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THEMES OF ISOLATION IN SASKATCHEWAN RADIO DRAMA - page 113 / 185

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CONCLUSION After exploring themes of isolation in some of Saskatchewan’s radio dramas

through the lenses of Timescape, Landscape, and Bodyscape, it is time to revisit my

original questions: First, to what extent are the stories told on the radio by Saskatchewan

playwrights affected by the geographic and demographic isolation experienced by

residents of the province in which they live? Second, if the most acute isolation

experienced by Saskatchewan residents was historic, i.e. during the history of European

settlement, why are there still strong thematic currents of isolation appearing throughout

Saskatchewan radio plays written after 1980?

Radio drama’s connection to isolation is, in part, due to the strengths of radio

itself. Radio is a tool by which isolated people can experience the greater world. This

connection has been evident from the earliest days of radio. When CBK first broadcast

from Watrous in 1939, then-Manitoba Premier John Bracken spoke from Winnipeg to the

three prairie provinces and northern U.S. States within broadcast range. He bragged

about how technology can bring people, and thus the country, closer, saying “CBC has

annihilated space.” When people are connected, ideas spread farther and faster. In the

same CBK broadcast, then-Alberta Premier “Bible Bill” Aberhart dubbed radio the “most

efficient in the spread of ideas and all progress spreads from ideas.” Isolation has

informed the Saskatchewan experience from the acute geographical isolation as alleviated

by the new medium in the earliest days of radio in Saskatchewan, to the more complex

human experiences of social, psychological, and physical isolation as expressed in the

Saskatchewan radio plays written in the 1980s. The ideas being spread on the radio often

deal with isolation and the importance of relieving it.

107

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