MADE HERE. BROADCAST ACROSS THE WORLD.
Seven years ago David Renegar, a former vice-president of marketing for Seagram Canada, had a dream. His vision was to create an entity that offered streaming audio programming to the World Wide Web community. He started his search for like-minded individuals who shared his vision. He found it in Jeff Pearson — a resident of Guelph, Ontario, who also happened to be a web designer and sound engineer. Together, over the next ten months, they assembled the pieces needed to bring to life the creative platform that David initially envisioned and VirtuallyAmerican.com (the original site) was born. At the same time across the city a local theatre company was coming to an end after a fourteen year run. Artistic Director Johnathon Hoskins, a good friend and colleague of David, was looking for something new to sink his creative teeth into. He found VirtuallyAmerican.com.
With the additional resources, David decided to test the creative waters with productions of his own. Together, he and Johnathon set out to assemble a unique acting company with several members from Johnathon’s former theatre company. They then threw out the net to bring in some writers who had diverse and interesting stories to tell. Starting with “The Plot”, by Argentinian writer Mariana Leimontas about an important historic event in her country, VirtuallyAmerican forged ahead in building the infrastructure to be able to produce its own brand of exciting and innovative audio entertainment.
This new artistic venture took three forms: VirtuallyNovels, showcasing audio books; VirtuallyVinyl, focusing on independent musical artists; and finally, the flagship of the site, VirtuallyTheatre that hoped to push the boundaries of what has come to be known as radio theatre. The company, which started to show financial returns, then developed a profit sharing system to ensure that composers, actors and writers would share in the proceeds of any of the projects they contributed to. All of this was combined under a new name, VirtuallyAudio.com, which better reflected the new international direction the website was taking.
Over the next five years VirtuallyAudio added a number of original productions to its creative roster. New shows like the science fiction series “Sectarian Wave”, the comedic “The Adventures of Jake Danger” and Jeff Macgraw’s Washington crime fighter series, “Metro Heat”, were breaking new ground in the area of audio theatre. Local artists such as DJ Krafty and Alan Lee had been given exposure through VirtuallyVinyl. And finally, noted Californian author Chester Aaron had four of his novels showcased through VirtuallyNovels.
In the future, VirtuallyAudio.com listeners can look forward to enjoying our expanded Audio Comic Book series, which will feature “Darwin’s Law”, an X-Files-styled western, and “Emily”, a futuristic adaptation of Charles Dickens’, “Oliver Twist”. As well, we will be unleashing “The Irrelevant Rock & Roll & Music Show” — a must for all music and vinyl aficionados out there. And of course our Free Listening Library, which features hours of some of the best in classic and newly produced radio theatre, is still completely free to access.
Not bad for a little Toronto idea that grew. VirtuallyAudio.com What have you been listening to… lately?