Audio Under the Stars

a summer-long audio festival

Plan B: Stories of Life’s Unexpected Twists on Friday, October 9

Audio Under the Stars is proud to present our virtual 2020 show: Plan B: Stories of Life’s Unexpected Twists on Friday, October 9, 2020. The event will take place virtually and pre-registration is required. As always, our shows are free and open to the public. Once you complete the free registration, we will send you a Zoom invitation and password.

Plan B: Stories of Life’s Unexpected Twists
Friday, October 9, 2020
8:00 PM Eastern Daylight Time
Register here: http://bit.ly/AUTSplanB

AUTS OCT 2020

The mission of Audio Under the Stars is to create community around audio storytelling. Learn more about Audio Under the Stars here.

This project was supported by the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

DAC Logo No Background

2020 Season Update

Given all that’s happened since March and all the uncertainty about the coming months, we’ve come to the conclusion that it’s not feasible to host our regular in-person shows at the Center for Documentary Studies in Durham this summer. We’re setting aside the three themes we planned to feature this year and hope to revisit them next season.  Thank you to all who submitted stories- the depth and breadth of your work was truly impressive.

Despite everything, we don’t want the season to pass by without some chance at listening together in community, even if we’re apart. We’re working to figure out options for an online listening event later this year. Check back for updates or follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

2020 Call for Stories

 

Audio Under the Stars, North Carolina’s summer-long outdoor audio festival, is looking for pitches and stories for our 2020 season. Launched in 2014, Audio Under the Stars returns for its seventh season in 2020.

The deadline for submissions is midnight (EST) on Saturday, February 29.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

We are looking for true stories that focus on human relationships, with strong characters, a narrative arc, and a clear sense of what’s at stake. We do not accept recordings of live storytelling, interviews or chat-casts, or audio fiction. You can listen to a selection of stories from past shows here.

We are happy to consider story pitches (an idea for a story, not yet produced), works in progress, and already produced pieces. You can submit a story based on our 2020 themes or submit to our miscellanea category. Final stories can run between 4-15 minutes. 

Who should submit stories?

Producers should have prior experience with field recording, interviewing, script writing, and audio editing.

We are especially interested in working with producers of color and people whose voices are not usually represented in public media. 

Is there funding for producing a story?

Yes. All story pitches and stories submitted by producers will be considered for funding thanks to a grant from the Durham Arts Council. 

What is the timeline for producing a story?

The deadline for submissions is midnight (EST) on Saturday, February 29.

If your pitch/work in progress is selected, we will work with you to develop and produce your story during March and April. Your deadline for completing your story will be at the end of May. If you are submitting a finished story, we may ask for changes in order for your story to be included in the 2020 season. Due to grant reporting and season planning requirements, the production timeline and final deadline are not negotiable. Your story will air in our summer 2020 season, and then you are welcome to pitch it elsewhere.

What’s in it for me?

In addition to a modest honorarium, producers will get one-on-one consulting throughout the editing process this spring. We have years of experience in audio editing and we can help bring your story idea to life, or help make your work in progress stronger. 

Your story will then be played to our enthusiastic audience (an average event draws 400-500 people) and showcased on our Soundcloud page. This is a unique opportunity to create a work with the Audio Under the Stars team and have your story presented at our one-of-a-kind event series.

You’ll also have a completed piece you are welcome to pitch elsewhere once our season ends.

Themes for the 2020 Season of Audio Under the Stars

Kith and Kin

From the nuclear household to the tales of your ancestors, we’re looking for family stories of all kinds. We want to hear about found families, cherished bonds, dysfunctional dynamics, the family moments you treasure and the ones you can’t wait to leave behind. What does it mean to form a family? Or leave one? How do we navigate the complicated relationships that help shape who we are?

Fight or Flight: Stories of Resistance and Escape

We’re looking for stories about people getting through tough times: making a stand, taking a punch, overcoming hardship, overthrowing a government. Or the flipside: how to escape, literally or figuratively, including stories about taking a break, dodging a bullet, slipping away, finding refuge or what it means to get free. Stories that deal with sub-themes of air, travel, and/or the animal kingdom also welcome.

Outsiders

Think city dwellers escaping to the wilderness. Displaced wildlife wandering into urban settings. People on the move across the planet, either by choice or circumstance. We’re looking for stories that tackle all aspects of the great outdoors, from animal encounters to environmental advocacy. How do we fit into the natural world? How do we adapt to a planet that’s changing?

Miscellanea

Got a great story or pitch that doesn’t fit the above themes that you think we need to hear? Send it along and we’ll consider it for future AUTS shows.

Ready to pitch?

Share your story idea, work in progress, or produced story by answering a few simple questions here: bit.ly/AUTS2020. Pitch as many stories as you’d like, no later than midnight (EST) on Saturday, February 29. 

Questions? 

We’d love to help! Email us at audiounderthestars@gmail.com. 

About Audio Under the Stars

The mission of Audio Under the Stars is to create community around audio storytelling through producing, curating, and sharing audio stories. Audio Under the Stars is a summer-long audio festival based in Durham, N.C. We collect fascinating stories from all over —with a focus on local flavor—and each month during the summer we invite you to our garden to lean back and listen. Audio Under the Stars features the kind of audio stories you might hear on podcasts or public radio. We bring the listening experience out of your earbuds and into the outdoors, where audience members can share each twist, turn, tragedy or triumph together. Hosted in the garden at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, Audio Under the Stars is a one-of-a-kind experience.

Audio Under the Stars is the creation of Jenny March and Elizabeth Friend, made possible with the help of many volunteers. It began as a venue to showcase local audio documentary work, and has grown to include radio-makers from around the world.

2019 Season Dates and Themes

Join us for our 2019 season!

All shows are 8 p.m.-10 p.m. on the lawn at the Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705

Night and Day

The world seems different once the sun goes down. Join us at twilight on the summer solstice for an evening of stories about circadian rhythms, midnight adventures, metaphorical darkness and literal sunlight.

Friday, June 21 (Rain date: July 5)

Super/Natural: Stories of Science and the Unknown

From medicine to mysticism, we share stories that explore the boundaries of what we know about the world around us. Expect tales of weird science, dramatic breakthroughs, the power of belief and the allure of the unknown.

Friday, July 26 (Rain date: August 2)

Appetites and Desires

We explore how our needs, both physical and emotional, bring us together and, at times, pit us against each other. Join us for an evening of delicious stories about food, hunger, ambition, and passion.

Postponed until August 30


This project was supported by the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

This project was also supported by Durham 150, celebrating 150 years of Durham and innovation.

DAC Logo woodblock (1) NCAC50_Logo_Large_0

WKy54h_g

2019 Call for Stories

Audio Under the Stars, Durham’s summer-long outdoor audio festival, is looking for story pitches and stories for the 2019 season. Submit as many stories as you’d like. The deadline for submissions is midnight on Thursday, February 28.

All story pitches and stories submitted by North Carolina producers will be considered for funding thanks to a grant from the Durham Arts Council. If your pitch is selected, we will work with producers to develop their stories during March and April. The deadline for completing these stories will be at the end of May.

What kind of stories are you looking for?

We’re looking for true stories that focus on human relationships with strong characters, a narrative arc, and a clear sense of what’s at stake. Stories can run between 4-12 minutes. We are happy to consider both story pitches (an idea for a story, not yet produced) and already produced pieces. You can submit a story based on our 2019 themes or submit to our miscellanea category.

Ready to pitch?

You can share your story idea or produced story by answering a few simple questions on this form.

The deadline to submit is midnight on Thursday, February 28. Pitch as many stories as you’d like!

Questions? Email us at audiounderthestars@gmail.com.

Here are our themes:

Night and Day
The world seems different once the sun goes down. We’re looking for stories that highlight that contrast, either literally or figuratively. Think lunar cycles, circadian rhythms, morning routines, midnight adventures. From metaphorical darkness to actual sunlight, we want to hear about how time of day affects mood and meaning.

Super/Natural: Stories of Science and the Unknown
From medicine to mysticism, we’re looking for stories that explore the boundaries of what we know about the world around us. Tales of weird science, dramatic breakthroughs, surprising moments from history, and human connections made possible through science are all welcome, as are stories about mysteries, exploration, and the supernatural.

Appetites and Desires
How do our needs, both physical and emotional, bring us together? When do they pit people against others vying for the same resources? We’re looking for stories on food, hunger, ambition, and passion on a personal scale, and as part of larger systems.

Miscellanea
Got a great story or pitch that doesn’t fit the above themes that you think we need to hear? Send it along and we’ll consider it for future AUTS shows.

This project was supported by the Durham Arts Council’s Annual Arts Fund and the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural & Cultural Resources.

 

DAC Logo woodblock (1) NCAC50_Logo_Large_0

2018 Season Dates & Themes

All shows are 8pm-10pm on the lawn at the Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, 27705

Connections: Lost and Found

Friday, May 25 (Rain date: Friday, June 1)

 

Awkward

Friday, July 27 (Rain date: Friday, August 3)

 

Superstars: Five Years of Favorites

Friday, August 24 (Rain date: Friday, August 31)

We’ll see you on the lawn! As always, send your questions and comments to audiounderthestars@gmail.com

Call for Pitches: Local Stories for Audio Under the Stars

Audio Under the Stars, Durham’s summer-long outdoor audio festival, is looking to commission compelling local audio stories. If your pitch is selected, we will work with you to develop your story idea or pitch into a produced audio story that will be played at Audio Under the Stars in the 2018 season. Thanks to a grant, we can offer producers $200 upon completion of the story.

What does local mean?

Local, to us, means showcasing the work of producers who live in North Carolina, whether or not your story takes place here. We are always interested in stories about the South that show the richness and complexity of the region. We would especially like to hear the work and the voices of people who are often under-represented in public radio.

Local stories have always been a priority in past seasons, and are among our most popular pieces. You can listen to three examples here:

On the Bus

Pod of Safety

Simple Dreams

Each story hinges on the personal connections between the main characters, and each brings the listener into a world they might not otherwise ever know.

What kind of story ideas are you looking for?

We’re looking for true Southern stories that focus on human relationships, with strong characters, a narrative arc, and a clear sense of what’s at stake. Stories can run between 4-12 minutes. We are happy to consider both pitches and pre-produced pieces.

Ready to pitch?

Pitch us with ideas no later than midnight on Friday, December 22. We will work with producers to develop their stories during January and February. The deadline for completing stories will be at the end of March.

You can share your story concept by answering a few simple questions on this webform.

“Celestial Storytime for Adults”

Audio Under the Stars co-founders Jenny March and Elizabeth Friend sat down with Anita Rao on WUNC’s The State of Things to talk about how AUTS began and where it’s headed (hint: we want be an incubator for local and regional audio story production.)

We were joined by audio producer Trish Tolbert, who shared her experience crafting a piece and hearing it played at AUTS.

Hear the full interview (16 minutes) here.

Listen to Trish’s story, Simple Dreams:

Simple Dreams from Center for Documentary Studies on Vimeo.

Metamorphosis: Stories of Transformation and Change

AUTS_Metamorphosis

Join us for the first show of our 2017 season!

Metamorphosis: Tales of Transformation and Change
Friday, May 26 (Rain date: Friday, June 2)
8-10 p.m.
Center for Documentary Studies, 1317 West Pettigrew Street, Durham
Facebook Event Page

Guests are invited to bring blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics. Food and beverages will also be available on-site for purchase.
In case of rain, shows will happen on the stated rain date. Please check our Facebook page for real time updates on weather.

Announcing the 2017 season

It’s hard to believe it’s almost time for our fourth season of Audio Under the Stars. We’re back in 2017 with stories of transformation, life and death, deception, and wildness. Join us! All shows run 8-10 pm. and are at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, located at 1317 W. Pettigrew Street, Durham, NC.

Audio Under the Stars presents

Metamorphosis: Stories of Transformation and Change
Friday, May 26 (Rain date: Friday, June 2)

Skin and Bones: Life, Death, and Everything in Between
Friday, June 23 (Rain date: Friday, July 7)

Deception
Friday, July 28 (Rain date: Friday, August 4)

Wild
Friday, August 25 (Rain date: Friday, September 1)

« Older posts