Singletrack: Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium

Small Fish Radio
"The Adventures of Skater Girl, Episode One" performed at Chicago Fringe Festival

Small Fish Radio Theatre brings together an old-time radio format and brand-new work. THE ADVENTURES OF SKATER GIRL Episode One was recorded at our first live show at the 2012 Chicago Fringe Festival. Not only is this the first play we have presented episodically, it’s also our most experimental in terms creating dialogue that can present a surrealistic type of play for the ear. Creating soundscapes to keep the listener located in the world of this play has been the most interesting aspect. While our sound effects have become far more complex since this recording, this story was specifically written for the medium. It experiments with dialogue and with familiar sounds to create the dream world of the story for the listener.

Training stage actors for radio—specifically, “voice acting” on microphone—was one of our challenges. Performing at the Chicago Fringe Festival also put a time limit on our production and setup/teardown time. Since we’re performing a radio show, we have to bring the entire studio with us. We choreographed our setup of four microphones, cables, mic and music stands, PA, recording computer and foley table for live sound effects. We accomplished it in seven minutes. Another challenge was engaging the audience. We encourage feedback. At our first show the audience was quiet because they didn’t want to “disrupt the recording.” So we warmed up the audience before the show, which we now do at every live recording.

Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium’s mission is “To Give Voice to Small Fish in the Big Pond.” Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinariun produces curated programs of original theater, music, poetry and storytelling—focusing primarily on emerging writers and artists: playwrights, poets, storytellers and musicians. Our quest is to make brand new work accessible inexpensively and conveniently via podcast to as many people as possible. Each show is recorded before a live audience. A typical show may include two-to-four short plays, poetry, one or two storytellers and music—all original work. Sound effects are performed on stage whenever possible. THE ADVENTURES OF SKATER GIRL is a good example of the kind of work we like to produce—imaginative plays that transport the listener. Whimsy, fantasy, fable, fairytale, melodrama and mystery are among the types of radio plays we look for. We also have a soft spot for mini-musicals and spoken-word performances.

Small Fish Radio Theatre and Thespinarium is produced by Michael John Kelly and Trina Kakacek.

On this track:
Cat Dean as Skater Girl
Michael John Kelly as Old Man
Michael Herzovi as Xu, an Asian Carp
Joy Thorbjornsen-Coates as Gramma

THE ADVENTURES OF SKATER GIRL Episode One was written by Trina Kakacek.
Radio theatre direction and sound design by Trina Kakacek

"Singletrack" is CAR's Artist Story for Chicago performers in which songwriters, bands, playwrights, actors and writers discuss the creation of a recorded work alongside audio or video clips of the performance. To submit your song for consideration, please email our researchers.

Submitted by CAR_Editor on Wed, 07/17/2013 - 2:03pm