JONATHAN MITCHELL (writer, director, producer) has contributed a wide range of work—documentaries, fictional stories, non-narrated sound collages, and original music— to all sorts of programs: Radiolab, Studio 360, This American Life, Hearing Voices, Fair Game, The Next Big Thing, and PBS’s Nova, to name a few. His work has won many awards, including the Peabody, Third Coast Festival, and the Gold Mark Time Award for Best Science Fiction Audio. He studied music composition at University of Illinois and Mills College, and lives in New York City.

ED HERBSTMAN (writer, performer) has been teaching performance improvisation and sketch comedy writing for over 15 years. He began working at The Second City as a member of their National Touring Company, and studied improv under Del Close. Ed was a contributing writer on season two of HBOs Da Ali G Show. Ed was also a Police Officer for 3 years, assigned to the 70th Precinct in Flatbush Brooklyn where he once arrested a gun-toting drug dealer for kidnapping a prostitute. In 2005 he became a co-founder of Magnet Theater where he currently performs and teaches improvisation and comedy writing. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and kids (and dog).

MELANIE HOOPES (writer, performer) is an educator, writer and performer. She is the writer and director of Laurie Stanton's Sound Diet, a hilarious but darkly painful radio drama show recorded live at NYC's Magnet Theater, that's been described as a combination of A Prairie Home Companion and Joe Frank. She writes an advice column for the Park Slope Reader called "The Hypocrite's Almanac" and edits the PS261 Newsletter. She's part of the Bummer Collective with Jean Villepique and Rachel Hamilton. Melanie's currently working on a new solo show on aging. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their two kids.

THE TRUTH makes movies for your ears: short stories that are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always intriguing. Each story is different, and usually 10 to 20 minutes long. We take you to unexpected places using only sound. Listening with headphones is encouraged!

We are a completely independent production, and we create our own original stories. Many of our actors perform and teach at Magnet Theater in New York City. Our stories are directed, mixed, and sound designed by Jonathan Mitchell, who has been making radio for nearly 20 years.

Our dramatic fiction has been broadcast all over the world, and featured on many public radio programs including This American Life, Studio 360, and Snap Judgment.

We're a founding member of Radiotopia from PRX.


KERRY KASTIN (associate producer) came to NYC from Virginia by way of Stockbridge, Massachusetts and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. At BTF she was an Artist-in-Residence, teaching acting and playwriting in local elementary schools. Since moving to New York, she has worked as a performer, director, and stage manager with companies such as The New York Shakespeare Exchange, Vineyard Arts Project, and Lincoln Center, and trained in improv comedy at Gotham City Improv and Magnet Theater. Kerry is also co-founder and Artistic Director of the Blowout Theatre Company.

ELANA FISHBEIN (writer, performer) is an actress, improvisor, and teacher based in New York City. She can be seen performing around the City with the Story Pirates, a non-profit arts-in-education organization that takes stories written by kids and adapts them into crazy, hilarious sketches and songs. Elana is the director of the Magnet Theater’s Youth Program and improvises with Featherweight, Kiss Punch Poem, The Armando Diaz Experience, and the Magnet Theater TourCo. Elana earned her M.A. in Educational Theater from NYU and her B.A. in Drama from Vassar College. Her favorite succulent is jade.

LOUIS KORNFELD (writer, performer) is a teacher and ensemble member at NYC's Magnet Theater. He can be seen regularly performing there with house improv team The Boss as part of Thursday Night Out, as well as Theory of Everything and MegaLou. Louis has appeared in countless other shows at Magnet and elsewhere, including The Armando Diaz Experience, Tiny Spectacular, and a stint touring with The Second City onboard the NCL Gem. He still hopes you're enjoying your cruise.


"I know of nothing else in the audiosphere like The Truth -- and nothing smarter, more entertaining, consistently surprising or beautifully produced, either."

            - Kurt Andsersen, novelist and host of Studio 360

"Radio drama done right"

            - Roman Mars, host and producer of 99% Invisible

"Alchemical magic"

            - Pete Naughton, The Telegraph

"I’ve been bingeing on The Truth podcast. REALLY well done. Highly recommended."

            - Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3