What is VRT on the Air Presents?
The concept of black box theater has always enamored me. That all one needs to tell a story is a stage, actors, and an audience with a hungry imagination. I have always wanted to replicate that on a much larger scale, and so when I discovered audio dramas, it clicked. The audio drama medium allows us a blank canvas to tell any story that we want to tell. VRT on the Air Presents is a place to explore, discover, and create all the different types of stories that are out there. We are a place for dreamers.
We live in a time of intense media saturation, which has led to every story being viewed through franchises’ prisms. It’s so hard to watch anything new because there is so much choice that we continuously gravitate to the familiar and comfortable, yet we long for something new and exciting. I wanted to create a destination where you can discover genuinely unique and different stories. The one rule I have for all the writers that I work with is, “Write something you couldn’t put on anywhere else because you may not ever get this chance again.” Our stories are bound only by a commitment to the authenticity of the writer’s message. We will be telling stories of all genres and all perspectives.
We began this project in 2018 in Harlem with a pilot program of twelve writers and over thirty actors, with more than two-thirds being PoC, LGBTQI, Female, or Person with Disabilities. Our stories are not meant to be simply turned on and listened to, rather engrossed in and engaged with. Outside of our intros and outros, each tale will approach the format in a radically different way. Our goal is to redefine what is possible in audio drama with every story we produce while also defining best theater practices for our artists and audiences.
To that end, we are providing two different ways to experience our theater. The first is to join us for our monthly premiere, which is also a great way to support our mission monetarily. Our monthly premieres are a communal live stream experience followed by an Instagram Live Talkback between the show’s writer and the Artistic Director. Our immersive premieres are a great way to experience the performance alongside the community and with the creators. Alternatively, you can fall in love with our newest story when it goes live on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Amazon Music, or Spotify the morning following every premiere. Each episode can be listened to in four parts, with short recaps in-between to catch you up to where you left off.
Regardless of how you listen to “VRT on the Air Presents”, the only thing we ask is that you prepare yourself to be swept away to a whole new world. We hope you enjoy it.