Closing the Distance podcast

Closing the Distance

The Audio Drama Initiative

We’re all watching the news. We’re all doing our part. Some are even putting their lives on the line to contribute. We’re learning how to work from our homes, and we’re contending with lost jobs and the temporary (hopefully) shutdowns of entire industries.

But at the same time, most of us are mourning the loss of something that we might not have even realized we valued so much: our connections to each other. Suddenly, neighbors seem as though they live halfway across the country, and friends and loved one can feel as though they’re millions of miles away. How do we deal with the broad chasms that have opened?

Closing the Distance is a series of ten short pieces that explores the sudden and seemingly uncrossable distance between people caused by our being sheltered in place. In each piece, individuals are faced with a lack of contact they hadn’t anticipated – from loved ones, from their community, from new and emerging relationships, from their way of making a living, etc. In each case, they struggle with the distance until they find some way to bridge it, often with surprising results. Fractious relationships are healed. Unexpected relationships are formed. Essential relationships are sustained.

A portion of the proceeds from Closing the Distance will be donated to two charities that resonate with us as writers and performers: The Actors Fund, which provides essential assistance to those in the entertainment field, and Save Indie Bookstores, which has been set up to help booksellers – such an invaluable part of our communities – stay afloat in these financially challenging times.

Closing the Distance is a series of emotionally resonant pieces. But more than that, it is an opportunity for us to acknowledge what we are missing and to envision a better outcome.

11 Episodes

  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 10: Yeah, Good Question performed by Lou Aronica


    When his daughter asks, "What does the other side of this look like?" a man contemplates how we have changed and what this means for the future. Written and performed by New York Times bestselling author Lou Aronica.
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    Episode 9: Windows starring Eden Brolin


    Sheltering in place has taught us much about ourselves. But what is it teaching us about others? In Tawni O'Dell's touching and insightful piece, two people who have been living in close proximity meet for the first time when an unexpected need arises. Eden Brolin, known for her work in Beyond and Arkansas, captures the wide range of emotions in this story.
  • Closing the Distance podcast

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  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 8: Reunion starring Arielle Jacobs


    What do you do when you can't be there? How do you contend with critical life moments when you can't be present. In this story by New York Times bestselling author Lou Aronica, a woman a thousand miles away from her family finds surprising ways to close the distance. Performed gorgeously by Broadway and Disney star Arielle Jacobs.
  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 7: Wedding Day starring Casey Breves and Lesli Margherita


    Our plans comprise a critical part of our lives and take up a prominent place in our minds. And when those plans involve making commitments that will affect the rest of our lives, they mean more than just about everything. But regardless of their scale, all plans are subject to circumstances beyond our control. In this touching story written by New York Times bestselling author Tawni O'Dell and performed by Casey Breves and Lesli Margherita, a couple celebrate a wedding day very different from the one they had planned.
  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 6: Second Thoughts starring Tony Danza


    Even those of us who are completely alone have one constant companion: our thoughts. What happens when those thoughts take us places we've chosen not to go? In New York Times bestselling author Tawni O'Dell's incisive story, a man misses companions he barely knew and reflects on the events that brought him where he is today. Emmy and Golden Globe nominee Tony Danza delivers a devastating performance of this story.
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    Episode 5: Working from Home starring Kelli O'Hara


    Mothers have always needed to excel at dozens of roles at a moment's notice. And these days, their responsibilities have somehow grown greater. In New York Times bestselling author Tawni O'Dell's emotionally charged story, a woman needs to navigate between working from home, educating her child, and creating a soft landing for her daughter's missed birthday party. Tony Award winner Kelli O'Hara transports us to the heart of this story.
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    Episode 4: The Man Who Couldn't Google starring Jason Alexander


    People need other people – sometimes in ways they never considered. In New York Times bestselling author Tawni O'Dell's tender and humorous story, a man who sees himself as an island comes to terms with how much he misses human contact when he suddenly finds himself unable to find his glasses. Tony and Grammy winner Jason Alexander imbues this story with remarkable energy and touching vulnerability.
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    Episode 3: Social Distancing starring William Hurt


    The pain of distance can come without any notice. In Mitchell Maxwell's touching and insightful story, a man who has faced social distancing for longer than he ever wanted finds a way forward in the darkest times. Academy Award winner William Hurt brings this tale stunningly to life.
  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 2: Being Seen starring Kathleen Turner


    When you've built your entire life around being seen, how do you deal with circumstances that force you to stay out of view. In New York Times bestselling author Tawni O'Dell's poignant and funny piece, a self-described trophy wife comes to terms with seeing herself in a new way while in quarantine and seeing her life in new ways when the virus hits home. Golden Globe winner Kathleen Turner lifts this story from the page in heartbreaking ways.
  • Closing the Distance podcast

    Episode 1: Neutral Corners starring Sam Tsui


    What happens when a relationship ends but circumstances prevent you from splitting? In this touching and illuminating piece by New York Times bestselling author Lou Aronica, a couple has called it quits but are stuck together in an apartment the size of a boxing ring. How do you navigate a relationship when you're confined to neutral corners? YouTube star Sam Tsui brings this tale to life.

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