If you have missed Odyssey Theatre Under the Stars performances in Strathcona Park the past few summers, you will be glad to know that Odyssey Theatre has launched a new podcast series called The Other Path. You can now enjoy the magic of this award-winning theatre in your own home.
What if the magic from myth, legend, and folklore existed today? Find out in The Other Path, a haunting audio drama series filled with mystery, danger, and magic. The podcast was named by New York Magazine’s Vulture as one of their “five spooky podcasts to check out right now.”
Artists from across Canada were brought together by Sandy Hill residents Laurie Steven and Janet Irwin. Steven, who is Odyssey’s Artistic Director, was the series creator and director, and shared the script advisor role with Irwin.
Steven invited five acclaimed writers to create an audio play inspired by an international folk tale but set in our modern world. Among the writers are internationally recognized fantasy author Jo Walton, winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards in 2012, and Marty Chan, creator of The Dim Sum Diaries that aired on CBC Radio from 1994 to 2000).
State-of-the-art sound and music with high-impact performances from 15 Canadian actors transport listeners to a world where witches, shapeshifters, and trickster spirits are found among us in parks, garage sales, and dive bars. Listeners will recognize local and Odyssey veteran actors, including Soo Garay, Maryse Fernandes, William Beddoe, Erin Eldershaw, Bruce Spinney, Jesse Buck, and Alix Sideris.
In Steven’s search for a way to continue Odyssey’s work during the pandemic, the idea to create a podcast came from a source she least expected — her teenage goddaughter. “She is an avid podcast listener and regularly engages with vlogs and web series. When I saw her connect with stories told digitally, I began to plan how Odyssey could do it too. After all, with no sets, costumes, lights or staging to worry about, how hard could it be?”
Steven quickly discovered just how much work goes into making an audio drama series like The Other Path. She notes, “The soundscapes, sound effects, music, stereo effects all have to work together and took many months, interrupted at times by the pandemic.”
Steven and Irwin worked with 40 theatre artists and professionals during the pandemic to bring the series to life. Odyssey veteran and well-known actress, Soo Garay, called the series a lifeline for her and her fellow actors during the pandemic.
Two years after Steven first got the idea, the series has now launched and is reaching international audiences. “I am already thinking about a second season for the podcast, but I am looking forward to returning to live performance in Strathcona Park next summer,” says Steven.
Just in time for the holidays, season one’s five episodes are available now for listening at theotherpath.ca, where you can also learn more about this unique local initiative. The series is also available on your favourite podcast streaming platform.