Q&A with Mouthful / by Teagan Kuruna

We have so many great podcasts participating in the 5th annual Philadelphia Podcast Festival, so we're highlighting some of them in this Q&A series. Mouthful will be recording live on Sunday, July 23 at 6:00pm at Kitchen Table Gallery.

How did your show come about? How did you meet your co-hosts? Mouthful was created after host and producer Yvonne Latty approached Philadelphia Young Playwrights (PYP) with the idea of producing a podcast. Yvonne, a longtime journalist and journalism professor, became familiar with PYP, an arts education non-profit founded in 1987, after Executive Director Lisa Nelson-Haynes joined the organization in April 2016. Yvonne and Lisa have known each other for years through their children, and Yvonne felt like the organization and our work was ripe content for a podcast. From there, we brainstormed various ideas for formats and specific content, eventually landing on what has become Mouthful!

Are there episodes you consider your “greatest hits?” Which ones are good “entry” points for new listeners? This sounds like a cheap answer but: all of the episodes are good entry points for new listeners! Every episode is thematically different. Every episode is relatively brief (19-27 minutes). And there are only 11 episodes as part of the first season. Episode Four, "Neighborhood Blue" is a favorite among staff at PYP because it really taps into a salient and important issue of our time--community policing--and looks at it from three distinctly different points of view, including a law enforcement officer of 53 years and a mother/son duo in the wake of a stop and frisk.

What do you appreciate most about this medium? It can be whatever it wants to be! Part of the challenge and thrill of producing Mouthful was figuring out what the format and content should be. While there are many, many good precedents out there in the podcast world, there are no set rules, and the genre is constantly evolving and changing. There's also a level of engagement with audio that is really exciting. Without visuals, listeners are able to fill in the blanks about who they are listening to; they fill the spaces with themselves and focus on what's being said. That's often lost in other mediums, which have to deal with appearances more intentionally.

What do you most look forward to when doing live shows? How does the show change? Our live show as part of the Festival will be our first live show! So we don't have any precedent. We're most looking forward to having a live audience and opening the conversation up to the people in the room.

Where can people find your podcast and hosts? Mouthful is available on iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, and Google Play. The podcast can also be streamed at www.mouthfulpodcastphilly.com, which also includes show notes and more content for each individual episode. We're on Facebook and Twitter @mouthfulphilly.