Dayton Writers Movement Brings Modern Fantasy to Dramatic Audio Production
Dayton Writers Movement (DWM), known for their first audio drama Unwritten and now The Hidden People returns May 14th with season 2 of its fiction podcast. Airing through all major podcast outlets across the globe, The Hidden People breathes life into a fantasy for the modern era with a cast of more than 30 acclaimed Miami Valley voice performers and a score by award-winning composer Katharine Seaton.
The Hidden People is an ongoing audio drama or fiction podcast that has been serving up its epic tale through 30-minute episodes. With 22 episodes from season 1, the show has hit over 200,000 downloads across 100+ countries. The Hidden People adds to its dramatic and emotional story with comedy, action, and fantastical characters with 22 more episodes beginning May 14th and releasing bi-weekly throughout 2020.
DWM is proud to call both Dayton and Ohio the home of its audio drama with its core writers having deep connections in Dayton, Ohio—including five who graduated from the University of Dayton. Dayton is a town that celebrates acting and theater, and we are proud to celebrate our performers as well. The Hidden People is performed by 30+ talented Ohio actors—who have performed with theater groups including Human Race Theatre Company, Magnolia Theatre Company, Dayton Playhouse, Springboro Community Theatre, and more.
In addition to the actors, DWM is honored to have England-based Katharine Seaton as the composer and sound designer of The Hidden People. Recently, she has joined forces with others of The Women Composers Collective to raise awareness and money for domestic abuse victims who find themselves trapped in unsafe homes now that we are under the COVID-19 lockdown.
The group of womxn composers, music producers, song writers, sound designers and audio engineers who make up the Women Composers Collective has crafted and is releasing an album called Her Indoors. It will raise money for domestic abuse victims in the UK.
Whether in Dayton, London or any other city across the globe, this issue is important to DWM, and it is honored to have music from The Hidden People represented in and raising money for a worthy cause. For just a few dollars, an album of 48 songs is currently available for pre-order: http://womencomposerscollective.bandcamp.com/album/her-indoors
What is Dayton Writers Movement?
Dayton Writers Movement, or DWM, is a production company dedicated to bringing opportunities that showcase the artistic talent of Dayton, Ohio. Our mission is to produce well-written creative content that is engaging to audiences and encourages conversations around social change.
“Dayton Writers Movement was formed to give a platform to the voices of local artists,” said DWM co-founder, Chris Burnside. “So many brilliant stories are currently hiding in desk drawers and stagnating on hard drives, unable to reach any audience beyond their authors’ loved ones. DWM produces these important stories so they can reach audiences ranging from local theater-goers to international podcast junkies.”
With the inaugural creative piece, DWM formed to ensure the talent of emerging writers had a medium through which to be produced. Bringing it to life are 30+ local actors and actresses vocally performing a dramatic, serialized podcast that will be distributed internationally.
The latest episode of The Hidden People introduces us to the monstrous Black Annis. Alexa Fett Fisher wrote another wonderful script, this time featuring the aforementioned witch as well as great scenes for Liliana (Darlene Spencer) and the Conley police chief (Chatam Miracle).
Danielle Gunther brought Black Annis to life with her intense and terrifying vocal performance. We used almost none of the Hidden People “accent” (the vocal process used for those who have lived in the Hidden world) because her performance was already so rich and evocative. When I researched Black Annis many years ago, I could hear her scratchy, creepy voice in my mind. I’m so happy that Danielle was able to completely exceed my expectations for how this unique character would sound. Katharine Seaton – Music‘s sound and music add even more life to the scene. Let’s just say that we loved Black Annis so much that she will be back.
The next episode finds all the characters following their respective quests and leads. Some will walk right into danger, while others will be mysteriously pushed away from it. The action intensifies. We’re building toward an epic season finale in episode twenty-two. Stay with us. Bring your friends.
3 weeks ago, we released Episode 13 “All in Favor?”
This episode of The Hidden People further explores the world that exists just out of our sight. Megan Burnside wrote a well-paced script that deftly mixes important information with genuinely entertaining scenes. This episode was important to me because I like to know the rules of fantasy stories. What exactly can magic do and not do? Who are the villains, and what are their strengths and weaknesses? While we leave a healthy amount of mystery surrounding the Hidden People and their world, we want to make sure the audience understands the way the mechanics work. This also pays off many curious things throughout the show, as Megan had the idea to go back through everything from the church bell to the fence post to the birthday cake.
In our next episode, we delve further into the Hidden world and meet the fabled Black Annis. Trust me that things are going to get much, much stranger.
– Chris Burnside
We’re back! Episode 12 of The Hidden People firmly establishes the prior eleven episodes as the first act of a much larger creepy modern fantasy. We answer many questions here in order to propel the story forward, but don’t assume this means we don’t have more mysteries and surprises for you. Cuz we have many, many more. But now that you know who the Hidden People are, you know just how scared you need to be when you hear them arrive.
This week, we really get to meet Shaylee (who she actually is) for the first time. And that puts Xander Hildenbrandt in the spotlight. Xander’s talents for performance, character-building, and storytelling are immeasurable and incomparable. She plays so many different versions of Shaylee in the show (we’ve only scratched the surface), and she makes each one unique. I’m so thankful to work with her (and to Jordan for basically casting her months before we wrote any scripts or held auditions).
We also welcome Aaron Brewer to the cast as Dane. Aaron’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he’s so much fun to have at the table. We have many more snarky conversations between Dane and Shaylee/Mackenna to come.
We’re back in two weeks and every two weeks after that. This season is going to get big and explosive. And I mean that rather literally.
So, be sure to listen, subscribe and share with your friends. Also, send us your feedback and let us know what you think!
– Chris Burnside
We’ve finally reached the big mid-season finale of The Hidden People. And as promised, it changes everything. This show was never really a murder mystery. Everything until now has just been the first act of a much bigger creepy modern fantasy. From here on out, the show will be pushing into wild and unexpected places.
I guarantee that the next episode when the show returns from a short mid-season break will have TONS of answers. We will learn exactly who the killer is, where she comes from, and why she looks like THAT. We will learn who Shaylee is and what she’s up to. And we’ll learn why some of the characters have weird voices. We’re not just trying to be cool and edgy–we have actual, story-related reasoning.
Katharine Seaton – Music takes center stage in this episode with sound design and music that is truly breathtaking. This episode wouldn’t have anywhere near the impact it does if we just used stock sounds and royalty free music like many shows do. Katharine elevates every second of the show with her brilliant and unique work. That fight scene…wow!!!
The Hidden People will be back for the second half of season one very soon. In the meantime, subscribe on Patreon for bonus content, including our first bonus episode. https://www.patreon.com/hiddenpeoplepodcast
– Chris Burnside
Episode ten of The Hidden People brings us to the brink of many explosive revelations. The next episode, our mid-season finale, will completely change the show in terms of pace (it’s faster), excitement (it’s greater), action (it’s louder), and even genre (it’s magical-er).
This episode features so many scenes I was thrilled to write and direct. Jordan Lopez and Xander Hildenbrandt on the water tower remains one of my most favorite moments. Luna Madison and Stephen Gogol arguing about Mackenna shows that their range goes far beyond comedy, and Stephen Kallenberg and Emily Kallenberg gave us some really special foley work.
Who is the killer? Who is the next target? Who will survive? Get ready. The next episode is the game-changer.
Make sure to join us at https://www.patreon.com/hiddenpeoplepodcast to hear the first bonus episode of The Hidden People, exclusively available to supporters.
– Chris Burnside
Episode nine of The Hidden People is the first of our three-episode midseason event. We begin the discoveries and revelations by following three groups of characters. I love to see the different dynamics across our different groups, and we have such entertaining interactions between all of the performers in this episode. Jordan Lopez, Xander Hildenbrandt, Stephen Kallenberg, Emily Kallenberg, Norb Wessels, Luna Madison, and Stephen Gogol are a joy to write for and direct. And let’s not forget Sean Gunther, our enigmatic Storyteller who provides context for the action as well as some sinister commentary. You creep us all out, Sean.
I’m back behind the keyboard for this episode and the next few. Writing this show, with this team of producers and performers, rarely feels like work. As soon as I finish a script, I just want to dive into the next one. Hopefully you find episodes nine through twelve as engaging to hear as they were to write.
The next few episodes will change everything you know about The Hidden People in dramatic and explosive fashion. In many ways, the first eleven episodes are just the very beginning of the story. Stay with us. This is going to be big.
And remember, nothing’s as it seems.
– Chris Burnside
This past Thursday, episode 8 “Double Rainbow” of The Hidden People released. We get to hear more of the aftermath of losing one’s parents through Thomas’s experience. This is important to Dayton Writers Movement, as multiple producers have lost parents far too early in their lives. Alexa Fett Fisher gave us all a piece of her soul with this script, and the honesty and power of the emotion moves me each time I read and hear it.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have Jordan Lopez working through the baking of a cake, which is one of the funniest moments yet on the show.
Next week begins our three-part midseason event. The murderer of the Thornes will be exposed. The characters will face mortal danger. Deceptions and lies will be laid bare. And everything. Will. Change. No, seriously; that isn’t just ad copy. You might think you know what this show is about at this point. But nothing’s as it seems.
Join us at patreon.com/hiddenpeoplepodcast for behind the scenes bonuses, including the full recipe for Robert Thorne’s famous birthday cake.