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Meet David Benedict of Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC)

Today we’d like to introduce you to David Benedict.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
ARTC was founded in 1984 by William L. Brown and Patrick Stansbury as a way to get audio drama back on the air in Atlanta. After some initial success with a couple of radio serials on local stations, the radio market changed in such a way that getting actual airtime was much more challenging than it had been previously. When that happened, ARTC began a dual strategy of producing work in the studio and live performances.

Since then ARTC has performed live throughout the southeast region at hundreds of venues, primarily speculative fiction conventions including Dragon Con, Libertycon, 221B Con, and many others. We have appeared most often in Atlanta, but have also traveled to Chattanooga, Birmingham, Orlando, Tampa, and Kansas City, MO. We have released dozens of audio dramas on whatever format was appropriate at the time, including cassettes, CDs, and recently digital downloads. Our work spans multiple genres and includes both original work and adaptations of classic novels and plays.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Throughout our time we have struggled with the perception that audio drama is a nostalgic art form that died out in the 1930s, and while the art form itself has been around for some time, it is merely a medium in which to tell stories. And those stories, regardless of what format they are told in, are new, original, and vibrant.

Additionally, with our longevity, we have constantly had to ride the wave of technology as we determined the best way to distribute our work. Cassettes gave way to CDs and now CDs are giving way to digital downloads and streaming. We also publish two podcasts, The Centauri Express Audio Magazine and Mercury: A Broadcast of Hope.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Atlanta Radio Theatre Company (ARTC) – what should we know?
ARTC is a small-press non-profit audio publisher specializing in multi-cast audio drama. These are productions that rely as little as possible on a single narrator and instead use full casts, sound effects, and music to tell a complete story in an immersive way.

We are well-known for our adaptations of the work of H. P. Lovecraft, including titles such as “At the Mountains of Madness,” “The Call of C’thulhu,” “The Rats in the Walls,” and “The Shadow Over Innsmouth.” These adaptations are particularly challenging because Lovecraft used very little dialogue in his work, forcing our writers to create dialogue from suggested situations and, in some cases, whole new characters to help make the story more accessible to the medium in which we were telling it.

We have performed live at every Dragon Con since that event’s inception and have appeared with a number of notable guest stars, including Harlan Ellison, John Rhys-Davies, Alexandra Tydings, Jewel Staite, Jonathan Harris, and many others.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
ARTC has a rich history of artists and collaborators who have all played key roles in the continuation and success of the organization. Among these are William Alan Ritch (current President), Thomas E. Fuller (former head writer, before his passing), Brad Weage (musician), Henry Howard (former lead technician and audio engineer), and, of course, our founder William Brown.

We would also be remiss if we did not mention the National Audio Theatre Festivals who has, for many years, conducted workshops and festivals to help promote and teach the craft of audio drama.

We would also like to mention our many peers who are creating audio drama, but space does not permit us to list them all. Suffice to say that audio drama is experiencing an explosive growth the likes of which has not been seen before and anyone who enjoys a good story can easily find more available than they could ever possibly listen to in one lifetime.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Caran Wilbanks

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