By Aly Bartholomew
In the earlier days of radio, listeners tuned in to hear the latest news or the next installment of their favorite radio drama. Today the role of radio has changed as listeners now tune in mostly for weather updates and music and listen to podcasts for information and stories that were once found on the radio.
One radio tradition in particular is experiencing a revival through podcasts: radio dramas. The radio drama Welcome to Night Vale even made it to the number one spot on the iTunes podcast charts last summer.
Welcome to Night Vale takes place in the small town of Night Vale, where the unexplained is considered normal. The show is broadcast by the Night Vale Community Radio Station and reports on the strange happenings in the town. The podcast has a lot of paranormal elements, mystery, and quirky comedic aspects and has attracted a huge amount of listeners.
The writers Joseph Fink and Jeffery Cranor add strange twists to mundane events. For example, Cecil, the announcer, tells citizens not go into the new dog park or to acknowledge the hooded figures there.
The show is written so well that listeners feel like citizens of Night Vale listening to the local news on the radio. Welcome to Night Vale is free and a new episode is released every first and fifteenth of the month.
Radio drama podcasts are still relatively new, but the genre is growing and continues to gain popularity. If you are looking for a new way to to immerse yourself in a fictional world, a radio drama may be perfect for you.