Audible Inc., the leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, is celebrating the fifth anniversary of Audible Theater. Since its inception in 2018, Audible Theater has presented various music and arts-based entertainment and programming. In continuation of its endeavors, Head of Audible Theater Kate Navin says they will expand the theatre’s programming by adding three new upcoming shows that will be recorded and released as Audible Originals. 

At a celebratory event last night, Sept. 19, at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York City, the Head of Audible Theater, Kate Navin, announced the expansion of Audible Theater’s programming, which includes  The Energy Curfew Music Hour featuring the Grammy-winning band Punch Brothers. As well as Nobody Cares, a three-night-only show starring Tony Award winner Laura Benanti, who will sing all original music created with Todd Almond.

The third and final expansion will be the world premiere of Dead Outlaw, Audible Theater’s first commissioned musical by the Tony Award-winning creative team behind The Band’s Visit, with a book by Itamar Moses, music and lyrics by Erik Della Penna and David Yazbek, and directed by David Cromer.

In further uniting performances with immersive audio, Colman Domingo will star and direct the audio adaptation of his play Wild with Happy. Wild with Happy is a profoundly imaginative and utterly outrageous work from the Tony Award nominee for The Scottsboro Boys and an Obie Award winner for Passing Strange, exploring the bizarre comedy within death and healing.

Navin also announced the fifth cohort of Audible Emerging Playwrights, marking 50 total commissions. The new cohort features Ava Geyer, Deepak Kumar, Sinfolk (Gabriel Ruiz and J), Gloria Majule, and Omer Abbas Salem. The Emerging Playwrights Fund is a program that invests in and nurtures emerging playwrights and aims to connect extraordinary performers with remarkable original work, amplifying new voices and harnessing the power and potential of audio to reach millions of listeners.

Since it began, Audible Theater has presented 42 live shows at the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, released 114 audio titles globally on Audible, commissioned 50 playwrights through its Emerging Playwrights Fund, and received 35 award nominations and 13 wins, including Tony, Lortel, Drama Desk, and Audie Awards. 

Moreover, on Thursday, September 21, Audible Theater will release four audio Originals, including the audio adaptations of three shows that were presented at the Minetta Lane Theatre earlier this year: Erica Schmidt’s Lucy, Chris Gethard’s A Father and the Sun, and Michael Cruz Kayne’s Sorry For Your Loss. A new direct-to-audio play, Audible Emerging Playwright Diana Grisanti’s Vanessa in Bed, starring Karla Souza, rounds out the series. 

“Supporting creative exploration, uplifting emerging voices and spotlighting some of our generation’s most acclaimed talent is at the heart of our vision for Audible Theater. Over the past five years, we’re proud to have collaborated with incredibly gifted artists to share powerful and prolific theatrical experiences with New York audiences and Audible listeners around the globe,” said Navin.

She continued, “For the next five years and beyond, our home at the Minetta will not only be a space for theater but also for live storytelling, including musical performances, podcasting events, and more. Our upcoming season underscores this expansion, including a series of variety shows from the Grammy-winning Punch Brothers, original music performed by stage and screen luminary Laura Benanti, and our first commissioned musical from the Tony-winning team of The Band’s Visit. All of these live experiences will be recorded and released on Audible, furthering our commitment to sharing the power of live performance with listeners everywhere.”