Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street To Produce Three New Audible Originals
Emmy-winning Simpson Street Productions managed by actor, director, producer and activist Washington (Little Fires Everywhere) and EVP and Oscar-nominated producer Pilar Savone (Django Unchained) will create and produce three scripted audio original productions for Audible.
The first of the three podcasts ranges from romantic comedies to epic science fiction tales including Prophecy followed by Between Me and You and The Last Black Queen. Washington and Simpson Street will serve as executive producers on all scripted audio projects. Washington is set to star in Prophecy which launches later in 2022.
“Our focus at Simpson Street is to weave together narratives that honor our unique differences while connecting us through shared humanity,” Washington said in a statement. “Expanding into the podcast space, especially with Audible, is a phenomenal opportunity to engage in storytelling across multiple mediums. We could not be more excited!”
Savone commented, “The art of storytelling is constantly evolving and through podcasts, there’s something thrilling and fresh about putting a new and modern spin on the idea of past time radio dramas. We could not think of anyone more perfect to share our stories with than Audible. They are at the forefront of audio storytelling and we are delighted to be working with Zola and team on this new endeavor!”
“Kerry, Pilar and the entire Simpson Street team have truly raised the bar when it comes to marrying art and entertainment to explore the complexities and depth of the human experience,” said Zola Mashariki . “Audible is equally committed to creating meaningful, thought-provoking, and dynamic entertainment, all of which is reflected in the projects we’ve quickly launched together. Prophecy, The Last Black Queen and Between Me and You are brave, explorative stories that we know will captivate listener’s imagination. Kerry has an accomplished background in theatre, film and television and we are thrilled to be her collaborator as she extends her talents to the audio arena both as actor, creator and producer.”
Created, written, and directed by Randy McKinnon, Prophecy follows a series of unexplainable events happens simultaneously around the world, Virginia (Washington) – a hydrologist, Daniel - a British zoo veterinarian, and Jonah – a commercial diver, will find themselves at the head of each phenomena; but as they fight for survival, they soon will realize they are all connected in this contemporary, Biblical reimagining of the Virgin Mary, Daniel in the Lions’ Den, and Jonah and the Whale. The 8-episode audio series produced in collaboration with premium content studio and podcast network QCODE.
In celebration of the debut of Simpson Street’s first Audible Original, Washington, McKinnon and EP Brian Kavanaugh Jones will join Head of Audible Studios, Zola Mashariki and Variety’s Angelique Jackson in a spirited conversation hosted by Variety about the creative process behind scripted audio storytelling at Sundance Film Festival.
Between Me and You, created by New York Times best-selling author Allison Winn Scotch and Pete Chiarelli (Crazy Rich Asians), is based on the book by Scotch. This 8-episode scripted romantic comedy podcast will introduce a couple, at a breaking point, asking themselves: Is it possible to forgive and forget?
As told in a non-linear style, Between Me and You follows Tatum and Ben, who fell in love ten years ago just out of college, with Ben finding success as a writer and Tatum struggling with her acting career. However, when their professional fortunes reverse, the couple's marriage collapses. As the program explores the ways love can bend and break, Tatum and Ben recount their individual versions of the story - Ben’s moving backward and Tatum’s moving forward, each wondering what they can do now to reset their course.
The Last Black Queen, created by Darnell Brown (American Soul) is an intimate look inside the mind of Maya Foster, a middle-aged mid-level professional carrying the superhuman weight of expectation that Black women shoulder every day, ignoring her own desires for a more exciting, meaningful life. That is until she meets Aimé, a mysterious and seductive young woman who unleashes a sexual awakening in Maya that threatens to destroy her marriage, job and any semblance of her former existence. Each episode will follow Maya as she struggles to balance her work life, home life and incredibly disruptive new commitment to finding her real self. Audible listeners will get a peek inside Maya’s colorful view of the world through unique audio devices, dream sequences and the occasional musical number.
All three of the projects by Simpson Street will join a series of best-in-class Audible Originals including recent releases like the #1 New York Times best-selling audio fiction The Sandman from Neil Gaiman, performed by James McAvoy, Kat Dennings and Michael Sheen, Jesse Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World, A Total Switch Show created in collaboration with Team Coco and performed by Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson, and Bradley Whitford. Broadway Video’s Hit Job performed by Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson, Russell Brand’s Revelation, Beginner’s Mind written and performed by Yo-Yo Ma ; and James Patterson’s The Coldest Case starring Aaron Paul.