Instead of producing one radio play this year, Moab’s community radio station KZMU created a festival format with multiple, short-form radio plays produced by members of the community.
The station ultimately received ten radio play submissions, each under 7 minutes. The plays will be aired at an event on April 9 at 6:30 p.m. at Star Hall (159 E. Center St.), and while there won’t be any live acting like in past years, there will be live Foley demonstrations, a light show, and the opportunity to hear the plays before they’re aired on the radio sometime in late April.
“It’s going to be different than what people used to experience when they came to a KZMU radio play, because there won’t be the big live-action production,” said Serah Mead, station manager at KZMU, but she still expects the live, communal event to be a fun, creative experience.
“People will be inspired to ignite the magic of their imagination,” she said.
The plays were produced in a wide variety of genres and by a wide variety of people, Mead said. Genres include comedy and surreal- and science-fiction; producers include a teacher at the Moab Charter School, whose play was voice-acted by his students, and a member of KZMU’s staff, whose play was voice-acted by his KZMU co-workers.
Mead said she’s not sure if the station will continue the format in future years, but for now, she considers it a success.
“I really like the way the radio festival is turning out so far,” she said. “I think that people are just starting to get their feet wet in this format. And we’ve gotten an amazing turnout—I was feeling like we’d be lucky if we got four submissions, and we’ll have ten. It’s really encouraging, and tells me there’s a lot of creativity in this community.”
Tickets for the event are $15, available at KZMU’s station (1734 Rocky Road), Back of Beyond Books (83 N. Main St.), or at the door.
The plays will air on the radio near the end of KZMU’s spring Radiothon fundraiser, which will run from April 15-23. The station is aiming to raise $40,000 this spring, and $40,000 during the fall radiothon. The funds will directly support three main efforts, Mead said: to hire an AmeriCorps position to focus on youth programming; upgrades to the KZMU broadcast equipment, specifically for the radio tower that powers the 90.1 FM signal; and building repairs in the on-air studio and production studio.
Donations can be made at www.kzmu.org/give, by calling the station at 435-259-5968, or in person at the station at 1734 Rocky Road, Moab.