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NATF The Newsletter of the National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc.

N E WS Summer 2008

INSIDE THIS ISSUE •  NATF 27th Annual Audio Theatre Workshop •  Barbara Rosenblat Returns •  2007–2008 Script Contest Winners

Above: Scenes from the 2007 Audio Theatre Workshop in West Plains, MO. Photos by Janine Marr and Fleming-Foto.


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NATF News has a new look and with it, a number of ideas for articles and columns. We’d like to hear from you!


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By Dianne Ballon, Editor


TECH TALK Our staff engineers will keep you up to date on the latest recording technology. From new product reviews to the ins and outs of audio recording and production. If you have a technical question you would like covered, write to us.

BEHIND THE PROP DOOR: TALES FROM THE SOUND EFFECTS TABLE We will explore the world of creating sound effects: how they are made and who creates them. We will cover stories from the novice learning the craft, to stories from Master Foley Artists. Was there a moment when you really had to improvise because the gunshot just didn’t go off? Send us your stories and anecdotes.

RADIO STATION PROFILE Our membership consists of many of you associated with or working for local radio stations. From time to time, we will take an inside look. Working on a unique radio program? Working at a unique station? Tell us.

National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc. NATF serves the advancement of audio theatre and evolving media arts through education and presentation. Executive Director A. Nannette Taylor NATF Board of Directors Janine Marr, President Marssie Mencotti, Vice President Steve Donofrio, Treasurer Dave Downing, Secretary Henry Howard, Webmaster NATF Board Members Tony Brewer – 2009 Butch D’Ambrosio – 2010 John Gregg – 2009 Charles Potter – 2008 Renee Pringle – 2011 David Shinn – 2011 Ellen Stewart – 2010 Ben Taylor – 2011 George Zarr – 2011 Sue Zizza – 2010

NATF News Staff Dianne Ballon, Editor Tony Brewer, Layout and Design Sonia James, Administrative Assistant

AUDIO BOOK REVIEW Are you listening to an audio book you’d like to review? Reading a book that relates to the field? Make your high school English teacher proud and write a review. And finally, pitch an idea for an article. Mail ideas and inquiries to: news Be sure to specify a topic in the Subject Line. And thanks!

NATF Advisory Board Dave Taylor, Chair Norman Corwin Mack Chamblin William Dufris The Firesign Theatre Dwight Frizzell Roger Gregg Jefrrey Hedquist Simon Jones Tom Lopez, ZBS Brian Price Frank Stasio Randy Thom, Skywalker Sound Vanessa Whitburn, BBC Robin Whitten, AudioFile Magazine

NATF, Inc.: A. Nannette Taylor, Executive Director: NATF workshop information: NATF Publicity Committee to contribute newsletter or website articles: NATF Board: NATF Webmaster:

The 2008 NATF Audio Theater Workshop is made possible, in part, by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency, and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information visit our website at:

become a member of natf today! Correspondence can be sent to: National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc. PO Box 3535 Gresham, OR 97030-0396

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Audio Theatre Workshop




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The 27th Annual Audio Theater Workshop in West Plains, MO will be held this summer on June 22–28. This unique week of audio arts training and hands-on participation is dedicated to all areas of audio production. Beginners to experts of all ages are welcomed for a week of learning, networking, and sharing. Returning to West Plains for the seventh consecutive year, the 2008 workshop will feature Shakespeare and Cowboy Poetry. Live audiences will enjoy the fruits of the participants’ experiences during a special performance Friday, June 28, in the Civic Center Theater. This performance will also be broadcast, webcast, and recorded. Highlighting this summer’s weeklong event will be participatory workshops in, among other areas, script writing, performing and voice, and the technical aspects of this art form. We are proud to announce that Brother Blue will not only be a featured guest artist but will also conduct various workshops during the week. He is known by many as the worlds’ greatest storyteller. Brother Blue’s repertoire includes original Brother Blue stories, traditional stories from western culture, folk tales and spiritual stories from Africa and Asia, and his own renowned one-man versions of Shakespeare’s plays. Female Cowboy Poet, Author/Artist, and self-confessed Hysterical Relic Buckshot Dot (aka Dee Strickland Johnson ) will not only perform Cowboy Poetry but will also teach workshops covering the history of the form, writing, and performing. A native of Arizona, Buckshot grew up on the Navajo and Hualapai reservations, and at the Petrified Forest. In addition to teaching in small schools in tiny Ozark communities and some of the largest inner-city high schools


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in Arizona, Buckshot Dot has been featured at Cowboy Poets Gatherings and in concerts nationwide. Also joining us this year will be Sam Mowry, founder and Executive Director of the Willamette Radio Workshop, an Oregon-based audio theater company, and winner of six national awards including the Crystal Communicator and multiple Ogle Awards. Sam’s work as a director and producer gives him an insight to working both sides of the glass. He will be conducting workshops in voice and character development, as well as performing in the Friday night production. Willamette Radio Workshop’s dramaturge and resident playwright, Cynthia McGean, will also lead workshops during this year’s event. Cynthia is an award-winning published writer, director, actress, and educator. Her original script Pandora’s Box received the Grand Prize from NATF’s 2005 Script Competition and her adaptation of Frankenstein was awarded a Special Gold Ogle Award for Best Adaptation. Folksinger and poet Sue Harris brings western music and poetry to the Audio Theatre Workshop. She has toured extensively and has been honored as a nominee for the Arizona Culturekeepers Award. She has released several CDs, and her recording of Dean Cook’s song “Where Do You Go When There’s No Place to Go” was selected for inclusion on the Smithsonian Folkways label compilation CD Songs and Stories from Grand Canyon.

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Barbara Rosenblat Returns In addition to NATF’s new guests at the 2008 Audio Theatre Workshop, we are pleased to have Barbara Rosenblat back with us this summer. Barbara Rosenblat is one of the most revered voice actors in the country. Her distinguished body of work includes over 400 audiobooks, numerous radio and television commercials, documentaries, radio shows and museum audio guides. This summer at the Audio Theatre Workshop she’ll be teaching “Tripping The Mic Fantastic: A Two-Day Master Class with Barbara Rosenblat.” Participants will explore the ‘amplified voice’ versus the ‘non-amplified voice’ as it relates to oral interpretation of prose or poetry. Participants will bring short pieces of their choosing to work on before the entire class. The finer points of mic technique and studio work will be covered. The second day of the Master Class will involve review and comparison to the points covered on the first day with re-records and critiques of material. Barbara is the recipient of 6 Audie Awards (the Oscar of the audiobook industry) and 40 ‘Golden Earphone’ awards from Audiofile Magazine for superior

narrations. One critic remarks, ‘Barbara is to audiobooks what Meryl Streep is to film.” Starting July 9th, on PBS TV stations nationwide, Barbara can be heard playing the role of ‘Sal’ in the first of a 10 part animated series ‘Car Talk-As The Wrench Turns’ based on the popular NPR radio series featuring Click and Clack. On Broadway, Barbara created the role of ‘Mrs. Medlock’ in the Tony Awardwinning musical ‘The Secret Garden’ and returned to B’way last summer in the Tony nominated revival of Eric Bogosian’s dark comedy ‘Talk Radio’ starring Liev Schreiber. In London’s West End, Barbara performed with Harvey Fierstein in his Olivier Award–winning production of ‘Torch Song Trilogy’. While in London, Barbara performed with the BBC and appeared at the Edingburgh Festival for two years. Recently, Barbara completed a run off Broadway as Gertrude Stein in the new musical “27 Rue de Fleurus”. Later this summer, she takes on “Golda Meir” in a performance of ‘Golda’s Balcony’, the critically acclaimed one woman show about the first woman prime minister of Israel. —Welcome back, Barbara.

More scenes from the 2007 Audio Theatre Workshop in West Plains, MO. Photos by Janine Marr and Fleming-Foto.

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Master Class presented by Award-Winning Producer/Writer


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Yuri Rasovsky

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senting a three-day workshop entitled Principles of Directing Actors for Audio Drama, in September 2008. To be produced at a state of the art studio in New York, this hands-on workshop is open only to producers or directors who have had at least one long-form production either broadcast or published. The workshop, scheduled for September 11–14, is limited to twelve participants. The author of The Well Tempered Audio Dramatist, Yuri Rasovsky is a highly respected professional in the field of audio theatre. Since founding the National Radio Theater (1972–1987), he has created hundreds of radio productions heard on commercial and public radio outlets around the world. He has won two George Foster Peabody awards, three Audie Awards and a Grammy, and most recently has been nominated for a 2008 Audie Award for Sweeney Todd and the String of Pearls. In addition to being the executive producer/director of The Hollywood Theater of the Ear, Rasovsky is also a contributing editor to AudioFile magazine. Joining Yuri will be Sue Zizza, past Executive Direc-

tor and current Board Member of NATF. Sue has been producing national award winning audio drama programming since 1987. Her series The Radio Works, now in its 13th year, is heard on almost 70 public radio stations. Her work has been honored by the International Radio Festival of New York, The National Federation of Community Broadcasters and The Gabriel Awards. Registration fee (which does not include room and board) for the Master Class is $425.00. Special arrangements have been made with La Quinta Inn & Suites for those requiring lodging. Registration fee does include opening night reception and closing morning breakfast. NATF serves the advancement of audio theatre and evolving media arts through education and presentation. We encourage you to visit NATF’s website regularly over the next few weeks (, as it will be regularly updated regarding this Master Class. Principles of Directing Actors for Audio Drama Master Class is made possible in part with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts.

the 2008 audio theatre workshop is sponsored by

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NATF 2007–2008 Script Competition Winners Seven scriptwriters from all parts of the country earned top honors in the NATF 2007–2008 Script Competition. The top three winners split $800 in prize money and received a fee waiver for the 27th Audio Theatre Workshop in West Plains, MO, June 22–27. The four Honorable Mentions received a 50% fee waiver for the June Workshop. The 2007–2008 Script Competition Winners are: 1st Place: Conditioning, a story of a descent into madness by Jeff Belanger of Demarest, NJ 2nd Place: Rebecca Diamond: Private Eye, a classic radio detective story by Nita Hunter of Barrington, IL 3rd Place: Space Monster-rama, a Japanese monster-movie lampoon by Robert McHenry of Concord, CA Honorable Mentions: Housewarming - Twilight Zone meets Sunset Blvd. by Julie Hoverson, Seattle, WA Life’s Work - A baseball umpire romance by Joe Zureick, Maineville, OH Mission Control - Sci-fi / anti-big brother and the “ideal body image” by Cynthia J. McGean, Portland, OR

River City – A suicide play with Altman-like intertwining of lives by Robert Arnold, Memphis, TN In addition to being slated for possible productions at upcoming NATF festivals, all 7 scripts will be featured in NATF’s 2007–2008 script book, which will be available for sale through our website and at the June Workshop. Three judges evaluated 36 scripts for this year’s competition: Mac Chamblin, associate professor of Speech Communication and Theatre at Southwestern Illinois College and currently Managing/Artistic Director of The Itty Bitty Theatre Company Roger Gregg, playwright, musician, voice-over artist, and founder of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre, two-time winner of the American Mark Time Award for Best Audio Science Fiction Production Butch D’Ambrosio, radio theatre writer and producer since 1991 who also has written for MAD Magazine for 18 years Mark your calendars for the next Script Competition. Deadline is November 15, 2008.

NATF Members Attend NFCB Conference in Atlanta By Dave Downing The National Federation of Community Radio conference was held in Atlanta during the last week of March. NATF President Janine Marr, Secretary Dave Downing, and board member John Gregg could be seen at the Atlanta Sheraton attending meetings and networking with community radio stations from around the country. Those attending the conference were representatives of community radio stations who are a prime “target audience” of what the NATF has to offer. There was much discussion of the upcoming June workshop in Missouri with those attending the NFCB conference, and it’s hoped that we’ll see many new faces who heard about NATF in Atlanta. 6   N AT F News   S um m er 2008

At the annual business meeting of the NFCB Dave Downing was nominated to a board position. The election for the NFCB board is scheduled for May. Also discussed at the NFCB meeting was the possibility of offering new and different classes/workshops at next year’s conference… and as you would expect from NATF members being present, there was some talk about exploring the possibility of having a class or information session on audio theater. The next NFCB conference is scheduled for the first week in April in Portland, Oregon.

2008 NATF AUDIO THEATER WORKSHOP FEES June 22 – 27, 2008 West Plains, MO. ____ $450 per person by 6/6/08 ____ $500 per person after 6/6/08 ____ $405.00 for NATF members (who join at $100 or higher) by 6/6/08.

LODGING: (Check-in on Sunday, June 22rd and Check-out on Sataurday, June 28th)

Please select one: Dorm Lodging: _______ $175.00 university dorms for six nights - includes shared dorm room /shared bath, towels, and linens. VERY LIMITED AVAILABILITY. These are non-smoking suites only. Hotel Lodging: _______ $342.00 for week in shared room/bath at the West Plains Regency Inn (Rate of $57.00 per person/per night for 6 nights - includes sales and hotel taxes) _______ $420.00 for week in private room/bath at the West Plains Ramada Inn (Rate of $70.00 per person/per night for 6 nights - includes sales and hotel taxes) For Hotel, please select: ______ Non-Smoking room ______ Smoking room ______ Handicap Accommodations

TRANSPORTATION Please select one: _______ $75.00 round-trip chartered bus to/from West Plains, MO. from Memphis, TN. airport. (Fly into Memphis, TN on Sunday, June 22, 2008. The NATF shuttle will leave Memphis at 2:00 PM to take you to West Plains. You will arrive by 4:30 PM. The return bus leaves West Plains at 8:30 AM on Saturday, June 27, 2008. Please book return flights from Memphis departing after 2:00 PM.) _______ I do not need to use the shuttle from the airport.

NATF/2008 ATW /Cancellation Refund Policy: Registration Fees: A $50.00 cancellation/processing fee will apply if NATF is notified prior to June 6, 2008. A 50% cancellation/processing fee will apply if NATF is notified between June 7 – June 13, 2008. No refunds after June 14, 2008. Hotel/Dorm Fees: A $55.00 cancellation/ processing fee will apply if NATF is notified prior to June 13, 2008. Hotel/Dorm fees cannot be refunded after June 14, 2008.


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National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc. PO Box 3535 Gresham, OR 97030-0396

Register now for the 27th annual audio theatre workshop, June 22-28, in West Plains, MO REGISTRATION FORM INSIDE!

NATF News - Summer 2008  

The Summer 2008 newsletter of the National Audio Theatre Festivals, Inc.