Friday, May 09, 2014

Classic Sources of Radio Theater

There have been tens of thousands of radio theater programs. What's striking to me is how much of it is just adapted from the prose of prior decades. While Arch Oboler was writing whole seasons of episode of Lights Out, Wyllis Cooper wrote almost every episode of Quiet, Please... other programs were mining the past. Other programs had dozens of hack and pulp writers on staff or on the draw so to speak. Btu some programs made their name pushing big name known writers.

The result is that there is virtually no end to the list of classic authors whose works were adapted to radio theater. Today I've focused down on a number of science fiction, action, horror and suspense radio programs to hopefully narrow down the authors to establish a pattern. The Programs include: Escape, 2000X, Suspense, Dimension X, Mercury Theatre on the Air, Campbell Playhouse, Black Mass and the CBS Radio Workshop among others. I've listed this by authors first name, then the program. If there were multiple programs that performed the story I've noted both with a slash.

The most popular jump out immediately: Edgar Allen Poe, Ray Bradbury, H.G. Wells, Isaac Asimov and H.P. Lovecraft. But there are surprises too. Mark Twain was reworked a number of times as was Ambrose Bierce of all people.

Aldous Huxley
-Brave New World, CBS Radio Workshop
-Jane Eyre, Lux Radio Theatre

Albert Camus
-The Renegade, Black Mass

Alexandre Dumas
-The Second Shot, Escape
 -The Count of Monte Cristo, Mercury Theatre/Campbell Playhouse

Agatha Christie
-The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Campbell Playhouse
-The Witness For The Prosecution,  Mystery Playhouse
-Mystery of the Blue Jar, Mystery Theatre

Ambrose Bierce
-An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, Escape
-The Death of Halpin Frayser, Black Mass
-Moonlit Road, Black Mass
-The Boarded Window, Black Mass

Antoine de Saint-Exupery
-The Little Prince, CBS Radio Workshop

Bram Stoker
-Dracula, Mercury Theatre
-The Squaw, Black Mass

Charles Dickens
-A Tale of Two Cities, Mercury Theatre
-The Pickwick Papers, Mercury Theatre
-A Christmas Carol, Campbell Playhous/Campbell Playhouse

Daphne du Maurier
-The Birds, Escape
-Rebecca, Campbell Playhouse

Edgar Allan Poe
-The Fall of the House of Usher, Escape
-The Pit and the Pendulum, Suspense
-The Mystery of Marie Roget, Suspense
-The Green Hills of Earth, CBS Radio Workshop
-Never Bet the Devil Your Head, CBS Radio Workshop
-A Predicament, Black Mass
-The Tell-Tale Heart, Black Mass/Mystery Theatre
-The Man of the Crowd, Black Mass
-MS. Found in a Bottle, Black Mass
-Imp of the Perverse, Black Mass
-Tell-Tale Heart, Mystery Theatre
-The Flying Squad, Mystery Theatre
-Murders in the Rue Morgue, Mystery Theatre
-The Cask of Amontillado, Mystery Theatre

 Edgar Rice Burroughs
-The Moon Maid, 2000X

Ernest Hemingway
-A Farewell To Arms, Campbell Playhouse

Evelyn Waugh
-The Man Who Liked Dickens, Escape

Franz Kafka
A Country Doctor, Black Mass 

H.G. Welles 
-Pollock and the Porroh Man, Escape
-The Country of the Blind, Escape
-Jimmy Goggles...the God, Escape
-The Time Machine, Escape
-The Country of the Blind, Escape -A Dream of Armageddon, Escape
-The Man Who Could Work Miracles, Escape
-The Country of the Blind, Escape/Suspense
-The Time Machine, Escape
-The Man Who Could Work Miracles, Escape
-A Dream of Armageddon, 2000X
-War of the Worlds, Lux Radio Theatre/Mercury Theatre

Honoré de Balzac
-La Grande Breteche, CBS Radio Workshop

H.P. Lovecraft
-Rats in Walls, Black Mass
-The Outsider, Black Mass
-Dunwich Horror, Suspense 

Isaac Asimov
- Pebble in the Sky, Dimension X
-Nightfall, Dimension X
-C Chute, X-Minus One
-Hostess, X-Minus One
-The Liar,  Exploring Tomorrow

Jack London
-A Curious Fragment, 2000X

Joseph Conrad
-Typhoon, Escape
-The Brute, Escape
-Heart of Darkness, Mercury Theatre

Jules Verne
-Around the World in Eighty Days, Mercury Theatre

Kurt Vonnegut
-Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow, 2000X
-Report on the Barnhouse Effect, Dimension X

L. Ron Hubbard
-The Professor Was a Thief, Dimension X

Mark Twain
-A Learned Fable, 2000X
-Huckleberry Finn, Campbell Playhouse
-Roughing It, CBS Radio Workshop

Philip K. Dick
-The Defenders, X-Minus One
-Colony, X-Minus One
-Made In Avak, Exploring Tomorrow 

Ray Bradbury
-Mars is Heaven, Escape
-The Earthmen, Escape
-Zero Hour, Escape
-Pillar of Fire, 2000X
-There Will Come Soft Rains, Dimension X/X-Minus One
-Mars is Heaven, Dimension X/X-Minus One
-The Martian Chronicles, Dimension X
-And the Moon Be Still as Bright, Dimension X/X-Minus One
-Dwellers in Silence, Dimension X
-The Veldt, Dimension X/X-Minus One
-Marionettes, Inc, Dimension X/X-Minus One
-Kaleidoscope, Dimension X
-To The Future, X-Minus One
-Season of Disbelief, CBS Radio Workshop
-Hail and Farewell, CBS Radio Workshop

Raymond Chandler
Murder My Sweet, Hollywod Startime/Lux radio Theatre
The Big Sleep, Mystery Theatre
Gold Fish, Mystery Theatre 

Robert Louis Stevenson
-The Sire del Maletroit's Door, Escape
-The Young Man With the Cream Tarts, Escape
-Treasure Island, Mercury Theatre

Rudyard Kipling
-The Man Who Would Be King, Escape
-The Drums of the Fore and Aft, Escape
-As Easy as ABC, 2000X

Sinclair Lewis
- Dodsworth, Campbell Playhouse
- Arrowsmith, Campbell Playhouse 

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
-The Ring of Thoth, Escape
-The Lost Special, Escape

Somerset Maugham
-The Vessel of Wrath, Escape
-The Out-Station, Escape 
Stephen Vincent Benet
-A Tooth for Paul Revere, Escape
-Elementals, Escape
-Nightmare, Dimension X/X-Minus One

Thornton Wilder
-The Bridge of San Luis Rey, Mercury Theatre
-Our Town, Campbell Playhouse

Virginia Woolf
-A Haunted House, Black Mass