By Dan Murphy
To mark the launch of her podcast “Red Line,” which tells the story of a Millennial woman who dreams of settling in Beacon Hill in the shadow of the MBTA subway line, creator G. D. Spilsbury will be on hand with the series’ lead actress and producer as part of the Canvas Fine Arts Gallery Night at the Liberty Hotel on Tuesday, May 2.
Spilsbury, a longtime resident of Charles River Park and author of four novels, several screenplays and bi-weekly film reviews published in the Boston City Paper and on her blog, found her inspiration for the story in a November 2015 Beacon Hill Times story that identified access to the MBTA service as the most important factor for members of Generation Y (i.e. those born between 1982 and 2004) in deciding where to live and work. She originally conceived it as a work of fiction, but was compelled to adapt into a 21-episode podcast after reading a New York Times story the following March that examined the growing popularity of fictional podcasts.
“Red Line” focuses on 29-year-old Pia LoMonte who arrives in Boston upon joining the faculty of the Haskell School in Wessex, a fictional Greater Boston suburb. LoMonte becomes romantically involved with the “handsome, successful, but increasingly questionable” Rod Tucker, a young professional she considers living with in a desperate bid to fulfill her ambition of moving to downtown Boston. Along the way, LoMonte clashes with Lori Schlusser, the aristocratic dean, and wins the affection of Tian Wu, a billionaire parent and one of the school’s biggest benefactors.
Spilsbury said the story juxtaposes the timeless theme of love against a Millennial backdrop, replete with climate change, terrorism and wars, and “what their generation faces as they try to heal.”
To play the role of LoMonte, Spilsbury selected Anna Gravél, an actor, filmmaker, and storyteller who earned a bachelor’s degree in theater from the University of Southern Maine. Frederick Greenhalgh, a Maine native who “brings recording techniques from his indie film background to the production of audio drama,” serves as producer and director of the podcast, which Spilsbury likens to a conversation one would have with LoMonte sitting at a café.
The podcast’s launch party takes place under the auspices of Canvas Fine Arts Gallery Night at the Liberty Hotel, 215 Charles St., on Tuesday, May 2, from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
“Red Line” will subsequently release two new episodes each week on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher – search for “Red Line Boston” – or listen at the podcast’s Web site at www.redlinepodcast.com. (A sneak preview of the first episode is also now available at the aforementioned site).