What is Space Cadets Radio?
Space Cadets Radio started as a no-budget video series in June of 2005 when a group of friends from theatre club – including Chris Shendge and Nate Fessler – put on costumes and stepped in front of the camera at the direction of Brent Winzek. Filmed in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, PA, the improvised spoof developed with the group from 2005 to 2009, generating three seasons of videos and homemade merchandise.
After his friends went their separate ways for college, Brent continued writing a more deliberate story in screenplay format and, in May of 2011, co-writer Jordan Stine came aboard. They have since developed the universe through stories, characters and artwork, all of which they’ve compiled in the Listener’s Guide as an expansion to this radio drama.
Captain Walter Stanik has been chosen by the Interplanetary Space Federation (ISF) to lead the first crew of the Space Cadets. Their mission: explore the uncharted territories of outer space. But when they discover a stowaway on board, Stanik plunges his crew into a perilous race for revenge against an infamous band of pirates. Together, they unearth the mystery behind a fabled relic: the Goliathon.
This world is informed by history and its tendency to repeat trends in art, culture, and politics. Set far enough into the future to give it a sense of marvel, Space Cadets is grounded in Earth’s history. The ISF represents the lavishness of Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century Europe, while the Outer Rim and its relation to the ISF represent the English colonies and American frontier.
Outer Space, Ships & Technology
In order to reflect the world’s historic influences, nautical themes and environments are abundant: All the ships have unique personalities, but they are unified by a subtle wooden tone, mimicking eighteenth century maritime. Argyle’s DataCom is quirky in order to reflect its owner, while the cutting-edge technology of the ISF is portrayed with sharp, cheerful effects.
Creatures & Alien Planets
Familiar exotic environments are used to help the audience get lost in the world, and the creatures are represented by their real-world inspirations.
Genre & Niche
During initial exhibition and distribution, people seem to have the same reaction to the piece, saying it’s complex story and cast of characters make them feel like they’ve discovered the science fiction alternative to Game of Thrones.
The creative team has already proposed short, one-episode adventures for some of the ancillary characters, and two fully-outlined sequels: Space Cadets and the Pirates of the Outer Rim – where the Cadets find themselves thwarting a pirate rebellion lead by Alaborap – and Space Cadets and the Call of Zaremoth – where the Cadets find themselves teaming up with Alaborap and the pirates in order to prevent the Candolite Order from overthrowing the Interplanetary Space Federation.
The Creative Team
Born and raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Brent first created Space Cadets 13 years ago with the help of friends Joe Connelly and Dale McCarthy, originating the role of Captain Stubing (now Stanik). Before relocating to New York City, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in Film Production and a Master of Arts in Theatre from Bowling Green State University in Ohio. When asked if he’ll ever stop telling stories about the Space Cadets, Brent tries to look as perplexed as possible, as if to say, ‘Why on Earth would I ever do that?’
Chris "Sledge" Shendge
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Sledge has been involved with the production of Space Cadets from its conception. He studied Theatre Production, Radio Audio Production, and Television at Ithaca College. Since graduating, Sledge has worked in the Audio Division of PRG, and his production credits include King Kong the Musical (Production Coordinator), How to Train Your Dragon Live (Production Coordinator), & Becky Needs to Get Laid (Original Sound Designer).