(aka: State of the Re:Union’s Secret Recipe for Serious Place-based Storytelling… in Practically No Time!)
State of the Re:Union takes listeners to one place in America at a time, conveying a strong sense of place through great storytelling—with limited time and resources. Host Al Letson and producers Tina Antolini and Laura Starecheski reveal SOTRU’s secret recipe for how to arrive in an unfamiliar place, stay for 5-7 days and leave with a whole hour’s worth of sound-rich, scene-based radio stories.
Al Letson is a poet, playwright and host of State of the Re:Union. He has received national recognition and built a devoted fan base through his interdisciplinary work. After winning the Public Radio Talent Quest in 2008, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting awarded Letson one of the largest public radio grants ever given to a single project to create a full season of shows.
Tina Antolini has produced stories on everything from the sex lives of lobsters to Iraqi religious minorities to a secret bunker in the woods of New England that houses an archive of East German films. She joined State of the Re:Union in 2009 after several years working as a daily news reporter and host, and is now the program's senior radio producer. Antolini has won national awards for SOTRU's hour on gay Civil Rights era pacifist Bayard Rustin and for her series documenting the transgender community in western Massachusetts.
Before joining the State of the Re:Union staff, Laura Starecheski wrangled stories in the wild west of public radio freelancing. In 2010, she covered immigrant communities and mental health for The World and Latino USA as a National Health Journalism Fellow at the USC Annenberg School. She won a Third Coast Silver Award for Goat on a Cow, which aired on WNYC’s Radiolab in 2006. Starecheski got her start in radio learning from the incredible team at WNYC’s (now-defunct) The Next Big Thing.
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