This page is mostly links dealing with Radio Drama aired on short-wave radio. There are links about writing radio drama on a separate page. Then there is yet another page of links about radio drama in languages other than English. Hopefully all of the links work when you click on them. If the links no longer work by the time you read this, I should give a decent enough description of the page so you can search for it.
This page is not necessarily written for people who regularly listen to short-wave. I assume my close friends and family will be my largest "audience". Most of them only know about short-wave radio through me. Some people I know, have no idea that you can listen to radio originating in places like Germany, on a physical radio (as opposed to the Internet radio).
From what I can gather, most of the radio drama you will find on short-wave radio, is Christian centered. I do not know if this is a complete list of all the radio drama available on short-wave. If you know of anything I have missed, please let me know about it. I am always interested in learning about "new" (to me) radio drama. Right now, this page is mostly Radio Drama in English. There is a lot of radio drama being produced for developing countries. There is a lot of radio drama being written for "social change". For example, John's Hopkins School of Public health has put out the publication, "How To Write a Radio Serial Drama for Social Development". (See page, "Radio Drama Links English".) Some of this is bound to be broadcast via short-wave radio. I just do not find links or frequencies for it. That type of radio drama is called, "Entertainment-Education". It seems to me that most of this sort of thing would have a "Progressive" point of view. Of course Christians are using radio drama too. I can't seem to find anything about "how to write", Christian radio drama on the net though.
If you know of any radio drama on short-wave in any language other than English I would like to know about it. I know back in the late 1980's I heard what sounded like a radio drama over Radio France International in French. Then I heard another program that sounded like a soap opera in Chinese. I think that was maybe from Taiwan. (I wasn't really sure.) Don't know if these were "one offs" or regular weekly programs. Although, Deutsche Welle says that they do not air radio drama, I have heard in the past, short programs on their German service that sounded like radio drama. They seemed like humorous stories of some sort. They were only like 10 minutes long or so. Since I do not know German very well, I am not sure what sort of programs these were. It was after the Sports on Saturdays. (http://www.dw-world.de/german/0,3367,6396,00.html This is a page from Deutsche Welle, Germany’s “International Broadcaster”. It is examples of Radio Drama. I do not understand it exactly, since they claim to not broadcast radio drama. [still works March 12, 2004])
If you do not have a short-wave radio, you can try to listen to these dramas on the Internet or via local AM and FM outlets. Some of these are available worldwide on local AM and FM. Then some of the dramas are on the Internet as well. At least one of the dramas is available for sale on CD. I have tried to list the web address for the programs, as well as the web addresses for the radio stations that air them on short-wave.
In no way do I endorse, condone or otherwise believe 100% of everything in the links listed here!! I just found them and listed them. You make of them what you will.
International Radio Drama from "Public" Broadcasters...
The BBC World Service airs at least two weekly radio dramas in English. I am not sure what radio drama they have in other languages. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/ There is their "Play of the Week" http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/programmes/playwk.shtml. Then there is the soap opera, "Westway". http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/arts/features/westway/index.shtml. They once aired "African Performance" which was plays from Africa http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/africa/features/performance/guide.shtml
Radio New Zealand http://www.rnzi.com/index.php airs "Sunday Drama" and there is also "Story Time". ("Story Time" is readings for children.) They also air the "Wednesday Drama" as well. Right now, (Jan. 2004) they are broadcasting "The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy". They do not always list these specific programs on their "schedules" page. Some of the programs are listed as, "National Radio", or "Relay of National Radio". If you sign up to the Topica SW Programs list that I mentioned on the first page of this web site, and you read John Figliozzi's review of Radio New Zealand, then you can see details of what radio dramas they air and when they are aired.
http://www.abc.net.au/ra/ was broadcasting in November 2003, one Radio Drama. It
was on their Tok Pisin
(Papua New Guinea) service. It was a 20-minute radio drama series called "Famili
blong Serah" (Serah's Family) once a week. The series was actually produced
in the republic of Vanuatu, a South Pacific island group, by the Won Smolbag Theatre.
(I am not sure if it is still aired on Radio Australia.)
The CBC Northern Quebec Service http://north.cbc.ca/north/radionordpq.html Airs, CBC Radio One's, "The Mystery Project". http://www.cbc.ca/mysteryproject/ You would have to check the CBC Northern Quebec Service web site to find details of when the drama is on. To hear CBC Radio One on short-wave visit this page to learn what frequencies to tune to. http://www.cbc.ca/frequency/shortwave.html
At one time I could pick up BFBS (British Forces Broadcasting Service) broadcasting to the Middle East. This was at the beginning of the Second Gulf War. They were broadcasting The Archers. I could hear part of an episode and then the frequency changed. Of course I couldn't pick them up on the next frequency. Someone said you could find their short-wave frequencies via the BFBS web site. I have never been able to find it myself. The BFBS is the radio and television service which broadcasts to the British Military. http://www.ssvc.com/bfbs/index.htm
International Radio Drama from "Privately Owned" Broadcasters...
The only "other" radio dramas that I know of on short-wave are from "Domestic" U.S. radio stations. Most of these are Christian radio dramas. I know some people think that having Christian programming for all the world to hear is a real "crime". They point to the "damage" done to indigenous people's culture and religions by missionaries and Christian radio. (I have "heard" most of the arguments "against" Christianity.) I happen to know that not all the work done by missionaries and Christian radio is a "bad" thing. Some cultures would not have an alphabet if it weren't for missionaries trying to translate The Bible into that particular language. I know, the alphabet was a lot of the time based on "Western" culture rather than the culture of that people. I think if you gave everyone in the world a million dollars; then you paid everyone's medical and food bills; plus you paid everyone to be nice and get along; and after all that, you took the extra money and paved all the streets with gold, someone would find a reason to complain about it. (Sorry for the "rant".)
I do not always agree 100% with the theology in these Christian dramas. For example, I am a "Creationist", I just do not believe in "young earth creation" like the "Institute For Creation Research". This page is just for information anyway. You can listen to these dramas and see for yourself if you like them or not. Two of the ones listed are not radio dramas with "Christian" subjects. One of the two is probably put out by a "Christian" production company. They are all aired over "Christian" radio. I have been to the web sites of the stations and this is what they air now, (November 2003). To see the exact air times, visit their web sites and look for schedules. You also need to check the web sites in order to know what frequency to tune into. The radio station's schedules change around the time we change our clocks in the U.S. So the programs the stations air are subject to change. Another thing, you will need to know about is "time". Most short-wave stations operate on "World Time" or "UTC" time. It is basically the same as "GMT" or "Greenwich Mean Time". (So if they say a program is going to be on at 06:hours UTC, that will be 1:00AM Eastern U.S. Time in November. The U.S. time will change, but UTC/GMT never changes.)
I have tried to make this page such that it does not need tons of updating as the seasons change. By the Way, quite a number of these programs are aired over local Christian radio here in the U.S., on AM and FM.
The programs I have listed below are mostly in English. Unshackled is translated and re-dramatized into Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Romanian, Polish, Korean, and Japanese. If you know of any other Christian radio dramas broadcasting on short-wave in languages other than English please let me know about them.
From Bob Jones University, “Miracles” http://www.bju.edu/ministries/bjuradio/programs/miracles
"Stories of Great Christians", from Moody Bible Institute--(According to radio station WJSA-since 1946*) http://www.mbn.org/ http://www.mbn.org/default.asp?SectionID=2B2DBAB0341A48B7ADBBE63F24DCAD8B
From the USA Radio Network are; "The Bible's Greatest Heroes", "America's Greatest Heroes", and "Golden Age of Radio" http://www.usaradio.com/
From the popular series of books, is the radio drama "Left Behind" http://www.leftbehind.com/ This drama can be heard on AM, FM and Internet outlets all around the world. To find out where and how, click on the link below. http://www.leftbehind.com/channelhelpinfo.asp?pageid=637&channelID=173#international
Another favorite is "World Harvest Radio". WHRI and WHRA. http://www.whri.com/ They air, Adventures in Odyssey, and the Russian language version of Unshackled. The "World Harvest" web site has a neat feature. On their program schedule page, you can type in the name of the program you want to hear and it will pull up the schedule for it.
HCJB, The Voice of the Andes used to broadcast some of the Christian Radio Dramas mentioned above. I did not find any listed in their current schedule. I do not know if they air any in languages other than English though. http://www.hcjb.org/
This just in, (November 21, 2003.) WBCQ www.wbcq.com. is opening up a time slot for radio drama. It will be a weekly time slot from 9:00 to 10:00 Sundays, Eastern Standard Time. WBCQ is not a "Christian" station really, as far as I can gather. This notice just came over the secular radio drama list I am on. If any of the people on that list, get any of their dramas aired on WBCQ, it should be an interesting program each week. (It is now well past November. [March 8, 2004] I have no idea if there are radio dramas airing on WBCQ yet or not.)
*A note about "oldest"/"longest-running" etc.:
I do not know which is the oldest or longest running radio drama in history. It depends on who you ask. You can see what I have come up with here. If you have any more information on this subject, I would really like to know.
According to, "The Broadcast Archive" "One Man's Family" became "the longest-running radio drama in history". The half hour program started on Friday, April 29, 1932 and ran for 27 years, until May 8, 1959. http://www.oldradio.com/archives/stations/sf/sfhist.htm
Although not now a radio drama, "Guiding Light", the U.S. daytime soap opera, started life on radio as, "The Guiding Light". It was originally written by the legendary Irna Phillips. "The Guiding Light" first aired, January 25, 1937. It moved to television, June 30, 1952. (I don't know if it was aired both on radio and television at that time.) "Guiding Light" is still running today. As far as I know, it is the longest running soap opera in history. Only major events like the "Watergate hearings" and "September 11" have prevented the airing of this program. December 2005, The Guinness Book of World Records, lists, "Guiding Light" as the longest running soap in history. http://www.cbs.com/daytime/gl/
"Unshackled" started broadcasting in 1950. They claim to be "the longest- running radio drama in history".
BBC Radio 4's radio drama "The Archers" was first aired during "Whit Week" [Pentecost Week] of 1950. That was only for five experimental pilot episodes. Those episodes were only broadcast in "The Midlands". "The Archers" was first broadcast to the whole of the U.K. January 1, 1951. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/archers/ There is also a news group on Usenet for The Archers "uk.media.radio.archers".
Tim Crook on page 47 of, "Radio Drama Theory and Practice" states, "...the longest running 'soap' in radio history, [is] The Archers".