THE WORD FROM R4, December 2016

JACK

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See photos from the Anniversary production of Jack at Stage Time & Juice XX

The idea of a one-day workshop for the purpose of creating a short presentation for the 7th Anniversary celebration came to Juice’s Carol Yao in the course of a discussion about a future and more elaborate R4/Juice collaboration. Jack & the Beanstalk was chosen from a list of familiar (Western) folk tales mainly because of that story’s potential for noise-making (sound effects).

Four teens were recruited: Julian and Nicole Hsu, Jessie Chen and Sosia Chen-Wernik. Carol and Ruth rounded out the cast.
We had less than three hours to learn the show. Radio drama allows for reading the script – no memorization was required. People settled into their assignments easily. Only one person played multiple roles and those characters appeared in separate scenes. The youngest member of the group took responsibility for sound effects and the eldest teen took on most of the narration as well as handling the cue-cards.

A last-minute addition was Ashish Purswaney, who translated the pre-show script, greeted the audience, introduced the craft of Radio Drama and responded to Cue Cards. The show was well received. There was a good turnout and the family audience was receptive to our offering. The sound system was of excellent quality and expertly-managed. All-in-all it was a good experience, if a bit rushed. But sometimes, that’s how we roll.

Earlier in November the ReadAloud met over some poetry by Robert Frost.
Generally, we feel that the monthly ReadAloud could use some more attention. While it was never meant to be a big event, it’s not thriving.

To end on an up-beat: the November calendar also included a visit to the ICRT studios for a recording session of Most Dangerous Game. Pat Woods and Paul Batt met there with Ruth and our favorite recording engineer Liu Ping. Everyone were so familiar with the material that the session went swimmingly and we were satisfied with the work in just a few hours.

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DecemberReadAloud

Charles Dickens wrote his most famous hit single at a time when Christmas traditions and celebrations had fallen out of style.

The novella appeared in December 1843 as: A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas. It has not been out of print since.

Dickens was quite fond of the holiday and, with his history as a thespian, he thoroughly enjoyed reading it aloud each yuletide to family, friends and neighbors.

It’s become an R4 tradition here in Taiwan to present this classic in one form or another – always closely adhering to the original language. In 2012, a cast of readers assembled at the ICRT studios to record a scripted version, (penned by our own dramaturg, IgnatzRatskywatsky). This recording has been broadcast yearly at holiday time.

Dickens’ own abridged version was our material for the DecemberReadAloud: Sixteen souls gathered in the Red Room at TAF to take turns reading aloud. Incidental music set the mood and simple sound effects enhanced the listening experience.

The room had been festively decorated by Red Room elVes (that’s V for Volunteers, without whom there would be no Red Room) They even made the room smell Christmas-y with cinnamon and citrus and cider.

That’s the Word, and God bless us, everyone!

Ruth Giordano
Red Room Radio Redux

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