For this Stories on Stage Radio Drama Competition, we put our hearts and souls into it. To be honest, when I first joined the drama team and this competition, it was simply for the sake of fun, experience, and good memories. For such a large competition, we didn’t expect to win any prizes, let alone the Champion. Of course, when we learned that our hard work had paid off, we were ecstatic.
Our script was adapted from a humorous short story called, “Tighty-Whities or Boxers”. The team and I had a myriad of brilliant ideas while brainstorming, but only a few of those ideas made it to the final product. We didn’t want to make it exactly like the original, so we changed the main characters to a father and daughter rather than a mother and son so that we could incorporate aspects of the wicked stepmother from Cinderella into the storyline.
“Moving on with a Wicked Stepmother”, depicts 12-year-old Rihanna’s journey of moving on from her mother’s death as a new woman is introduced into her life by her father. Rihanna puts an ad for a new mom on Instagram hoping to find a better replacement than the woman her father has chosen. Obsessed with the story of Cinderella, Rihanna equates her new potential stepmom with the wicked Stepmother from Cinderella, but later realizes the word “wicked” takes on a whole new meaning for her.
We encountered various issues, but one of the most difficult challenges was the hampered communication between team members when we started off doing Zoom meetings. Here, there was the constant presence of lagging and words were lost within the glitches. We also had one F2 boy who voiced 4 female characters, so he had to make sure these characters’ voices were all different, which was not easy, but he did a great job! It was quite a relief when the school loosened its restrictions so we could practice face-to-face.
We also knew that comedy had to be an integral part of the script. The thing about humour is that it’s subjective. Things we found funny may not be as amusing to others. We had many debates over which jokes to put in and which jokes to leave out. Sometimes things did not go as plan, especially while recording the final product in one reading as it was over 7 minutes long. Luckily, our teamwork, tenacity and love for dramatic reading and radio drama helped us overcome any difficulties along the way.
Radio drama is very different from normal drama, so I have a few tips. First, the audience must rely on actors’ voices to understand the story, so the characters should be distinct for the audience to understand who is speaking. Therefore, practice speaking with unique voices and expressions to make your story come to life. Secondly, you don’t always need to rely on YouTube for sound effects – we made many of our sound effects using everyday items, like dropping a real phone or rapping our knuckles on a desk to produce a door knocking sound. Finally, we’ve also learned that communication is the key to a successful performance and script, input from all members is crucial, and that only through hard work and dedication can one realize the extent of their potential. So, take risks, have confidence in your own abilities and most importantly, have FUN!