Reinventing Radio. An Evening with Ira Glass
Ira Glass is the creator and host of This American Life, a weekly radio program on America's National Public Radio (NPR). Sydney Festival is proud to present Glass on his first visit and national tour to Australia, where this charismatic and much-admired radio producer, presenter and personality will talk about his program and how it's put together.
Based in Chicago, This American Life goes out to 500 stations with around 1.7 million listeners. The program has won all of America's major broadcasting awards and is also often the country's most popular podcasts, with around 650,000 people downloading each week. In 2011, ABC Radio National began broadcasting This American Life on Sunday evenings.
Glass has been there from the beginning in 1995. Each week, the just-less-than-one-hour show follows the same format. There's a theme to each episode and a variety of stories on that theme; mostly true stories of everyday people. This American Life has also fostered the careers of many writers, including David Sedaris and Mike Birbiglia (Sydney Festival 2011).
In Reinventing Radio, Glass talks about This American Life and what makes a compelling story; where they find the amazing stories for their show, how he and his staff are trying to push broadcast journalism to do things it doesn't usually do. As part of this, Glass mixes stories from the show, live onstage, combining his narration with pre-taped quotes and music, recreating the sound of the show as the audience watches. By playing clips from the show - funny, memorable, poignant - Glass gives an insight not only into their creation, but also into the show as a whole.
I'm Ira Glass. Stay with us.
Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass is part of Sydney Festival's series of talks, The Scope: Connecting Art & Ideas. January 11, Sydney Town Hall. Tickets on sale November 9. For full national dates, visit billions.com.au
For more on Ira Glass, check out Eliza Sarlos' guest post on our blog