Kaitlin Prest presents The Shadows — the first audio fiction from CBC Podcasts

The 6-episode series is available now.
Kaitlin is a struggling artist who believes in the love of Hollywood movies. But when she falls for someone who challenges her romantic ideal, she is faced with an impossible choice. 2:14

Award-winning podcast artist Kaitlin Prest presents The Shadows — the first audio fiction from CBC Podcasts. Prest, the creator and host of Radiotopia's popular podcast The Heart, explores the anatomy of a romantic relationship — from a crush to an end — in the new 6-episode series available now.

The story centres on a young artist named Kaitlin, as she struggles to make great work and find great love in the fictional city of MontYuron. Kaitlin believes that the love depicted in Hollywood movies is real and that she will be one of the lucky ones to find it. When she falls for someone who challenges her romantic ideal, she is faced with an impossible choice — and a decision that can't be unmade.

Kaitlin Prest is the creator of The Shadows. (Eleanor Petry)

Inspired by Joe Frank's work in audio drama, Jonathan Goldstein's Wiretap and Baz Luhrmann's films, Prest says The Shadows blends fact with fiction.

"It's really written and created for the medium of audio and with the medium of audio in mind ... It sounds like a documentary. It's drawing on that type of technique."

Kaitlin Prest's work in podcasting, performance and installation has been featured at audio festivals around the world. Her experimental documentary Movies in Your Head won gold for new radio formats at the 2015 Prix Italia awards.

Kaitlin Prest, dressed as the main character in The Shadows, stands beside senior producer Phoebe Wang. (Evan Aagaard)

Miranda Sawyer of The Guardian says, "the precision and emotion of her language, as well as her unsparingly truthful storytelling, made for poignant, Proustian audio."

In October, Prest will give a keynote speech at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in Chicago — a task that fell on Ira Glass's shoulders last year.

Alternate reality

Although The Shadows is a fictional story, Prest explains that it draws on actual events from her own life.

"The whole series is about this fork in the road. It's about making a decision and kind of being haunted by that decision, and wondering what my life would have been like had I taken the other path."

Kaitlin Prest with The Shadows associate producer Yasmine Mathurin. (Evan Aagaard)

Prest uses the series as a means to explore her alternate reality.

"The character Kaitlin is me, but it's the version of me that lived this other life that I never lived." 

Innovating with the CBC

In June, Prest first announced she would be working with the CBC during the Radiodays Europe conference

Over the last seven years, the Canadian has been honing her craft in New York City. But bringing her work back to Canada is more than a homecoming.

"It feels really incredible to be part of this frontier of pushing audio to its greatest heights and pushing the CBC to the forefront of the most interesting audio work that's being made." 

The Shadows is a story about the anatomy of a relationship: a crush, a choice, a resentment and an end. 1:16

The Shadows production team includes senior producer Phoebe Wang, editor Sharon Mashihi, associate producer Yasmine Mathurin, sound designer Shani Aviram, digital producer Olivia Pasquarelli and illustator Adirana Komura.  

Join The Shadows Facebook group and follow the show on Twitter and Instagram.

You can listen to The Shadows on your favourite podcast app and online.

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