Original soundtracks from theatre productions, interviews, reviews and more!

Tune in to the Bengaluru team working to create an exclusive radio channel for theatreOrganizationaltheatre/Facebook
news Theatre Saturday, August 05, 2017 - 18:00

Anyone who lives in Bengaluru knows just how much of a hassle commuting in the city can be. For many, the only thing that keeps them from grinding their teeth to stumps at the delays is the radio playing on earphones. But other than the music and chit-chat, one of the best things about radio channels are the plays and story-telling shows.

Now imagine a radio channel which exclusively hosts such programmes! A channel where music isn’t limited to film song, but also extends to original soundtracks made for actual theatre productions. You can also listen to interviews, reviews and even theatre documentaries featuring the process of making the theatre productions.

Bengaluru-based theatre group ‘Organizational Theatre’ (OT) is aspiring towards such a theatre-centric radio channel.

Ranji David, OT founder who worked part time with All India Radio, tells TNM that the idea for such a radio station came up in a WhatsApp conversation with his other team members a few months ago. “We have conversations about the process of theatre and such regularly, and we thought, why not put it out there for the world to see?” he says.

While OT’s ultimate goal is to take the idea to the radio platform, they decided to start out small – they uploaded two original story readings and a radio documentary on their own website about a fortnight ago.

“We thought of experimenting with the online podcast format to see how people respond, what should be the length of the programmes, the demand for new content and so on,” Ranji says.

OT has a ten-member team working on creating this content online. Five of them work on ideation and curation, and the rest handle the technical part. This leaves the other 100-odd members of OT free to contribute as they like by providing music, reading, acting for the radio plays etc, Ranji explains.

While theatre attracts a niche audience, Ranji says that their productions would be aimed at anyone who wants to listen to something meaningful on the radio. He also asserts that when they finally take their initiative to the radio platform, they would like to keep it ad-free. “It’s ideal of course, and we’ll keep it that way for as long as we can,” he says.  OT has also opened up their initiative to theatre groups, artists and experts across India and the world. Ranji says that they have received responses from theatre groups in Nigeria, Russia and Switzerland, among a few other places.

The feedback so far has been largely positive. “Many people tell us that the story readings and the idea behind this initiative reminds them of their childhood… listening to plays on All India Radio…” he trails off in reminiscence.

The project is still at a nascent stage but the OT team has high hopes for it. 

“We want to preserve history in a sense. Documenting theatre and its artists is a way of documenting the consciousness of that time. This is another reason why we will not disable the podcast when we go on to the radio platform. This way, the archives will be accessible to anyone with access to the internet,” Ranji says.  

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