Celebrating ten years of Red Betty in Hamilton

Arts and Culture
April 21, 2022
Est. Reading Time: 3 minutes

C/O Will Francis (Unsplash)

Hamilton’s Red Betty Theatre is launching a new podcast for their tenth anniversary

By: Joleen Awad, contributor 

The Red Betty Theatre is a non-profit and the only Indigenous, Black, Person Of Colour and women-run theatre in Hamilton. To commemorate their tenth anniversary, Red Betty Theatre is releasing a new podcast series.  

The idea for the series first came about when Radha Menon, the artistic director and founder of Red Betty Theatre, saw a grant offered by the Canada Council Digital Fund and a podcast seemed like an excellent opportunity to create an archive of the work being done by Red Betty Theatre over the past decade. 

The idea for the series first came about when Menon saw a grant offered by the Canada Council Digital Fund and a podcast seemed like an excellent opportunity to create an archive of the work being done by Red Betty Theatre over the past decade. 

“I’m actually very excited that it gives a new lease of life to plays that were beloved by audiences, because theatre is ephemeral . . . And when it closes, it’s gone. It’s gone forever. So the podcasts give these plays a new lease of life, which is wonderful,” said Menon.    

Their “10th Anniversary Podcast Series” will feature five original plays previously presented at the theatre. The plays will be split over three separate episodes and converted into radio dramas specifically for the podcast, making the production process more difficult than usual. 

“When it’s a podcast, it’s totally sonic, you really have to be able to put the stories over narratives without the help of all the visual aids that we have on stage,” explained Menon. 

Claire Burns, artistic producer at the theatre company, explained for each episode Menon and a dramaturge, a story editor specializing in theatre, sit down and take apart the play’s script, reworking it for the podcast. For example, each of the visual cues that would normally be found in a performance have to be substituted for an auditory cue instead.  

Next, the casting is done, after which it takes around one week to produce all the episodes for a play. 

The plays will be launched on a weekly basis, with each set of three episodes being released at the same time. 

The best thing about the podcast is that you can experience theatre in your everyday actions. You can drive a car, take a walk, study and still become immersed in the play’s world.  For students especially, this is a unique chance to explore new worlds from their own homes without having to attend a performance in person. 

Both Menon and Burns hope people will walk away from each episode entertained and having experienced something new.  

“It’ll broaden [students’] horizons for a start . . . if you listen to our podcast, you will be taken into worlds that you generally don’t see,” said Menon. 

“It’ll broaden [students’] horizons for a start . . . if you listen to our podcast, you will be taken into worlds that you generally don’t see."

Radha Menon, the artistic director and founder of Red Betty TheatrE

 “[Menon’s voice is] just so unique and there’s no voice like it, not even in Hamilton, but even in Canada. So that in and of itself stands alone. I would say, that’s another thing that kind of sets us apart from a lot of the mainstream companies in Hamilton,” added Burns. 

Red Betty Theatre’s tenth anniversary podcast series captures the spirit of the company and offering audiences the opportunity to re-visit — or discover for the first time — some of their wonderful work. It’s a fitting commemoration of the company’s last ten years and a promise of more remarkable stories to be told. 

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