Escape to Radiotopia This Summer!

Maggie Taylor
May 31, 2018 · 5 min read
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This summer, grab your earbuds and escape to Radiotopia! Take us along on your road trips, outdoor adventures and much-needed staycations. We’re launching three new shows between June and August, plus new seasons and series from your already beloved Radiotopia podcasts.

New shows will include include ZigZag, a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism, tech and women’s lives; Everything is Alive, an unscripted interview show with inanimate objects; and the latest series in Showcase from Radiotopia called The Great God of Depression, telling the true story of a brilliant physician, a literary genius and madness in America. Lose yourself and discover the world through new stories from Radiotopia, all summer long. Check out a trailer for each new show below!

June 14 — ‘ZigZag

ZigZag is a podcast about changing the course of capitalism, journalism and women’s lives.

Over 12 episodes, ZigZag will follow Jen and Manoush as they start a media company and produce a podcast while trying not to simultaneously become bad mothers, bankrupt themselves, or destroy their creative partnership. And when their first funding comes in the form of cryptocurrency, things get really interesting.

In the show, you’ll hear a mix of voice memos and taped conversations of come-to-Jesus moments and mini-stories about entrepreneurship, aligning values with ambitions and building strong partnerships. Subscribe to ZigZag now in Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you listen.

July 17 — ‘Everything Is Alive

Everything is Alive is an interview show in which all the subjects are inanimate objects. In each episode, host Ian Chillag talks with a different thing about its life story. The conversations are wide-ranging and unscripted, and the listener never knows where they’re going to end up.

Humans have a place in the show too — Ian occasionally leaves the conversation with the inanimate object to talk to someone with a real connection to it. The show is at times funny, at times reflective, and moves back and forth between fiction and non-fiction in surprising ways.

Each episode is a story — the life story of the inanimate object — but also an opening to real, fascinating information about the object’s world. And it’s totally unscripted; Ian goes into the studio having no idea what’s going to happen, and the object — and the human playing it — have no idea what Ian is going to ask.

Early episodes will feature interviews with Louis, a can of generic cola; Sean, a subway seat who really loves his job; and Mel, a mousetrap who really likes mice and doesn’t particularly want to kill them. Later in season one, expect to hear from a syringe, a mailbox, a wad of gum stuck to the sidewalk, a $10 bill and a pair of underwear.

The show is produced by Ian Chillag, a former producer on NPR’s Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me and Fresh Air with Terry Gross, and co-creator and host of How To Do Everything. The show is a good way to look at people: to imagine how our choices and anxieties might look to the objects with which we live. It’s also just fun to imagine that everything we live with has a personality and a life. Subscribe in Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you listen.

August 3 — ‘The Great God of Depression

The Great God of Depression is a five-part documentary coming to Showcase in August. The show tells the a true story about a brilliant physician, a literary genius and madness in America.

In 1998, a neuroscientist named Alice Flaherty developed a rare form of madness. She felt so compelled to write that she scrawled sentences across the walls of her house and her own skin. Alice’s quest to understand her own bizarre behavior led her to William Styron, one of the most celebrated authors of the 20th century. Styron had documented his struggle with suicidal depression in a memoir that transformed modern psychiatry. He seemed like a remote genius — until one day, he showed up in Alice’s office, begging for help. Could Alice save Styron from the pathological writer’s block that had silenced him?

The show’s co-producers, Pagan Kennedy and Karen Brown, are award-winning journalists. Pagan is a writer at the New York Times and the author of 11 books; Karen is an NPR reporter and the winner of many prizes for her radio documentaries on mental health. Subscribe to Showcase from Radiotopia in Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic or wherever you listen.

Also coming this summer from other Radiotopia shows:

Love + Radio’s seventh season will focus on the individual’s relationship with communities — churches, cults, political parties and more. They’ll examine the ideas behind the feeling of belonging, collectives and how to navigate this interesting world.

The Allusionist will explore the etymology of the word “queer,” which has been on quite a journey over the past century, from ‘strange’, to a homophobic slur, to being a broad term encompassing myriad sexual orientations and gender identities, and non-normative lifestyles and radical politics. But reclaiming a word with such negative past makes for a complicated present. Includes commentary from Kathy Tu and Tobin Low of the Nancy podcast, Eric Marcus from Making Gay History, Jonathan van Ness from Queer Eye.

The Kitchen Sisters Present debut a new series called “The Keepers.” They’ll tell stories of activist archivists, rogue librarians, collectors, curators and historians. These “guardians of history” took it upon themselves to preserve some parts of our cultural heritage and protect the free flow of ideas and information.

The Mortified podcast will air two episodes in June celebrating kids who grew up gay. Later in July and August, expect stories that pair perfectly with road trips: an epic beach fantasy novel and lessons on how NOT to keep a fling going after summer camp.

Radio Diaries will launch a series called Last Witness, featuring interviews with the only surviving witnesses to major historical events. The first episode features Dr. Olivia Hooker, the last surviving witness of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot.

Keep up with our new content throughout the summer at or by using the hashtag #EscapetoRadiotopia, and subscribe to get episodes as soon as they drop. Happy listening!

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