In Conversation: New Wave Audio Theatre (series two)

After New Wave’s successful first series last year, the team has come back together to formulate a second series. Before New Wave’s initial series, Tulpa Magazine sat down with the creatives behind it. This year’s series has begun and Tulpa once again caught up with New Wave’s Anita Sanders to discuss what’s changed, what’s stayed the same, and what went in to a second series.

 

How did you find the experience of the first series?
The first season was an excellent experience; over the creation process there was a strong sense of focussed energy and hope. Often scripts that are made for performance will go through a dramaturgical and workshop process to make them performance-ready. However, that script will then often miss being performed for a long time or at all. The first season and the second have had a clear journey to becoming a tangible experience for audiences from the start. I think it’s really brought out the best in our creatives.

How did the experiences of the first series shape how you approached the second?
A moment in season one that defined the second season was when I was sitting in the recording sessions and realised how strong our actors were. They demonstrated such skill in transforming and layering the characters they played. It made me think about how they would all thrive with a monologue because they’d have more time and material to showcase their skills within. That realisation set New Wave: Audio Theatre’s second season on the path to monologues instead of short plays.

What has changed in your approach, and in the result?
Since we, Connor (our director) and I decided to create a season of monologues, we wanted to ensure that the monologues that our writers created would align with our actors. We shifted the start of the creation process from a writers exclusive space to one that welcomed the actor and writers to connect with each other. This generated room for the writers to share story ideas and then have an actor add on their thoughts. I feel starting the process this way led to scripts that were theatrically rich and supported the actors’ methods.

Where do you see the series going from here?
We’re yet to start putting our minds to the next steps. Our focus will always be on generating opportunities for creatives to engage with each other and make great art.

You have some new personnel working on the second series – how much has this influenced the results?
In the first season we were a fairly small team that included three writers, six actors and a director. For the second season, the team has been expanded to twenty creatives: nine writers, nine actors, an audio engineer and a director. This means that there is one actor and one writer to every monologue in the season. It’s made more time for the writers and actors to explore what they are creating and thus develop work that pushes the boundaries of storytelling and the radio form. Having an audio engineer, Leah McKeown, has been a gift to the season. She’s given the audio a polished edge that we weren’t able to achieve before, which enhances the clarity of the performances.

What do you want the audience to get out of this? (and has the intended experience changed since last series)
Firstly, to just enjoy the experience and be entertained! And I hope the cream is that audiences discover a little slice of radio magic whilst being challenged by up-and-coming South Australian talent.

Why did you choose the stories you have chosen?
Unlike the traditional radio play production process, we don’t wait for scripts to be submitted to us. The whole process from writing the story to recording all happens in-house. So we haven’t really chosen the stories, we made a space for new stories to grow.
The most fascinating thing is through this process we have accidentally uncovered a kind of collective consciousness. Over the season, many stories return to similar ideas on mental health, women’s place in society and old decisions coming back to haunt you. So the season reflects some concerns and interests that are top of the mind, whilst offering a new window to see them through.

 


New Wave Audio Theatre can be found on Facebook here.

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