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HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction & Arts Festival Returns To Kansas City June 8-11, 2017

Learn sfx and foley at HEAR Now

HEAR Now Festival celebrates audio stories in recorded and live performances by audiobook narrators and more. Learn Dramatic Podcasting too!

KANSAS CITY, MO, UNITED STATES, May 24, 2017 / -- HEAR Now: The Audio Fiction & Arts Festival June 8-11, 2017 For 5th annual gathering.

Singer Songwriter Kasey Lansdale's new podcast features horror tales.

Simon Jones brings new Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy to HEAR Now.

HEAR Now is a place where audiobook fans and narrators, radio play producers and actors, sound engineers and new technology all meet. This annual four–day "Audio Forum" blends audio fiction and story-telling with other disciplines to create an immersion experience in the audio arts. Honestly, you won’t believe your ears!

"It's the only festival of its kind in the U.S. dedicated to the art of recorded and live audio story-telling in all its many forms," according to Festival Director Cynthia Allen.

HEAR Now – an audio version of a film festival – celebrates contemporary audio story-telling across the entertainment industries, like animation and gaming, but most especially for audio podcasts, radio plays and audiobooks.

Offering a multi-faceted program showcasing the many forms of audio fiction and sound art story-telling HEAR Now is for fans and artists alike.

"Come educate your ears and your imagination with audio fiction programs that epitomize a tradition of technological innovation and craftsmanship," says Allen.

The 2017 Festival returns with INNOVATIONS at the Truman Auditorium of the Kansas City Public Library on Thursday, June 8th from 7:00pm – 8:30pm.

Host Angela Elam of public radio's New Letters on The Air and voice artist William Dufris, will help HEAR Now showcase and celebrate innovations in a variety of story-telling areas, including the use of language and story-telling styles, and the use of sound in new entertainment technologies, like 3-D and Virtual Reality.

Along with special guest Tony Winner Gareth Fry of Broadway's The Encounter, INNOVATIONS concludes with a performance of the Declaration of Independence inspired by the book Our Declaration: A Reading of the Declaration of Independence in Defense of Equality.

Featuring many of the Festival's celebrity voice artists, the HEAR Now cast will 'perform and present' America's founding text to showcase not only innovations in the use of language in crafting the Declaration, but also its continued relevance to contemporary social issues. This performance will reveal what democracy actually means and what it asks of us as citizens of the US.

Among the guest artists performing the Declaration will be award winning narrators and voice actors Simon Jones, Scott Brick, Robin Miles, Dion Graham, Julia Whelan, and PJ Ochlan.

WORKSHOP 101 & Panels, and Live Performances
The Festival also offers immersive hands-on training in audio drama production through its Dramatic Podcast 101 program, this year led by former NPR anchor Frank Stasio and playwright Howard Craft, and focused on creating new original short fiction written and produced by students and heard daily on-line.

Live performances and panels happen at the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza's Ballroom, the National World War I Museum, Prospero's Books, and All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church's Bragg Auditorium.

The NATF Playhouse, Friday, June 9th from 9:15am – 4:30pm, at the Cinemark Theatre, offers recorded listening of contemporary and award winning works, by artists from around the country and the world. The day ends with a retrospective of Jones's career as an audio actor, beginning with the first and original Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy and ending with new sonic treats about to complete that series.

Panels focused on dramatic podcasts run daily. Thursday night, June 8th, from 9:00pm to 10:00pm at the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza "The Best of Audio Fiction 2017" features Dr. Who and original new works like In The Embers. Friday, June 9th, from 9:00pm to 10:00pm creator Eric Martin and actor Scott Brick take you on a wild cowboy ride with Hoot Gibson, Stitcher Premium's wildly popular podcast featuring Andy Cohen.

A special panel featuring new podcasts from WONDERY bring singer song-writer Kasey Lansdale to the HEAR Now Saturday, June 10th from 11am -12:30pm at the Holiday Inn Country Club Plaza.

Daughter of famed author Joe R. Lansdale, Kasey tells her stories in song and as Dramatic Podcasts. Join her and producer / voice actor William Dufris as they feature the original audio play Blind Love written by Joe and Kasey, and featuring Kasey in the production along with her music.

1917, a new audio play at the National World War I museum on Saturday, June 10, 2017, from 1:00pm – 2:30pm, highlights events that led America to War I, and, tells the stories of the everyday individuals drawn into this battle, with recorded elements and live performances by guests artists like multi Audie-award winning narrator Scott Brick.

At AUDIO Tonight! on Saturday, June 10, at All Soul's Bragg Auditorium from 7:30pm – 9:30pm original audio sketches and plays from groups like WildClaw Theater of Chicago and VoiceScapes Audio Theatre of New York City; Missouri Master Story-teller and Kansas City resident Gladys Coggswell; original poetry from award winning Slam Poet Tony Brewer, with musical accompaniment by award winning improvisational Jazz artist Jason Wang (The Voice); and Binaural Shakespeare are all presented.

This four-day Festival offers a panoramic experience in all aspects of the art and craft of audio fiction and sound art storytelling.

"We welcome fans and producers alike," says NATF President Sue Zizza. "Our goal is to connect fans with narrators and performers they know and love as well as with new talent and authors being produced in the audio marketplace."

For more: or call (516) 658-0423. Visit: or on Facebook.

HEAR Now is funded in part by The Missouri Arts Council – a state agency; The Kansas City Neighborhood Tourist and Development Fund, and others.

Shelby Pierce
HEAR Now Festival
(617) 840-7210
email us here

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