“Podcast@SDA,” a new podcast series from the USC School of Dramatic Arts, launches this week.
Hosted by SDA Dean David Bridel, the series will take listeners behind the scenes of the School’s 2016-17 season of plays. With two musicals, a three-play acting repertory, and works from Shakespeare, Robert Schenkkan and Anne Washburn, the 20-plus show season is both diverse and challenging, and is one of the most ambitious of any dramatic arts training institution in the nation.
“The new Podcast@SDA offers me the opportunity to speak creatively to the wider community about different aspects of our work,” Bridel said. “This year, the focus will be on the plays and authors involved in our current season. I’m excited by the opportunity to work in this medium and, in future years, offer classes in podcast creation for our students.”
In the first episode of the series, Dean Bridel speaks to playwright Julie Jensen, whose play, Mockingbird, performs at the School’s McClintock Theatre from Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.
Jensen is the author of 30 plays and has received numerous awards for her work, including the Kennedy Center Award for New American Plays and the LA Weekly Award for Best New Play. She has received the McKnight National Playwriting Fellowship, the TCG/NEA Playwriting Residency, and a major grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts. Her work is published by Dramatic Publishing, DPS, and Playscripts, and is anthologized in Best Plays by Women and in a dozen other collections. Her book Playwriting: Brief and Brilliant is published by Smith and Kraus. Mockingbird will also be produced this year at Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences in Washington, D.C.
Although Dean Bridel hosts the podcast, dramatic arts students are the driving force behind the production. Podcast@SDA is recorded, edited and mixed by the students and faculty of the School’s BFA Sound Design program. “Working on the podcast gives our designers a chance to implement the production skills they are learning in the classroom,” said Philip G. Allen, director of BFA Sound Design. “They weave into each episode music choices and other audio production elements derived from the design aesthetic being employed on the corresponding productions. They will gain valuable recording studio experience working with authors, performers and scholars as they tell the story behind the stories we tell on stage.”