Our Digital Stories (ODS) is a group of writers, directors, and performers who during the pandemic created a new form of storytelling set in and created within the digital world. Using video conferences, phone calls, and text messages as settings, they call this hybrid between a short play and a short film “Digital Stories.”
After kicking off our first Flash 405 contest of the 2021 season with the theme “Your Digital Stories,” ODS brought the three winning scripts to life for Volume 8 this summer!
In February 2021, ODS guest-judged our Flash 405 contest, seeking submissions around stories in the digital world. We received a mix of scripts, monologues, and even VR poetry. All of the winners and honorable mentions can be read here.
For winners, there was an additional prize beyond cash and publication. All winning pieces were produced and performed for a new volume of ODS. Before the performance, writers got to work with a director and cast to bring their stories to life. Some of the pieces changed in the process as writers edited, cut, and expanded their scripts in collaboration with the ensemble.
Here are the winning pieces and artists featured in the show:
“Trapped in Zoom”
Written by James Nelson
Directed by Emily Liberatore
Featuring Mia Bernardino, Dan Deemers, Michelle Talgarow and Daniel P. Wilson
“Green with Enby”
Written by Allison Fradkin
Directed by Tessa Corrie
Featuring Irene Phuong Van and Miyoko Sakatani
“The White Room”
Written by Carina Lastimosa
Directed by Jeffrey Lo
Featuring Jeffrey Bracco, April Culver, Caitlin Evanson, and Christine Jamlig
You can read the full program here.
On show day, this event was such a fun way to translate new stories in a pandemic to a digital space. Guest co-host Laura Rensing, Expo’s stage & screen editor and podcaster extraordinaire, chatted about all things Expo alongside ODS hosts Jeffrey Lo, a longtime Expo friend, and Tasi Alabastro before the audience was treated to a whiplash of emotions from befuddled amusement to resigned grief; punny nerves to gratifying acceptance; and so. much. cringe.
In case you missed it, watch the full live stream on Twitch.
Each volume of ODS includes a community partner, for which the program serves as a fundraiser. The partner org for this volume was Youth Drama For All.
Youth Drama For All (YDFA), an inclusive theater group open to both special and general education youth, builds camaraderie and support among the actors, volunteers, parents, and special education community. Whether performers are visually or hearing impaired, have mobility issues, are nonverbal, etc., a custom role is created to adjust to a disability and highlight strengths. The focus is on each actor’s abilities, not disabilities, and allows each participant to shine in an inclusive and uplifting environment.
To donate to YDFA, click here.
Thank you so much to the team at ODS for bringing these works to life. We look forward to future collaborations!
In the meantime, to get involved with Our Digital Stories, or look out for their next volume and watch all current and past ODS episodes, bookmark their page www.OurDigitalStories.org.
While our Flash 405 season is over, Exposition Review is more than a lit journal, and the benefits of submitting go way beyond publication. Submissions for our annual issue are open—and who knows, if you are published, you may also be featured in a future podcast, reading, or other event. We also offer guaranteed feedback on all submissions received by November 1, so submit early!