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WGTD Radio Theater takes home national, state excellence awards

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The WGTD Radio Theater, now in its 15th season of live original radio theater broadcasts, has once again been recognized by the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association by winning three WBA Awards for Excellence. 

And, for the first time, the radio theater has been recognized by the national Hear Now: The Audio Fiction and Arts Festival, winning two Silver Medals.

The national HEAR Now event is the audio equivalent of an international film festival for contemporary audio storytelling in all its forms, including live and scripted solo performances. The two Silver Medal Awards were for The WGTD Radio Theater’s 14th Season “World War II Theme,” and “The Kane Shadow: Sayonara, My Friends,” the story of WWII Japanese-Americans in Delavan. These two awards were presented in Kansas City on June 9.

The three awards from the Wisconsin Broadcasters Association included two first place Awards for Excellence and one second place award. 

The two first place WBA Awards were:

  • Best Significant Community Impact: “The Kane Shadow: Sayonara, My Friends”
  • Best Live On-Site Broadcast Remote: “The Kane Shadow in The Louis ‘Gas’ Derler Murder Mystery,” broadcast live from Towne Square Bar, in Trevor, Wis., which was the actual location where this August, 1930, murder took place.

The second place WBA Award was for:

  • Best Use of Audio (Non-News): “The Stage Door Canteen”

The 14th Season of the WGTD Radio Theater featured the theme of World War II.  Those original dramas, written by co-executive producers Steve Brown and Michael Ullstrup included:

These shows, all in front of a live studio audience, were:

  • “Our Secret Sisters.” The historical fiction story of the first women who served as World War II spies for the United States’ Office of Strategic Services during the war.
  • “The Enigma Covenant.” This show tells the World War II story of the capture of the German code machine, Enigma, and the breaking of the German codes by Alan Turing at Bletchley Park, England.
  • “The Kane Shadow: Sayonara, My Friends.” A detective story, featuring Orson Welles, told in film-noire style recounting how the people of Delavan, Wisconsin accepted and befriended Japanese-American families who were sponsored out of World War II internment camps in Idaho to work as chefs at Lake Lawn Resort in Delavan.
  • “Deep Stealth.” This production was a science fiction tale of a modern American stealth submarine encountering World War II German U-boats, the menace of the North Atlantic.
  • “The Stage Door Canteen.” Modeled after the actual World War II Stage Door Canteen where all sorts of performers entertained soldiers before they left for overseas, this variety show featured local musical groups and great skits from radio shows past.

In addition to being aired over WGTD, programs were also streamed live online at