Kerry Washington’s Simpson Street Productions partners with Audible Inc. for scripted podcasts

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Kerry Washington [Courtesy photo by Nino Munoz]

Audible Inc., a leading creator and provider of premium audio storytelling, has announced three scripted multi-cast Audible Original productions with Emmy-winning Simpson Street Productions, helmed by founder and Emmy-, SAG- and Golden Globe-nominated actor, director, producer and activist Kerry Washington (“Scandal,” “Little Fires Everywhere”) and Simpson Street Executive Vice President and Academy Award-nominated producer Pilar Savone (“Django Unchained,” “Death Proof”).

The first of the three Audible Original podcasts, ranging from romantic comedies to epic science fiction tales, will include “Prophecy,” launching this year, followed by “Between Me and You” and “The Last Black Queen.”

“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. 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,” said Zola Mashariki, head of Audible Studios, in a statement. “‘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.”

Washington and Simpson Street will serve as executive producers on all scripted audio projects, and Washington is attached to star in “Prophecy,” according to a news release.

“Our focus at Simpson Street is to weave together narratives that honor our unique differences while connecting us through shared humanity.  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,” Washington said in a statement.

In “Prophecy,” when a series of inexplicable 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.

Created, written, and directed by Randy McKinnon, “Prophecy” is an eight-episode audio series produced in collaboration with premium content studio and podcast network QCODE.

“Between Me and You,” created by New York Times best-selling author Allison Winn Scotch and Pete Chiarelli (“The Proposal,” “Crazy Rich Asians”), is based on the book by Scotch. This eight-episode scripted romantic comedy podcast will introduce a couple, at a breaking point, asking themselves: Is it possible to forgive and forget?

Told in a non-linear style, “Between Me and You” follows Tatum and Ben, who fell in love 10 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 (BET’s “American Soul,” HBO’s “Kent State”) 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 Aimeì, 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. Each episode of “The Last Black Queen” will give Audible listeners a peek inside Maya’s colorful view of the world through unique audio devices, dream sequences and the occasional musical number.

“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,” Savone said in a statement.

These projects will join a series of Audible Originals, including recent releases like the No. 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,” narrated by Eisenberg, Kaitlyn Dever and Finn Wolfhard; “A Total Switch Show,” created in collaboration with Team Coco and performed by Zoey Deutch, Lea Thompson, Bradley Whitford and a full cast, Broadway Video’s “Hit Job,” performed by Keke Palmer and Pete Davidson, Russell Brand’s “Revelation,” which centers on “connecting with the sacred in everyday life”; “Beginner’s Mind,” written and performed by Yo-Yo Ma; and James Patterson’s “The Coldest Case,” starring Aaron Paul. For more information, go to www.audible.com.

-BAM

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