The Audio Drama Initiative is dedicated to taking the audio drama medium to a new level of storytelling via inspired writing, vibrant music, engaged acting, and immersive production. Founded by a team with matchless experience in the worlds of theater, film, and books, we are bringing great storytelling to life in distinctive and memorable ways.
Lou Aronica launched the Star Wars extended universe, has delivered more than two dozen novelists from a standing start to the New York Times bestseller list, and is a multiple New York Times bestselling author himself.
Mitchell Maxwell has won every award Broadway has to offer, including the Tony and the Pulitzer, with more than sixty-five theatrical productions to his credit, including the blockbuster hit Stomp! In addition, he has produced eight feature films, including the movie version of his Pulitzer Prize-winning play Dinner with Friends.
Monty Hobbs’ nearly two-decade-long career in the film industry began humbly in the local film market that is Hollywood East and home of Screen Gems Studios in Wilmington NC. His career path cumulated in ownership of the production company and Telly Award-winning, Tobacco Roads Productions. Monty worked with Russell Crowe in an upcoming Miramax project and recently served as the Producer's Rep for the lucrative faith-based film, The Favorite.
Valerie Smaldone, a 5-time Billboard Magazine Award winner, is well known for her unprecedented success holding the #1 on-air position in the New York radio market. She has hosted, produced and created several nationally syndicated programs featuring in-depth interviews with top recording artists such as Paul McCartney, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John and Mariah Carey, among others. Currently, you can hear Valerie on her theatre and food focused radio show and podcast, Bagels and Broadway with Valerie Smaldone.
Carl Vorwerk has spent the past two decades working in the entertainment sector as a Producer, General Manager and Production Accountant. He has produced and managed dozens of productions across North America, Europe and Asia including the audio dramas The Thursday Night Club, Little Did I Know, and Closing the Distance on behalf of the Audio Drama Initiative. Carl is the Owner and Founder of Five Points Theatrical, an entertainment management
and production company.
Aronica and Maxwell are also partners in the independent book publishing company The Story Plant.
To date, The Audio Drama Initiative has released three shows to tremendous acclaim and audience engagement:
The Thursday Night Club, a six-episode Christmas story, reached #34 on the Apple Podcasts charts and has a cumulative five-star average listener review.
Little Did I Know, the first Broadway-level audio drama musical, reached #3 on the Apple Podcasts charts and has generated hundreds of rave reviews.
Closing the Distance, a collection of nine monologues and one ensemble piece about life during the pandemic has gained universal acclaim and features performances from stars of film, television, and Broadway.
A video adaptation of Closing the Distance is currently in development.