Radio Drama Revival

Radio Drama Revival


Radio Drama Revival is dedicated to showcasing the diversity and vitality of modern audio drama. Twice a month, host David Rheinstrom showcases a piece of top-quality audio fiction, made by independent and professional producers alike. We cover all genres, from historical epics to science fiction, from spine-tingling horror and suspense to wacky situation comedies, from intimate dramas to experimental sound art. It's all here.


Episode 475 - A Scottish Podcast  

Two foul-mouthed Scottish paranormal investigators travel to the misty island of St. Caillic to uncover the secret of a terrible anniversary--it's A Scottish Podcast, the newest creation of former Audio Drama Production Podcast hosts Robert Cudmore and Matthew McLean.

Robert and Matthew play Lee and Dougie, two washed-up, cynical castaways from the music biz who decide to strike out as paranormal podcasters. What you'll hear today is multiple episodes stitched together by Robert and Matthew, and sent over with love.

Episode 474 - Lance Dann's Blood Culture  

Scholar and dramatist Lance Dann joins me as we play the first episode of his techno-thriller, BLOOD CULTURE.

It's a trans-media project, consisting of not just a radio drama, but of an AR game that begins with this in-world website (as well as plenty of goofy easter eggs in the credits page).

Blood Culture is the story of A'isha, an employee of an enormous biotech firm called Meta. Meta's interns are falling ill and dying at an alarming rate, and it's up to A'isha, and her childhood friend Livy, to investigate.

After the feature, Lance and I discuss tech culture, the research that went into this production, and seeking a diverse set of creative partners.

Episode 473 - Inhale  

We're premiering INHALE, the latest miniseries by Rick Coste, the unstoppable, unbelievably prolific audio drama producer from New England.

Tracy Tanner is an unassuming librarian in the small town of Hemlock, Massachusetts—but Tracy isn't her real name, and she isn't just a librarian. Tracy is a superhero—and she's not supering anymore.

Join me as we dive into Tracy's secrets in this exciting new miniseries!

Rick Coste Productions

Episode 472 - EOS 10  

This week, we explore EOS 10, a medical comedy in space. Dr Ryan Dalias is a young doctor, recently assigned to a posting on EOS 10, a station in deep space. Dalias's job, ostensibly, is to manage his alcoholic superior, Dr. Horace Urvidian—a brilliant but curmudgeonly xenobiologist. Together with Nurse Johns and Levi, a disgraced prince-turned-chef, the four of them have numerous wacky hijinks.

This episode, "Up, Up, Up," contains adult situations and themes of, well, boners.


EOS 10's website

EOS 10 on Twitter

Neil Verma's article that mentions this episode of EOS 10

Episode 471 - Alex Aldea and Darkest Night  

It's a spine-tingler this week, as we dive into the twisted world of Darkest Night with a little story called "Horns Limo Service".

Darkest Night is a horror anthology series from the Paragon Collective, and what makes it special is its binaural recording setup. It's similar to what Campfire Radio does: it puts you inside the action. Not a lot of audio drama companies do this, and it's really neat!

After the feature, I have a chat with Alex Aldea, the director and producer of Darkest Night. We talk origins, horror, sound design, and all kinds of spoopy junk.


Episode 470 - The Embrace -- Nights on Killer Mountain  

Why do we climb? Why do people look at the tallest mountains in the world -- vast, inhospitable places -- and say, "I want to climb to its summit"? When you're up there, what do you become? What do you give up?

We're exploring those questions today in a new drama by JJ Wang from Netizen Playhouse:

The Embrace: Nights on Killer Mountain

The story follows an Australian mountaineer, Zoe, who wants to be the first woman to summit Nanga Parbat, one of the deadliest mountains in the world, in winter.

Follow JJ Wang and Netizen Playhouse on twitter

Or check out their Bandcamp page!

Episode 469 - Stories of Mahabharata  

This week, it's the Stories of Mahabharata, retold by Sudipta Bhawmik, a multitalented playwright, storyteller, and engineer. With music and immersive sound design by Avi Ziv, Bhawmik animates this ancient Indian epic, rendering it in English to delight those that have never heard it before as well as those who were raised on the stories.

The Mahabharata is thousands of years old, and originally in Sanskrit. It tells the story of two groups of warring cousins -- the Pandava brothers and the Kaurava brothers -- who fight over the throne. But it's more than just a war story; it's a story of love and curses, righteousness and evil, tricksters, poisons, and monkeys.

We're featuring episodes 30 and 31 of Bhawmik's retold Mahabharata: first, Bheema (a Pandava brother with enormous strength) encounters Hanuman. Then, a story of Arjuna (another Pandava, and the greatest archer in the world).

Stories of Mahabharata


Episode 468 - The Axe and Crown  

This week, we dive into the fabulous world of The Axe and Crown -- (our very own) Eli McIlveen's spinoff miniseries from Alba Salix, Royal Physician. It's a fantasy world where the most immediate dangers aren't dragons or wizards, but yuppies threatening to gentrify your neighborhood.

Gubbin is a salty old troll who runs a tavern called The Axe and Crown. It's a dive bar on the bad side of the river. Stan is a human, and the naive new landlord who thinks he can renovate the place.

What we've got today is a little sampler that Eli threw together of episodes 2, 3, and 4: it'll be enough to whet your appetite, I reckon!

The Axe and Crown

Alba Salix

Check out the interview I did with Eli when we first ran Alba Salix on RDR.

Episode 467 - Jessica Best and Starship Iris  

Writer/director/producer Jessica Best joins me to talk about her new science-fiction mystery adventure, THE STRANGE CASE OF STARSHIP IRIS.

Best is part of the recently-formed Procyon Network, a podcast network whose mission is to create inclusive fiction. All of them are fabulous people.

We're going to play Episode 2 of Starship Iris, which is a sometimes-funny, sometimes-tragic, deeply thoughtful adventure in space. Imagine FIREFLY with a mostly-female cast and a badass Hufflepuff for a ship's captain and you're, like, halfway there.

Starship Iris on Tumblr:

Starship Iris on Twitter:


Submit! at

Episode 466 - Dan Leone's Podcast Meander  

This week, we play an episode of an experimental podcast called PODCAST MEANDER, which kind of skirts the border between autobiography and fiction. Dan Leone plays/is a character, also named Dan, who has thrown away his old life (or attempted to). After secretly saving for years, Dan quits his job in Connecticut and heads west, unsure of what he wants to do with his life.

In the episode you'll hear today, Dan comes to suddenly on a train, unaware of where it's going, why he's aboard, or where he left his car.

It's an intriguing mix of documentary, interview, and fiction, and I think you'll like it.

CW: mental illness, substance abuse, politics

Episode 465 - The Autopsy  

This week, line producer Matthew Boudreau hooks us up with some binaural horror from the Wireless Theatre Company with The Autopsy.

For more great audio from the Wireless Theatre Company, including the stunning Springheel'd Jack Saga, visit their website at

A couple of notes:

Binaural sound attempts to authentically recreate how we hear.   Listening to this episode with headphones is highly recommended.

The Autopsy contains some visceral and graphic audio material.  If you’re squeamish, we advise using your own discretion before listening.

Episode 464 - B.I.L.I  

This week Matthew continues hosting for David as we feature B.I.L.I. from London's own O'Neill and Freeman. For more O'Neill and Freeman Check out James O'Neill's terrific sculpture work:

Episode 463 - A Dread Light Shines in the Serpent's Sky  

Line producer Matthew Boudreau takes over while David Rheinstrom is away in France. This week's story is A Dread Light Shine in the Serpent's Sky, a collaborative audio fiction piece created for 11th Hour Productions by the folks at Audioblivious Productiobs, Jim Robbie and the Wanderers and Koach Studios. 11th Hour Audio - Audioblivious Productions - Jim Robbie and the Wanderers - Koach Studios -

Episode 462 - Neil Verma and the Case for Audio Drama  

Professor Neil Verma joins me to discuss his essay series, “The Case for Audio Drama”. He’s a professor of Sound Studies at Northwestern University, and a longtime scholar of audio drama. We discuss the history of the form, and areas of his particular interest: radio drama from the 30s through the 50s. But we don’t just talk about old stuff! Professor Verma is as excited as I am about the audio fiction being produced today. Join us as we connect the styles and conventions of the vibrant old stuff to the vibrant new stuff! Prof. Verma’s writing: Arts of Amnesia: The Case for Audio Drama, Part One: Arts of Amnesia: The Case for Audio Drama, Part Two:

Episode 461 - Alexander Charles Adams and "Hi, I'm Mattie (HIM)"  

This week, Alexander Charles Adams of SMASH/CUT joins me to discuss their piece, “Hi, I’m Mattie (HIM)”. Matthew Cavan is an actor and drag queen in Belfast, Northern Ireland; he came out about his HIV-positive status in 2010, and has since faced a torrent of criticism, shaming, and even death threats. The piece we’re playing today, “Hi, I’m Mattie”, is a verbatim piece -- that is, the script is taken word-for-word from interactions that Mattie had on the gay dating app Grindr, where he discloses his HIV-positive status up-front. Afterwards, Alexander (the producer of the piece) joins me to talk about the origins of SMASH/CUT, and many other things besides! Check out their new kickstarter, here: Take the Wondery Survey here: If you feel moved to donate to HIV/AIDS-related causes, check out the GMHC:

RDR From the Vault: Stuff of Myth Part 2  

Ahh, ancient Greece. Hot nymphs, raging orgies, much wine, song, and occasional transformations into a goat. All well and good, right? Well things are more wacky than ever in the sizzling and scandalous interpretation of the myth of Orpheus done by Roger Gregg, The Stuff of Myth. This great production won a Gold Ogle in 2007 and has gotten rave reviews as a stage play. Now hear what the buzz is all about in Parts 3-4 of The Stuff of Myth.

Episode 460 - Mallory Ortberg and The Handmaid's Tale  

We conclude our two-part conversation series around The Handmaid's Tale, which you can find in an Audio Drama form over at Secrets, Crimes, and Audiotape. This week, I had the great pleasure of talking to Mallory Ortberg, a writer, culture critic, and advice columnist. She's Dear Prudence over at Slate, and she used to run a magnificent site called The Toast. In this episode, we discuss: * The Handmaid's Tale and White Feminism * How to avoid becoming an Internal Expat * Fending off the Republic of Gilead and much, much more!

RDR From the Vault: Stuff of Myth, Part 1  

Ahh, ancient Greece. Hot nymphs, raging orgies, much wine, song, and occasional transformations into a goat. All well and good, right? Well things are more wacky than ever in the sizzling and scandalous interpretation of the myth of Orpheus done by Roger Gregg, The Stuff of Myth. This great production won a Gold Ogle in 2007 and has gotten rave reviews as a stage play. Now hear what the buzz is all about in Parts 1-2 of The Stuff of Myth.

Episode 459 - Talking about The Handmaid's Tale with Margaret Willison  

Podcaster, culture critic, and ne'er-do-well Margaret Willison (of Appointment Television and NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour) joins me to talk about THE HANDMAID'S TALE -- specifically, the 2000 production by John Dryden that ran recently on Secrets, Crimes, and Audiotape (our sibling show on the Wondery Network). Join me and Margaret as we alternate between quality goofs and serious discussion. Margaret's newsletter, TWO BOSSY DAMES: Margaret's podcast, APPOINTMENT TELEVISION: A Handmaid's Guide to Cambridge, by Margaret's pal Rachel: Secrets, Crimes, and Audiotape:

RDR From the Vault: Heart of Morphine, by Roger Gregg  

Today RDR from the Vault launches a series of episodes highlighting Roger Gregg, playwright master of Dublin, Ireland. Roger pioneered his own audio sound, a wacky blend of Captain Beefheart sonic assault and an intimate, fine theatre sensibility. He produced for RTE - that’s the public radio of Ireland- for the better part of a decade and since parting ways with them has continued on mostly on stage but ocacsionally gracing us with an audio piece. What we’ll hear today is one of the latter types, from the post-RTE era of Roger’s work, done during his work as a theatre instructor at the Gaiety school of Acting in Ireland. This is “Heart of Morphine” Morgan O’Brien hangs in limbo between life and death, and finds the afterlife a much wilder place than he imagined. Confused, frustrated, and alone, he is forced to confront the reality of his actions made while alive. But is there still time to go back and change things?

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