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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student

arts

Mind's Ear still provides recorded radio dramas ed by Mind's Ear

The "Golden Age of Radio" may be long gone, but in Bloomington, audio theater is very much alive thanks to the not-for-profit organization Mind's Ear. \nMind's Ear, founded in 1991, produces modern audio theater, where unlike television and movies, the audience sets the scene itself. Also, unlike audio books, audio theatre uses several actors, music, and sound effects. \n"Some people might think that producing plays just for the ear is limiting, but I consider it liberating. The listener's imagination can create sights beyond anything that could fit on any stage," said Artistic Director Joel Pierson. \nMind's Ear goes further than most recording groups would, causing them to be the winner of many audio theater awards. Instead of simply adding background noises into a scene, if the scene takes place in a park or a kitchen, that is where it is recorded. They do this so that both the actors and the listeners get the authentic feel of the scene. Mind's Ear also travels to locations. To get the feel of New Orleans for "French Quarter," they went to the city itself.\nThis group has done productions such as "French Quarter," "The Dante Experience," and "Where Men Are Empty Overcoats." They are currently working on a show in cooperation with Bloomington High School South. The show is called "The Children's Zoo" and highlights the stresses and mental illnesses that affect teens.\nPerformances of these shows can be heard live on WFBH's (91.3 and 98.1 fm) "Firehouse Theatre", on CD, occasionally on NPR and also live at Borders. The next performance will be at Borders Saturday, Dec. 14. Following that performance will be a WFHB radio performance at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 15. These live performances are done after a few rehearsals, returning to the roots of radio theatre. \nThey are different from other types of performance because "there's a lot less to worry about. No sets, no lighting, no stage really. So actors can just focus on the performance," said Mind's Ear member Tony Brewer.\nMind's Ear offers many opportunities. "This is just one of many places where local people with a wide variety of talents and skills can come together to generate something above average, sometimes spectacularly so" said Mind's Ear actor Jim Hettmer. \nMind's Ear needs actors, sound technicians and playwrights. They are currently hosting the International Audio + Theatre Script Competition. They are looking for new and original work that was designed for audio theatre. Scripts may be submitted until midnight of December 31. \nMind's Ear continues to gather listeners and critical acclaim and hopes to do more so in their upcoming season with shows such as "The Valhalla Triangle," "She-Who-Is-Made-Of-Clay" and "Boudica."\nMore information about Mind's Ear performances, contributions, auditions, and contests can be found at www.minds-ear.org.

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