Oct 4, 2009 at 8:30 pm
This American Rest Stop: An Evening of Radio
With Sean Cole, Nancy Updike and Gregory Warner
Join us for a special documentary radio listening session and discussion with This American Life producers Sean Cole, Nancy Updike, and Gregory Warner.
9 producers, 2 days, 1 rest stop on the New York State Thruway. Last month, Public Radio International’s This American Life descended on the Plattekill rest stop on I-87 for more than 30 hours to document the comings and goings there. They talked to truckers and travelers, giddy couples passing through in the middle of the night, employees at Starbucks and Roy Rogers, and the manager of the travel plaza about his rivalry with another rest stop manager in Maine. The result was a memorable hour of radio that aired Labor Day weekend.
Sean Cole has been working in public radio since 1997 when he took a newsroom internship at WBUR in Boston. For some reason, they decided to keep him around. They even began paying him. He trained as a news producer, overnight announcer, sound engineer and reporter. From 2003 to 2005, reported hour long documentaries for WBUR’s award-winning series “Inside Out.” Sean has also worked as a staff reporter for the American Public Media programs Marketplace and Weekend America, and as a free-lance contributor for All Things Considered, Only a Game, Studio 360, Living on Earth and This American life where he is currently filling in as a producer. This is the first time he’s ever lived in New York and he is equal parts delighted and chagrined.
Nancy Updike is one of the founding producers of This American Life. Her stories appear in “Sissies,” “Crime Scene,” “24 Hours at the Golden Apple,” and other episodes. Her hour-long Iraq story, “I’m from the Private Sector and I’m Here to Help,” won the Edward R. Murrow Award for best news documentary and the Scripps-Howard National Journalism Award in radio. She was nominated for an Emmy for her story “God’s Close-Up,” from the first season of the TAL TV show.
Before becoming a journalist, Gregory Warner investigated police brutality for the City of New York and performed nightly as a jazz musician. He got his start in radio producing stories about prisoners and social outcasts. Now a freelance contributor to This American Life, Radiolab and other programs, Gregory has traveled to Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Congo, bringing back stories of ordinary people touched by war and repression. This year he won a Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society for Professional Journalists and a Third Coast Festival award. Gregory has also written and produced award-winning short films for festivals and television. Most recently, French Television broadcast a video of him singing Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” while playing his accordion to three hundred Afghans in Mazar-i-Sharif. It’s on Youtube.