STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN
@brianbingaman on Twitter
Podcasting is an increasingly crowded marketplace.
However, Philadelphia resident Darnelle Radford may have found a niche just crazy enough to work. Rep Radio (www.repradio.org) — named after Radford’s inactive-for-the-moment Represented Theatre Company — is a biweekly podcast about different elements of the always-something-happening Philadelphia theater scene.
Rep Radio’s producing artistic director, Radford begins each show by stating its purpose: to “support, promote, engage and inspire the arts community by igniting the ghost light that shines on the stages of the up and coming, the unsung heroes, the brilliant writers and the dynamic designers,” as well as the plays and the players involved.
“I’ve been involved with our theater community for almost 10 years. Over time, we’ve been as small (a production team) as two and as much as 13. Rep Radio was something I wanted to do for the community,” he said.
New shows are posted Mondays, and can be listened to on the website, on iTunes or downloaded, with a version just for Android available. Radford is hopeful that they provoke a reaction of: “You know, I didn’t know they did all that behind the scenes.”
Radford sat down to chat with lighting designer Dominic Chacon about his career during the Rep Radio episode posted Jan. 18.
The shows are usually recorded on-site, such as a theater green room or other backstage area, and occasionally even on the stage.
“Sometimes it seems like there’s only 25 theater companies, but there’s more than that. I was in New York for a year and a half. When I came back, I noticed that … the closing of the Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia has pushed other companies in the shadows,” Radford said. Theatre Philadelphia has since “picked up the pieces” in creating a nurturing leadership/promotional organization for the region’s professional theater companies.
Although Philly’s Flashpoint Theatre Company recently folded, there are still plenty of small companies, such as Simpatico Theatre Project and The Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, doing things worth talking about, he said. Even the well-established Walnut Street Theater has its auxiliary Independence Studio on 3 season, and satellite companies like Studio 5.
Since the first Rep Radio podcast in 2009, the technology that goes into producing and curating it has changed. “It was originally an iWebSite,” Radford said. “We had an issue when we lost the space that hosted our files, so we lost our first 50 shows.”
“Sometimes I start thinking maybe I should hang this up, but then I walk away from (interviewing someone like) Father David Cregan (theater department chair) at Villanova University … When I can tell you when we’ve done a great interview is when it’s being downloaded more,” said Radford.
On social media, follow Rep Radio on LinkedIn, at www.facebook.com/RepRadio, on Twitter @rep_radio and at https://plus.google.com/communities/101954727563711648058?cfem=1.