Audio Under the Stars

a summer-long audio festival

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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)



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

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


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)

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

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

That’s a Wrap for 2016


It was another incredible summer for Audio Under the Stars. Four shows, (mostly) great weather, and so many awesome folks! We had a blast sharing stories with you under the stars, and we couldn’t have done it with you. Thank you for coming, and stay tuned for details on next season’s lineup!

In the meantime, you can listen to our selection of local stories on our SoundCloud page.

Destination Unknown: Trips, Travels & Unexpected Journeys

Join us for stories of travel and transformation. We’ll explore sea voyages, hidden tunnels, big dreams, and what it means to leave it all behind.

Friday, June 17, 8-10 pm (Rain date: Saturday, June 25)

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University

1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705

RSVP to the Facebook event here.

For the latest updates, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


New Season Starts May 27

Bad Advice & Second Chances

Friday, May 27, 2016 8-10 p.m.

Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University
1317 W Pettigrew St, Durham, NC 27705

RSVP to the Facebook event here.


For the latest updates, be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

2016 Schedule

We’re thrilled to announce our third season of Audio Under The Stars, which will start in May and run through August at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke. Based on feedback from you, we’re scrapping the idea of an indoor backup venue and instead planning rain dates for each of our shows.

Here’s what we’ve got planned:

May 27 – Bad Advice & Second Chances
(rain date June 3)
June 17 – Destination Unknown: trips, travels and unexpected journeys
(rain date June 25)
July 22 – Danger: tales of mischief and misfortune
(rain date July 29)
August 26 – Work It: stories of labor and leisure
(rain date September 2)

As always, we look to you to share your stories and the work of other talented radio-makers. Please send us your submissions:

2016 Call for Stories

Audio Under the Stars is back! North Carolina’s favorite audio garden party is gearing up for its third season, and we’re looking for your stories. Here are our themes for 2016:

Destination Unknown: trips, travels, and unexpected journeys
Tell us of a time when you went in search of something: a new place, a lost love, a chance at following a dream. Or when you set out just for fun- Where did the wanderlust take you and who did you meet along the way? We want stories of those eager for change and those longing for what’s left behind.

Danger: tales of mischief and misfortune
We’re looking for stories with an element of danger, either real or imagined. A lurking threat, a prank gone wrong, bullets dodged or imminent disaster. These could be humorous or serious; ideally stories will have a bit of each.

Work it: stories of labor and leisure
Drudgery or dream job- how do you make your money? What’s the oddest job you’ve ever taken? What would push you to walk away? At the end of the day, how do you put the world of work behind you? We’re looking for stories about any kind of work and play.

We need your help to find the best of the best. Use this form to submit a story for consideration— submit as many stories as you’d like! The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 29, 2016.

The ideal pieces are short and sweet, 2-8 minutes. We’ll occasionally consider pieces as long as 15 minutes, but nothing longer.

We love sound-rich stories that make us think, make us laugh, and take us to places near and far. We especially love pieces based in Durham, in North Carolina, or made by local radio producers. Share your work or work you find compelling made by someone else. We want to hear it all, even if it’s not a perfect fit for the theme. Got questions? Email us at


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