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Performing Arts Organization

Mind's Ear Audio Productions
Indianapolis, IN

Mind's Ear Audio Productions has been producing audio theatre as a volunteer-based entity since 1989, but only recently incorporated as a not-for-profit arts organization.

Mind's Ear describes its mission thus: "Mind's Ear is dedicated to the production, performance and promotion of contemporary audio theatre. We also strive to educate stage designers as to the importance of sound in a theatrical presentation. We believe in the value of training and nurturing emerging audio playwrights, actors, designer and engineers. Our work is distinguished by our obsession with on-location recording techniques. If a scene is set in a city park, we tape in a city park. A scene set in a bar will be taped in a bar. We delight in capturing natural soundscapes, rather than creating them artificially with sound effects in post. Fans have said that our work is like 'listening to a movie with your eyes closed.'"

Mind's Ear is a newly incorporated organization (as of March 2000) but the directors of Mind's Ear have produced audio theatre for nearly two decades. They have been honored with a nomination for one of their industry's leading awards, The Golden Headset. The company has just been nominated for "Best Multi Cast Production of 1999" for its new series French Quarter. Additional industry recognition was paid recently when National Public Radio acquired French Quarter for the prestigious NPR Playhouse program. French Quarter will air during the summer of 2000 (July to September) on NPR affiliate stations around the world.

David Ossman, founder of the Firesign Theatre, appeared in the recent French Quarter series. Joel A. Pierson, artistic director, has won several national writing awards for his innovative scripts. Founding executive director Dana Dyer Pierson is an award-winning audio playwright as well, and 25-year veteran of the stage. The company of sixty includes several independent film and television actors, including Diane Kondrat, Steve Heise, Abdul-Khaliq Murtahda and Joel Marsh.

Vital Statistics

  Mind's Ear Audio Productions, Inc.
  522 West Fourth St.
  Bloomington, IN 47404-5128

Phone:   (812) 332-2437
Fax:   (419) 715-5927


Mind's Ear produces audio theatre for a variety of audiences. The company produces one live show, in front of an audience, per year. Recordings of these shows are available for sale. The prime function of Mind's Ear is to produce theatre for the ears, via productions published on compact disc, cassette or for webcast.

Performers in Mind's Ear audio theatre productions have said that this is a very challenging, and therefore rewarding, medium in which to work. It demands all the actors' skills to create a character when what is heard is your only expression. Without the assistance of facial expression, costume, makeup, sets, lighting and the like, the company needs actors who can bring characters to life using only the voice. One of the advantages of performing for audio is the minimal time commitment. As no memorization is required, actors can move quickly from rehearsal to "performance" or taping. Most of the company's half-hour shows are rehearsed and recorded in less than one week. While series involve a longer commitment, usually it does not exceed a week per episode.

Auditions for Mind's Ear are open to the public, are not limited to union talent, and usually take place in an auditorium. All auditions are recorded, and those unfamiliar with working with a microphone are cheerfully coached. Mind's Ear believes in their obligation to share what they have learned with others. They look for great flexibility, warmth and quality of voice. The listener must be able to immediately discern one character from another. We hire actors of all ages, races, shapes, sizes, and experience. Experience is not required, but is preferred.

As for the company's ability to work with actors around the country, Mind's Ear intentionally limits itself. Instead, the company takes great pains to create recording situations rich with human interaction, set in natural settings, shunning the sterile studio environment, where each actor is recorded in complete isolation. Actors work face to face, as that give and take lends great realism and warmth to a recording. That said, we will only work with an actor's lines recorded in a remote studio if it is the ONLY way to get that person's performance on tape.

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