drama in the USA, David R Mackey, in 1951.

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