FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vancouver, B.C. (January 3, 2022)

Sound the Alarm: Music/Theatre Uses Podcast Platform to Alert Audiences to Social and Environmental Challenges



This past November
Sound the Alarm: Music/Theatre released a newly imagined hybrid podcast series


Sound the Alarm:  Theatre for the Ears

A Series of Immersive Audio-Dramas & Conversations


NOV 3:  Starman by Pippa Mackie
+ conversation episodes (Nov 10, 17)

DEC 1:  The Eternal Sailor by Derek Chan
+ conversation episodes (Dec 8, 15)


and next up


JAN 5:  Lost Soul Animal Rescue, by Gary Mok
+ conversation episodes (Jan 12, 19)


see full descriptions and artistic teams further below

And we have received international acclaim

Nominated for:
BEST PODCAST
BEST WRITING (Starman)
BEST PERFORMANCE (Starman)


REVIEW:
"The audio-drama (STARMAN) covers over 200 days of Daryl/Starman’s self-imposed exile and as the protagonist morphs into a different character(s) entirely, so too the writing comes to inhabit an increasingly darker space. Mackie handles this transition with assurance showing the volatile highs and depressive lows of such a situation with economy and wit. This is aided by a first class performance of a splintering ego from Kayvon Khoshkam."

2nd from Bottom (UK)


Each immersive audio episode is an independent story told through the lens of three Canadian playwrights and are designed to 'sound an alarm' on various social and environmental issues.

Sound the Alarm: Music/Theatre brought together a formidable artistic team to create this series which leans into the resurgent popularity of audio-dramas, thanks in large part to podcasts.  “We collaborated with diverse artists and those directly affected by the issues, and by understanding and relaying their stories through Theatre for the Ears, we believe we will help generate thought and conversation,” said Sound the Alarm Artistic Director, Alan Corbishley.

Of the three audio-dramas , the first is “Starman” - a dark comedy by Vancouver artist Pippa Mackie.  As if the audience is listening in on his life, Daryl (aka “Starman”) takes us on a journey into a black hole of self-exile and alienation and realizes he may need to confront a part of himself he never knew existed.  Pippa Mackie, who is an award-winning playwright, actor, producer, and director, brings her varied and accomplished television and theatre experience and transforms this piece into one that aims to change the way listeners think about mental health and cancel culture. “I was particularly inspired by the galactic event of black holes swallowing stars and how these stars will suddenly and without ceremony, disappear. This phenomenon led me to think about loneliness and the concept of our digital selves versus our physical presence. I wanted to personify a star and follow its journey from sparkling to swallowing. ‘Starman’ aims to explore what happens when, instead of adapting and shifting, we retreat and hide,” said Mackie.  This episode is accompanied by two conversational episodes, both hosted by Alan Corbishley.  Each episode takes on a slightly different focus; the first explores the episode artistically with writer Pippa Mackie and with the help of registered counsellor Ashley Greensmyth, we explore the themes of mental health.  The second episode invites the entire male artistic team, along with registered counsellor Matt McLean, to discuss mental health through a male lens.

Next up, is “The Eternal Sailor” written by Derek Chan which launched December 1.  In this marine odyssey, our protagonist Jacy (them/them) wakes up from a concussion coma suffered during a 2020 Hong Kong protest crackdown.  Disoriented by the many years past, environmental chaos, a new viral threat, and a new regime, Jacy sets off to track down their beloved partner Alexis (they/them).  With nothing more than a tape recorder and a small boat, Jacy must find their way from Hong Kong to Vancouver.  Derek Chan -- a playwright, director, performer, translator, and producer – lends his personal experience of growing up in colonial Hong Kong and living in Vancouver to the story and calls out our need to conserve our environment and to consider the fragility of democracy.  Due to the political sensitivity of this episode, much of our artistic team has chosen to remain anonymous.   This episode is accompanied with two conversations with Alan Corbishley, Derek Chan, and Director 'Lok Yu', who are joined by Dr. Derek Turner to discuss the environmental themes, and with guest Dr. Miu Chung Yan to help us contextualize the complexities of Hong Kong.

Finally, “Lost Soul Animal Rescue” written by Gary Mok, appeals to audiences young and old and is released January 5.  This unique and short journey is centered around Chinese ghost stories and the cultural virtue of filial piety (duty to ancestors).  Instead of making family the centre of the audio-drama, Gary creatively makes our wildlife the ghosts which helps us question our duty to nature and to the wellbeing of wildlife.  With award winning film director Karen Lam at the helm, this episode experiments with binaural sound design where the listener plays the lead character - a Park Ranger, who is tasked to help recently lost animals find their way.  This episode is accompanied by two conversational episodes with host Alan Corbishley;  the first features a unique guest, professional animal communicator Tracy Pierce, and actor Elfina Luk (plays Dawn) who curiously enough also shares this powerful talent with animals.  The second episode will feature writer Gary Mok, director Karen Lam and guest Dr. Alison Bailey who will help us explore the virtue of filial piety.


 “As always, Sound the Alarm:  Music/Theatre is privileged to be able to use our platform, in this case an audio-drama podcast, to 'sound an alarm' on global concerns.  Hopefully we can all take a moment to listen, and then, play our parts in helping to better the world”  said Corbishley.

For more information:
Sound the Alarm:  Theatre for the Ears

Theatre for the Ears artistic teams (see below as well)

About Sound the Alarm: Music/Theatre


Interviews are available by contacting 
Sarah Belleville
[email protected]

Follow Us

@soundthealarmmt

Series Team

Alan
Corbishley

Creative Director

Joanna
Garfinkel

Dramaturg

Evan
Berndt

Audio Director/Engineer

Episode By Pippa Mackie:
Starman

Taking inspiration from the galactic event of blackholes swallowing stars, Starman is a dark comedy about a 42-year-old man who has locked himself in his room for the rest of his life. Through his very unpopular podcast - Daryl (aka Starman) will take his internet “friends” on a journey into his chosen exile which may lead him to confront a part of himself he never knew existed.

Alarm:  mental health and social alienation

Episodes:
1:  STARMAN (now available)

2:  STARMAN Conversation: with Pippa Mackie and registered counsellor Ashley Greensmyth (available now)

3:  STARMAN Conversation:  with Kayvon Khoshkam (Starman), Victor Dolhai (ME.Blackhole), Brent Hirose (Director), and registered counsellor Matt McLean.  (out Nov 17)

Listen to Episodes

Starman Artistic Team

Pippa
Mackie

Playwright/Script Writer

Brent
Hirose

Episode Director

Kayvon Khoshkam

Actor:  Starman

Victor 
Dolhai

Actor:  Me

Malcolm
Dow

Sound Design

Matt
McLean

Registered Counsellor (conversation episode)

Ashley Greensmyth

Registered Counsellor (conversation episode)

Episode By Derek Chan:  
The Eternal Sailor

Waking up from a concussion coma suffered during a 2020 pro-democracy protest crackdown in Hong Kong, our protagonist goes on an Odyssey to track down their beloved partner in Hong Kong and Vancouver. Using audio ship log/field recording as the framing device, the listener sets off on a marine epic between various Vancouver and Hong Kong neighborhoods across 2019 and 2047.

Alarm:  conservation of our waterways and the fragility of democracy

Episodes  
December 1, 2021 + conversations

The Eternal Sailor Artistic Team

Please note:
Due to the subject matter and the 'alarm being sounded' around the fragility of democracy in Hong Kong, some of our team are choosing to use pseudonym's and anonymous images to represent them.

Derek
Chan

Playwright/Script

'Lok
Yu'

Episode Director

Stefan
Smulovitz

Sound/Music Design

'Nao
Uemura'

Actor:  Jacy

'P.
Trinh'

Actor:  Alexis

'Passer
Montanus'

Actor:  Sparrow

'Harmony
Sky'

Actor:  EMT

'Fala
Chen'

Actor:  Cantonese Jacy

Episode By Gary Mok  
Lost Soul Animal Rescue

This episode is for young audiences and is centred around the tradition of Chinese ghost stories which normally focus on filial piety (duty to your ancestors). In this particular creation, Gary has added a twist on that concept by using animal “ghosts” to question our duty to nature instead. 

Alarm:  environmental and wildlife conservation

Episodes:
January 5, 2022 + conversations

Lost Soul Animal Rescue
Artistic Team

Gary
Mok

Script and Story Creator

Karen
Lam

Episode Director

Elfina
Luk

Actor:  Dawn

Kenneth
Tynan

Actor:  Crow

Ingrid
Nilson

Actor:  Bear & Lynx

Aleksandar Zecevic

Sound Design/Music/Editing

We would like to thank our supporters! 

It is with great honour that we have received funding support from the following organizations.

CASC Grant

Community Gaming

Canada Council for the Arts