Department of Theatre and Media Arts debuts experimental podcast

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A graphic created by Theater and Media Arts students to promote “Radioland.” (Abi Neilson Hunsaker)

The Department of Theatre and Media Arts debuted a capstone project at a premiere event on Friday, Sept. 6. The project is the first of its kind for the BYU program. Students who participated in the course created an experimental podcast.

The class, available to students studying media arts, helps students understand and create pieces of art that are not traditional films. Participants were encouraged to cultivate ideas for new media projects, like video games, virtual reality programs or web art. After the students workshop ideas, they present to department faculty and two projects are selected. Following the department’s decision, students fill various roles and receive funding from BYU to complete the project.

“Radioland,” one of the new media projects produced by BYU students this year, is a podcast that incorporates narrative elements like poetry and soundscapes to create an auditory experience for listeners.

The podcast tells the story of a young man who crashes his car in a mysterious town. While he waits for the repairs, strange things begin to happen to him, so he decides to investigate.

Abi Nielson Hunsaker, the producer of “Radioland,” said working on an experimental podcast was an interesting and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

“As far as making it, that was all a breeze, but distribution has been hard,” she said. “For a student fiction film, you submit it to festivals and that’s that. There aren’t really podcast festivals. You basically just put it on Spotify or Apple Podcasts and hope for the best.”

The team behind “Radioland” hosted a podcast listening party at the premiere event on Sept 6. Episodes were made available to the public the same day.

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