Believed to be first high school to adapt professional scripts to podcasting
Madison Township OH: The students of the Madison High School Drama Club have released the first episode of a new audio podcast titled the Madison Thespians Podcast Project. Season one is a
three-part thriller, “In the Forests of the Night” by Del Martin. The staff at Madison High School has not been able to find any other podcasts created by high school students that adapt professionally written stage scripts to the audio format, making their students the first to produce this form of drama.
The podcast is available now through May 31 on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and other major podcasting platforms, or can be listened to with any web browser at madisonarts.click/podcast. The story focuses on a group of high school students who awake from the same dream, compelled to meet at night at a particular tree to play a mysterious game. As the drama unfolds, we learn that most of the students have played the game before, but they know that not all of them will return to their school.
The entire production was rehearsed and recorded in front of a live audience in only three days over the Presidents’ Day weekend. By using this fast-paced approach, Thespian advisor Teresa Crim and director Joel Brown wanted to involve students who are already busy with school, work and rehearsals for the spring musical, while also giving them a new and different learning opportunity by focusing only on the vocal acting without the additional burdens of blocking, movement, line memorization, costumes and tech. Unlike many high school drama productions that have been streamed online over the past two years, this concept did not arise from a need to cope with pandemic restrictions, but instead was developed as a unique performing experience that could benefit both new and experienced student actors.
Students who participated in the production said they liked “the opportunity to focus more on the vocal part of acting.” Others said “I learned that you can truly make something awesome in just a few days,” and “Doing audio theater is a good way to give yourself the experience you would need to do voice acting.”
The directors have approached several script publishers to try to get the rights to adapt other plays for their podcast, and students have said they would like to try a comedy next. Unlike their normal theater productions, podcasts do not generate ticket revenue to fund the next show. The students hope to get donations from podcast listeners to help finance licensing future seasons. Donations can be made at madisonarts.click/podcast.