Dimming the Lights

Chatterbox’s 2007 Launch Party

Dear friends,

When I started Chatterbox Audio Theater ten years ago — along with Dave Mickle, Kyle Hatley, and Andrew Sullivan — I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I only knew that I loved old episodes of The Shadow, that I had some really creative friends, and that the Internet was a place you could post things where other people could find them. Podcasting was still in its infancy; in fact, the term itself had been coined only a few years prior.

We started recording in 2007. For ten years, we haven’t stopped. We’ve recorded in living rooms, basements, theaters, rehearsal halls, courtyards, and eventually our own dedicated studio space. We’ve created dozens of stories, puzzled out hundreds of sound effects, and sparked thousands of imaginations around the world. I’ve had the fortune of working with some incredible collaborators, including the above-named co-founders, as well as Eric Sefton, Leslie Barker, Jim Thompson, Marques Brown, Karen Strachan, and far too many more to name. (Though our Cast & Crew page handily lists the 375+ people who have participated in Chatterbox since its inception.) I couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished.

At the same time, life happens, and ten years is a long time to do anything, especially without pay. Collaborators come and go, dreams drift back down to earth, and the late nights and endless to-dos take their toll.

And so, after long consideration, I’ve come to the bittersweet conclusion that the decade mark is a good time to dim the lights at Chatterbox. It’s a huge milestone, and it will coincide with the release of our 100th production, which is a re-recording of the very first show we ever attempted. The timing just feels right.

Chatterbox’s 100 productions will continue to be available, and in fact we’re working on a spiffy new website that will serve as a worthy archive for them. But, as of September 14, 2017 — ten years to the day from the launch of our website — Chatterbox will cease producing new work for the foreseeable future. I’m calling it an “indefinite hiatus.” If fortune or circumstance give me cause to return to the organization someday, or if I just plain decide I miss it too much, it will still be there.

In the meantime, I’m excited to re-balance, and to turn my attentions to other artistic endeavors. I plan to continue producing audio dramas — just on my own time, and on my own terms. I’ve got plenty of other projects in mind as well, some of which have been sitting patiently on the back burner for ten years now. To say nothing of the books I want to read, the languages I want to learn, the places I want to visit, and the experiences I hope to have.

Chatterbox has truly been a defining project for me. It has taught me more than anything else I’ve ever undertaken. Most importantly, it has given me 100 unique opportunities to make art with friends. That’s a pretty great way to spend 10 years.

So, goodbye for now, and thank you for coming on this journey with us. With me. It means more than I could ever say.

Bob Arnold
Executive Director

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