Oddly Enough: Writers Guild, Converge Radio present new radio drama series

Lauren Fisher

A SUPERNATURAL SPIN. Oddly Enough will consist of five episodes, each its own complete story. They will air on Converge Radio on Friday nights, and be available afterwords online for streaming.
A SUPERNATURAL SPIN. Oddly Enough will consist of five episodes, each its own complete story. They will air on Converge Radio on Friday nights, and be available afterwords online for streaming.

The Chippewa Valley Writers Guild and Converge Radio are ready to invite listeners to crowd around their laptops and radios, clinging to every word of a locally written, acted, produced, and broadcast radio drama series: Oddly Enough. This sequel to last year’s Bend in the River promises five unique, stand-alone stories each with its own spooky, celestial, or sci-fi twist.

“We have such wonderful artists, writers, and actors, and working with them collaboratively brings me great joy.” – Oddly Enough showrunner Karen Drydyk

Oddly Enough centers each of its tales in, well, oddness,” showrunner Karen Drydyk said. “Every episode incorporates some aspect of the supernatural.” Drydyk was responsible for casting a number of the episodes. She also directed one of the stories and voice acted in another.

The show will air on Converge Radio 99.9 FM at 7pm each Friday from Jan. 18 through Feb. 15. After each episode is released on the airwaves it will be posted to the station’s website so listeners can enjoy at their convenience.

Bend in the River was such a pleasure to write, record, share and perform,” B.J. Hollars, who was the driving force behind the first series, said. “It was proof that you could take dozens of talented individuals, put them in the same room together, and make something magical.” He recalls hearing students at UW-Eau Claire ask each other if they had heard the latest episode. But he also recalls the things he would have changed to improve upon the concept, and made efforts to apply those observations this year.

One of the most notable changes in the series from last season is the creative choice to tell one story per episode, rather than following Bend in the River’s multi-chapter arc.

“The standalone stories within a shared world (and with a shared theme) allows for so much more flexibility,” Hollars said. “Now, writers can get together to pitch ideas and take part in table reads, but the majority of the work can be done independently.

“On the writer front, given the nature of these standalone episodes, we were able to increase the writing pool, too, which create a wonderful variety of episodes,” Hollars added.

The crew also learned to limit the number of characters in a given scene or story from last year’s efforts. This makes it easier for the audience to keep track of which voices are whose, and easier for the organizers to coordinate recording sessions with actors’ schedules.

A lot of work and coordination goes into producing each episode of Oddly Enough. The episodes are written and edited by local authors independently and collaboratively. Then, showrunners schedule recording sessions with the voice actors, who perform the work.  Once recorded, writers work with Converge Radio to edit the episodes, adding in music and sound effects, and fine tuning everything.

“It’s thrilling to see our fellow community members use these talents at a local level,” Drydyk said. “It’s a way of bringing togetherness to our creative endeavors, endeavors that can, at times, have a siloing effect. We have such wonderful artists, writers, and actors, and working with them collaboratively brings me great joy.”

ODDLY ENOUGH SCHEDULE

“Night of the Living Lennies” written by B.J. Hollars (Jan. 18)
“BIG IDEAS” written by Laura Buchholz (Jan. 25)
“On the Market” written by Jodie Arnold (Feb. 1)
“Night Games” written by Ken Szymanski (Feb. 8)
“Aurora Borealis Cantus” written by Jim and Jane Jeffries (Feb. 15)

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