Best Of 2020

Best Local Podcast in the Vein of "Stranger Things": "Wellspring"

Take the gritty paranoia of Battlestar Galactica and cross it with a synth-laced soundtrack (by Dylan Oseas) in the vein of Stranger Things and you get something close to Wellspring, a sci-fi drama podcast that rolled out last year. Produced by Cincinnati-based performing arts nonprofit Walterhoope, the six-episode narrative podcast follows Ve, an investigative journalist trying to understand a mysterious incident that unfolded two decades prior at government-run facility Wellspring. Set on a different planet, the inhabitants that live there are often, and rightfully, secretive. Marking their first foray into the podcasting ’verse, the series immerses the listener into a sonic swirl of sound. Rain patters. Thunder strikes. There’s a knock at the door. Floors creak. Rumblings of commotion and far away shouts ring out. Like classic sci-fi audio dramas, the sound design is crucial as it etches out a setting that pricks at one’s imagination. As a bonus, fans of Cincinnati theater will likely recognize some familiar voices. Directed by Walterhoope’s William Vaughan and David Mavricos — and co-written by Vaughan, Mavricos and Teresa Spencer — Wellspring stars Audrey Bertaux, Billy Chace, Kimberly Gilbert, Darnell Pierre Benjamin, Allyson West, Jeremy Dubin, Jennifer Joplin and Candice Handy. Wellspring, walterhoope.com/wellspring.