On July 18th we released the first two episodes of Playlist Presents: a podcast that looks behind the scenes of the Minnesota performing arts community. Our first installment features the Ordway and their production of 42nd Street. This six episode mini-series is being released over the course of the show’s run. It features cast members, dancers, and artistic staff of the production discussing the work and how the Ordway has reimagined it for a modern era, hosted by the Ordway’s Director of Education and Producing Associate, Kelli Foster Warder. 

The Bazzness breeds an idea

Last year we released season 1 of The Bazzness - conversations between local performers and host-slash-creator Sam Landman. The Bazzness was extremely well received and in late Jan 2019 Sam, myself, and our audio engineer Brian Lenz got together and brainstormed how else we could support the community with podcasts. 

Serendipity has a way of providing what is needed and so out of the blue we were contacted in early summer by Toya Stewart Downey - Director of Communications and Inclusion at the Ordway - to discuss marketing with Playlist. We got to chatting about strategies for storytelling and up bubbled the idea for a podcast series focusing on companies and productions. Toya loved it, and following a meeting at the Ordway a few weeks later a date was booked at Good Arts Collective’s Sidetown Studio. We were now well on our way to producing our first mini-series of Playlist Presents. 

Minnesota Playlist has always been a place to provide our community with amplified resources - opportunities that an individual or organization might find out of reach on their own, be that from a lack of funds or time, but that Playlist can offer because of our business model. 

Similarly how The Bazzness highlights individual performers and theatre makers, Playlist Presents’ goal is to focus on companies, organizations, or collectives and the productions these groups are bringing to the community. That really could look like anything. For instance:

  • A conversation with your design team about the creation of the world of your show.

  • A look at the devising process of a new work from different angles and participants.

  • A conversation with a historian, scientist, and an anthropologist about the impact of an aspect of the script your company is producing.

  • A discussion about the music theory of a new musical with the musicians while they provide live samples.

  • A conversation with social justice advocates about how the narrative of a new work provides tools for successful activism.

These are just a few examples of how we envision our community utilizing this platform. We have no doubt that these mini-series will be as diverse and creative as Minnesota’s performing arts landscape. 

I want to do that!

Now for the fun part: how you can take advantage of Playlist Presents. There are two important points we want everyone to be aware of as we launch this endeavor:

  1. Playlist Presents is a paid service similar to buying an ad or a classified on minnesotaplaylist.com.

  2. There are only so many podcasts that we can handle at a time.

Mini-series productions will be available to purchase for $350. The fee covers a Playlist Presents podcast (4 - 8 episodes) and will include ALL of the following services:

  • Up to eight (8) hours of studio time at Sidetown Studio in downtown Minneapolis (you’ll be able to use that time in one chunk or broken up as necessary).

  • Editing, mixing, and mastering by our professional audio engineer.

  • Up to two (2) hours of post production by our audio engineer.

  • Full hosting of the podcast on our Playlist Presents channel with distribution to all major platforms (Apple, Spotify, Google, Stitcher, etc).

  • Promotion of your podcast through our social channels, in our weekly e-newsletter, and in an article on minnesotaplaylist.com.

  • Statistics on listenership (total listens, top episode, distribution breakdown).

All you have to bring to the table is the content, a host (if necessary), and any auxiliary elements (music from your show, sound effects, recorded audio from a workshop, etc). We take care of the rest.

Recording, editing, and releasing a podcast mini-series takes some time. We want to make sure we can effectively deliver these podcasts so everything lines up nice and neat - with a show opening for example. Here is how we’ll be prioritizing requests to produce:

  • First come, first served… but

  • First TIME gets priority

We want to have diversity in who we feature. If it is the first time your company (collective, organization, etc) requests to do a podcast with us you’ll get priority. And so it is possible we’ll have to turn some folks away just due to time and lineup. We are going to do our best to produce every podcast we can. 

What next?

Next week we’ll open up the sign up form for companies to request a podcast in conjunction with an article about pointers and advice for your project. So get your ideas flowing and think about how you can use this platform to highlight your work. 

We think this is a great opportunity for companies and groups to create a different type of marketing - cutting through some of the clutter by providing listeners with an in-depth look at the upcoming work. Or perhaps you’ll use it as a way to document elements from your process for future grant writing. Or maybe you’ll use it to have fun and create a podcast that is actually part of your upcoming production. Who knows what kind of creativity will be generated. We look forward to hearing all about it on Playlist Presents.