The annual HEAR Now audio festival is happening now and runs through the weekend. Its organizers are conducting the festival as an online event this year, and they have snagged Ed Asner as a headliner.
“In an effort to overwhelm the creative stifling associated with coast-to-coast stay-at-home orders, ‘HEAR Now Online’ will include audio arts luminaries teaching face-to-face audio storytelling, audiobook narration and audio production workshops while spotlighting and awarding accolades on some of the best audio storytelling performers in the audio arts industry,” they stated in an announcement.
Asner will be the guest on Saturday at 1 p.m. (Central time) for a live video session called “Ask Ed,” in which he’ll answer questions submitted by attendees earlier. In addition to his well-known television work, Asner has done voice work on “a plethora of audio plays, animated series and feature animated films.”
The organizers at the National Audio Theatre Festivals call the annual event “the audio equivalent of a film festival for contemporary audio storytelling in all its forms: live and scripted solo performances; multi-voiced, classic radio drama; experimental narrative; and much more.” It is normally held in theaters and other listening venues in Kansas City.
Also on the agenda: Celebrating Mark Twain features the life and words of the great author brought to life by voiceover artists). Podcast Palooza features the premiere of “Debs in Canton” starring Phil Proctor as Eugene V. Debs. And “Annihilators Of Distance” is a re-streaming of the audio play about Nicolai Tesla and Mark Twain that originally aired during last fall’s AES show.
Many of the online events are free; some with limited access involve a nominal fee. Info is at hearnowfestival.org.