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Three Questions: An interview with . . . A. Nannette Taylor, Executive Director of the National Audio Theatre Festivals March 6, 2008

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Lit Between the Ears welcomes A. Nannette Taylor, the recently posted Executive Director, of the National Audio Theatre Festivals (NATF), to the Three Questions series. Nannette succeeds Ms. Sue Zizza who had served eleven years in the position.

Ms. Taylor’s resume includes positions held and awards earned in Phoenix, Arizona and Portland, Oregon. Upon accepting the Executive Director role, Mr. Charles Potter, Chair of the NATF Search Committee, said, “The Search Committee was impressed from the very start with the strength of A. Nannette Taylor’s qualifications for the post of Executive Director of NATF. We were even more impressed with how seriously and how graciously she took her every interaction with us, and by her clearly expressed life’s desire to ‘educate and to entertain.’ We are all truly thrilled that she has accepted to lead NATF forward in the coming years.”

We caught up with Nannette as she was preparing for NATF’s annual Workshop to be held later this year.

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LIT BETWEEN THE EARS: Nanette, what are the differences and similarities between radio drama, stage, film, and television?

NANNETTE TAYLOR: Of course, the overriding similarity between these disciplines is the fact that they all strive to tell a story which is, I believe, the responsibility of “The Arts.” The difference is how they do it.

LIT: What are the differences?

NANNETTE: Stage, film, and television are all visual mediums – and in a very true sense the ‘pictures’ are created and controlled by the focus the director chooses – which, of course, includes being true to the picture the author has designed.

LIT: Compared to . . .?

NANNETTE: . . . Radio drama – or more appropriately audio theatre – [which] stands alone in that the ‘picture’ is in the ear and the imagination of those who are experiencing it at the moment – the listeners.

LIT: Anything else?

NANNETTE: Accessibility. In order to experience stage and film – for the most part “I have to go to it.” Audio theatre, however, comes to me. If I can get it – I can experience it – be it in my living room – my automobile – or on top of a mountain gazing at the Pacific Ocean.

LIT: You raise an interesting point. How do radio dramatists and producers increase accessibility, or, paraphrasing your words, “go to more audiences?”

NANNETTE: Educate, educate, educate. Start in the schools – Connect and coordinate with such organizations as the Girl and Boy Scouts – 4-H – Bluebirds, the list goes on – what about all of those reading groups that meet once a month around coffee and discussion? – or the support groups that all have incredible stories to share – and do not even for one moment dismiss senior groups – My God – what we learn from them is staggering!! If radio drama/audio theatre is indeed universal, then we have to open our eyes and ears to the universe around us and take advantage of what is, too often, right in front of us. This goes back to accessibility.

LIT: But how does accessibility further the organization’s education goals?

NANNETTE: An organization such as NATF must be national. It must offer workshops, one-on-one networking opportunities, and educational experiences throughout the nation. We must listen to, and pay attention to, what is relevant in the locale we find ourselves at the moment and share our experiences and knowledge. We have the technology – we have the know-how – all we need to do, as an industry, is to make it available. In many cases this means “we go to them” just as often as “they come to us.”

LIT: That’s a tall task.

NANNETTE: The second step that must be taken is networking, collaborating, and cooperating between art forms including theatre, writing, music, and composing. Not only does audio theatre have a lot to offer these fields, but they also have a lot to offer us. By working together, everyone wins.

LIT: What is your favorite piece of radio drama and why?

NANNETTE: To a large degree it depends upon my mood – but what is sure to attract my ear are pieces that captivate my imagination through dynamic and creative story telling coupled with using sound – just sound – that not only completes the picture but also allows me to use my own imagination and experiences to fill in the blanks.

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Thanks, Nannette, for sharing your insights and break a leg as the new Executive Director of the National Audio Theatre Festivals.

The National Audio Theatre Festivals

The National Audio Theatre Festivals is dedicated to serving the advancement of the audio and emerging media arts through education and presentation. One of its ongoing goals is to bring workshops to various locations throughout the country.

Nannette, as she notes, “with the dedication and help of the NATF board,” is preparing for its June Workshop from June 22-28, 2008 in West Plains, Missouri. More information may be found on the NATF website.

Details

A. Nannette Taylor

Executive Director

National Audio Theatre Festivals

http://www.natf.org/

ed@natf.org

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