Develop HUSH, Perform at the Phipps

It all starts April 29th! Come to the party on the 30th!

Student writers, musicians, singers, actors and SFX artists welcome.

Secondary students, join The Shire’s Audio Drama Team and help us write a script, compose original music, create sound effects and act in a radio play as a part of our sci-fi podcast series “HUSH”. A new episode of HUSH is recorded every month, then broadcast on the radio show Voices in the Valley before being uploaded as a podcast. In addition, on July 27th, The finale of season 1 of HUSH will be performed and recorded live at the Phipps Center for the Arts.

  • Are you a writer? Help us write the finale and create season 2 of HUSH
  • Do you like messing with sound? Work on developing and performing sound effects
  • Are you a composer? Compose original music to underscore the production
  • Do you play instruments? Audition for the radio play band/orchestra
  • Do you sing? Write lyrics and audition for the band
  • Do you act? Help develop a role and audition for a part to perform a live radio play
  • Are you any combination of these creative artists? Then join The Shire's Audio Drama Team and participate in as many areas as you like

New this year, we will have both middle school (students entering 6th grade in the fall of 2017+) and high school creative teams. While there will be crossover between the two groups, this allows us to offer the most developmentally appropriate experience for our students. Auditions will determine who performs in the HUSH finale at the Phipps, but performance opportunities will be available to middle schoolers to perform in a mini-episode or series of outtakes and scenes.

We meet most Saturday mornings between 9:00 am to 12:00 pm depending on area of interest. Students can choose to participate in one or more (or all) of the artistic strands. For a detailed calendar or for more information, email

April 29th - Native American Immersion Experience

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

The Shire's Classroom space in the Zephyr Studio

421 South Main Street (The Brick Alley Building)

Learn the traditional ways of the Ojibwe in early Minnesota from living history teacher Mercedes Tuma-Hansen. Our finale and season 2 of HUSH will develop a parallel universe based on Ojibwe culture, so every Saturday morning in May, a different Native expert will join us to teach us about the Native experience here in the St. Croix River Valley and help us create an authentic representation in a respectful and appropriate way. Ms. Tuma-Hansen starts us out with an overview of Native culture that then focuses on the Ojibwe experience. Throughout the project, we'll be creating an original storyline while also experiencing history.

April 30th - HUSH Celebration and Organizational Meeting

1:00 PM: Parent and Student Meeting

1:30 to 3:00 PM: HUSH Immersion

The Shire's Classroom space in the Zephyr Studio

421 South Main Street (The Brick Alley Building)

Meet the HUSH team, delve into characters, travel through the HUSH universe, fantasize plot possibilities, begin learning about the Ojibwe culture and…dream. All our welcome.

May 6 - Creative License and Respectful Cultural Appropriation

9:00 AM to 12:00 PM

The Shire's Classroom space in the Zephyr Studio

421 South Main Street (The Brick Alley Building)

It's fun to learn about another a culture and use research in a story, but without proper understanding, it's easy to get it wrong or unintentionally offend. Learn how to avoid the "Avatar" effect while expanding your knowledge of the Ojibwe culture. Cyprian "Cy" DeLorme joins us to share about traditions, spirituality, dance and the Native history of the St Croix Valley.

May 7th - Native American Storytelling, Lodge Building and Feast

2:00 to 4:30 PM

Veterans Campground on Big Marine Lake

11300 180th Street North, Marine on St. Croix, MN 55047

Sponsored by the Native American Parent Advisory Committee

Join us to hear about storytelling and traditional skills of Native American people. Help build an authentic Ojibwe summer lodge, hear traditional stories, and take a nature walk. Learn about the ancient craft of traditional tanning of animal hides and view a “winter count” style art piece created by Native American families on traditionally-tanned hide.The afternoon will conclude with a feast in the pavilion (tacos, chips and beverages), sponsored by the Veterans Campground and Stillwater NAPAC. There is no cost for this event but we need to know how many people will be staying for the feast. Please email to reserve spot. Family and friends welcome.

We mainly meet on Saturdays from 9 to 12

Other Native experts including James Vukelich, Collen Baldrica and NAPAC Advisor Denise Stephens will be joining us on May 13, 20 and 27. Also in May and into June, the HUSH team will write the finale and outline and write episodes for season 2. Composers will create original music. In July, actors, musicians and sound effect artists will prepare for the live performance and recording the evening of Thursday, July 27th.

More details about the calendar will be detailed at the April 30th meeting. Note that our live performance will be the evening of Thursday, July 27th at the Phipps. We will have rehearsal every evening that week, including July 24, 25 and 26. Please feel free to contact Executive Producer Stephani Atkins by emailing or calling 651-351-0804.

Register today! Fill out the form below.

Tuition for the May through August trimester is $175 and includes the entire experience. Checks can be made payable to StoryArk, our 501(c)3 organization and mailed to 640 Main Street N, #34, Stillwater, MN 55082. All students are welcome regardless of ability to pay. Contact for more information.
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Thanks to the St. Croix Valley Foundation and Kowalski's Market for their support

This project received funding from the St. Croix Valley Foundation and the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin.

StoryArk Matters

As the umbrella organization for The Shire, Voices in the Valley and #HUSHpodcast, StoryArk nurtures storytelling in all of its diversity across the generations and through multiple media. By sharing our stories, we impact our selves, our community, our culture, our country and even our world.

StoryArk is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.