The Fountaineers bring drama to KMSU

Some time ago, Pierce’s “Shuffle Function” morning show co-host Tim Lind (known to radio listeners as “Shyboy Tim”) worked on radio dramas that aired on their radio show. Pierce said they wanted to bring it back and got an opportunity to do so.

The Fountaineers troupe is working together for its fourth year. They said working together on radio dramas brings them joy and excitement. Sheila Skilling, a member of the Fountaineers, said she had experience in community theater, where she wrote and voiced advertisements.

“In a play, you have all these lines you have to memorize, and you’d have all these students who help paint the set. It’s like this huge commitment,” said Skilling. “And this was just like the fun part. You could just come and use your voice to read from a script. It’s really about getting people together and having fun.”

Fountaineer member Kat Baumann had worked with Pierce in the past, so when she learned about the troupe, she immediately agreed to participate. Another member, James Mackey, always wanted to do voice acting.

“I always loved voice acting, even when I was a kid watching ninja cartoons,” said Mackey. “It’d be fun picking out the actors you’d always hear in the same roles and saying, ‘Oh, yeah, they’re doing this’. It’s something I always wanted to get into but never had the opportunity to.”

Gretchen Adolphson had experience in high school theater and had voice acting on her bucket list. Once she learned about the group, she used the opportunity to join.

“I didn’t grow up in the United States. I grew up in Puerto Rico. So my only English language at the time was radio dramas,” said Adolphson. “There was an army base, and they would play the old radio dramas. And so when I heard that Shelley was going to do this, it was just like, my childhood was coming back to life.”

Pierce said radio dramas are a crucial part of media.

“Radio dramas are such a big part of radio history,” said Pierce. “That’s how people would listen to essentially what television was like in the day before television.”

“They require the listener to use their imagination, and I think that’s more effective than actual visual prompts,” said Mackey. “Listeners are given prompts that they don’t look at and they are going to imagine the scene out of it. You have everything in your head already, and you’re just filling it in with the sounds you hear.”

Troupe members say they have to be creative when working on radio dramas. Fountaineers create different sounds using objects around them so that the sounds feel real to listeners.

Students are encouraged to get involved with KMSU. They can reach out with ideas or participate in a radio drama recording. For more information email kmsumnmusic@gmail.com

Header photo: The Fountaineers troupe is working together for a fourth year making radio dramas for Mankato listeners.  (Davis Jensen/The Reporter)

Write to Amalia Sharaf at Amal.Sharafkhodjaeva@mnsu.edu

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