Metro-East Living

Tune in to hear SIUE’s unique radio soap opera drama

Producing the radio soap opera drama in the studios of WSIE is the SIUE Theater of the Mind Production Company, which includes WSIE Director Steve Jankowski (seated), Department of Theater and Dance Professor Peter Cocuzza (back left) and freshman Clara Parker (back right).
Producing the radio soap opera drama in the studios of WSIE is the SIUE Theater of the Mind Production Company, which includes WSIE Director Steve Jankowski (seated), Department of Theater and Dance Professor Peter Cocuzza (back left) and freshman Clara Parker (back right).

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will soon broadcast its first radio soap opera drama on WSIE 88.7 FM, The Sound.

“Academia Underground,” an original soap opera drama, is performed, directed, produced and written by SIUE students and staff. The first episode is expected to air at 10 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 8. The first season will consist of eight, 30-minute episodes, scheduled to run Wednesdays from Nov. 8 to Dec. 27.

The fictitious college of Aurum University is not just a place where education happens, but where secrets are uncovered, where drama unfolds and the lives of some become unhinged.

The idea of the student-involved project had been, for several years, on each of the minds of Peter Cocuzza, professor in the Department of Theater and Dance, and Steve Jankowski, WSIE director.

“When I was a student at SIUE in the early 1970s, I was part of a radio repertory theater group,” Jankowski said in a press release. “I thought a radio soap opera drama would be a good way to involve students across different disciplines.”

It will be a group effort with students from the department of theater and dance helping with the performance of the drama. Students from the department of music will work on the sound track, instrumentation and other sounds, while mass communications students will help produce the show, according to Jankowski.

“This project will not only bring creative satisfaction, but will also serve the university by setting us apart from other schools and theater departments our size,” Cocuzza said in a press release. “In the future, students may also be able to get course credit for working on the radio drama.”

“This is unique programming that is not being offered anywhere else,” Jankowski added in a press release. “I don’t know of any other universities, schools or radio stations in the region that are producing an original radio drama.”

“Academia Underground” is expected to be performed in front of live audiences, according Cocuzza and Jankowski.

The radio station WSIE can be heard throughout the St. Louis Metropolitan region. If you are outside of the listening area, go to the radio station’s website, www.siue.edu/wsie, and choose “Listen Live.”

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