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The Journalists Theatre Company Announces SOUNDS FROM AN EMPTY CITY, an Immersive Audio Anthology

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The project launches in podcast form on Spotify this October 30th.

The Journalists Theatre Company Announces SOUNDS FROM AN EMPTY CITY, an Immersive Audio Anthology

The Journalists Theatre Company has announced their next longform project, SOUNDS FROM AN EMPTY CITY, a series of devised, semi-immersive audio experiences. Each piece, devised in quarantine, is "created from the perspective of an unsure world, a world that feels physically empty, but emotionally full and teeming with the lives disrupted." The anthology entries are made to be listened to on location, in an attempt to immerse the audience into a theatrical experience they are otherwise cut off from due to COVID-19.

The project launches in podcast form on Spotify this October 30th, eventually migrating to all major podcast platforms like Google and Apple soon after. Every few weeks, the ensemble will be releasing self-contained audio dramas, which correspond to a suggested listening location, such as a park, a bridge, or even your own living room, tailored to immerse the listener into the world of the story. The company describes the anthology as an attempt to "bring the performers and the theatrical experience to the audience, even if we cannot be literally present in front of them; we hope to inspire people to make an event of their listening experience, like you would a night at the theatre, picking out a location to listen at based on our suggestions. We're creating the opportunity for theatrical adventures, but our stories are just as entertaining when listening from the comfort of your own home."

The Journalists were formed in 2018, with their inaugural production of BODIES produced at Under St. Marks in November 2019. Their focus is to reinvigorate emerging artists by collaborative study and vital, investigative work. The company values the intersection of research into their themes and topics with the variety of theatrical backgrounds of their ensemble. Lived experience from human sources, as well as new forms, are critical to their work so far. While a heavy movement based company, during the pandemic the ensemble has committed to regular meetings to develop ideas over digital means, with Sounds From an Empty City being their answer to a Zoomed-out theatre scene.

Tied to a release on Halloween weekend, the first three entries into the anthology are based around horror and tragedy, with stories that have a little something for everyone: "The Park" is a guided meditation gone askew; audiences follow a young queer woman experiencing a transcendental experience amidst sleep paralysis with "The Flamingo"; busy listeners on their morning commute can tune into the growing troubles of product placement in the radio-show based "Cleerminde". Each entry is devised collaboratively within the ensemble, with the team trading directing hats by project.

Rest assured, not all the entries into the series will be spooky or disturbing. Artistic Director Trevor Catalano says they're "playing with a lot of different themes, from isolation in the pandemic, to sci-fi and fantasy escapism, love stories, and possibly even some politics. We're also committed to centering LGBTQ+ and BIPOC characters wherever we can, and making those experiences part of who the characters are, even if they aren't the core inspiration of the story." After the initial release, episodes will come out as they are created throughout the next few months. The Journalists have no end date for the project, and seek to continue so long as there's an audience.

You can listen to the trailer for the project, released on their Facebook page and Instagram (@journaliststheatre), as well as on Spotify under Sounds From an Empty City. The content is totally free to listen to, and the Journalists are asking those who can to donate, pay-what-you-will style, in order to support the project. More information can be found at journaliststheatre.org/soundcity.



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