Theatre of the Mind

The Witch?
The Witch? Let’s not see her, let’s hear her…

I like to work with a technique known as Theatre of The Mind, which usually refers to radio plays and storytelling with sound. It allows for listeners to tap into their imagination and visualize what might be happening. Each person will “see” something different based on any memories real or imagined.

Is it going to cost you a few thousand dollars to crash those cars in an epic car chase? Can’t seem to come up with a creature that is horrifying enough? Have it appear just off screen sonically and let the viewer create the visuals themselves by tapping their “Theatre of the Mind” capabilities. Study how radio plays are constructed to get used to telling stories with sound.

Your mission: Practice telling stories with only sounds to become better at using sound as a narrative tool in your media work. The BBC World Service has a great resource on How to Write a Radio Play. You just might find you want to continue using sound only for a lot of your media productions.

Some great radio plays can be found here:  https://archive.org/details/oldtimeradio

– John

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