Listen Up! A theatre podcast treasure trove


I spend a bit of time in the car driving to meetings in the state’s capital, about 90 mins by road. It means I can listen to stuff as I travel the route I know practically mile-post by mile-post. In the past year or so, I’ve been listening to downloads from the many podcasts out there mainly via the iTunes Store where most good audio things live. Don’t know what a podcast is? Come on … think broadcast only scaled down, or narrowcasted to niche programs. So … there are some amazing programs out there amongst the truly awful, but that’s the price you pay for the freedom of the digital airwaves.

For a while now, I’ve been something of a fan of WNYC’s ecletic Radio Lab, a magazine type investigation on anything and everything that catches the fancy of the presenters. Not only are these wonderful stories and curiosities, but they are also produced to capitalise on the creative possibilities of digital sound. Go to and download a couple to listen on your iPod, or on your computer. Alternatively you could download and burn a whole lot to a CD, stick it in your stereo and enjoy hours of intriguing stuff. One of my favourites Detective Stories was recorded last September:

Forensics, archeology, genealogy, and genetics are devoted to figuring out what really happened. In this hour, we hear surprising stories of playing detective, and find that what really happened in the past is not always what you’d expect. We start at a trash dump in Egypt, where we find Jesus, Satan, sissies, and porn. Next, the mystery of how hundreds of old letters written to the same woman were discovered on the side of Route 101. And lastly, a blood sampling tour of Asia reveals a prolific baby-maker and a potential world conqueror.

How can you resist? Ah, but wait there’s more … tonight I discovered a new offering from another part of the podosphere, the American Theatre Wing’s podcasts on the marvellous iTunes U (iTunes University). The ATW is the founder of the Tony Awards. Now, you do know what the Tonys are, don’t you? This series of audio and video podcasts is a treasure trove just waiting to be downloaded, and includes interviews with theatre artists and creatives from the UK and the US. About time we got going on the same here.

In the meantime, you can either go directly to the ATW home page or to the iTunes store, and click the Podcast links. If you’re in the iTunes Store, just enter American Theatre Wing in the search box, and up will come a selection for your delectation. You then get to choose from a couple of series: Downstage Center (audio) or Working in the Theatre (video) Yummy!

PS. Did I mention this is all free?





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