Creating S-Town at the Curran in Union Square, San Francisco

Creating S-Town


Get 20% off tickets to both SHOW & TELL events with code USBID, including the VIP experience.
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In their talk, S-Town co-creators Brian Reed & Julie Snyder walk their audience through the process of how they developed an entirely new kind of storytelling, taking techniques from literature and merging them with journalism in ways that hadn’t been done before. Using audio outtakes and reporting details that never made it into the final version, Brian and Julie reveal how they invented this groundbreaking new way of telling a story.

S-Town, produced by Serial and This American Life, broke podcast records by reaching 40 million downloads in its first month. Rigorously reported and entirely true, S-Town is the first podcast that feels like reading a masterful novel.

Reed spent more than 3 years reporting and writing S-Town, which began when a man named John B. McLemore asked Reed to investigate an alleged murder in his small Alabama town. The series won widespread popular and critical acclaim for elevating audio storytelling into the realm of great literature. As senior producer of This American Life, Reed oversees the editorial direction of the program with host and executive producer Ira Glass. In his seven years with the show, Reed has created some of its most ambitious stories, including “The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra,” an investigation into the Federal Reserve’s supervision of Goldman Sachs; “Cops See It Differently,” a nuanced look at the relationship between African Americans and the police; “Abdi and the Golden Ticket,” which follows a Somali refugee desperately trying to get to America; and “What Happened at Dos Erres,” the story of a massacre in Guatemala and its reverberations decades later.

Reed has investigated multiple sketchy FBI operations, as well as produced stories about strange coincidences and car salesmen on Long Island and a turkey who terrorized a neighborhood before getting murdered by police. His journalism has helped an immigrant gain asylum in the U.S. and prompted a Senate Committee to grill the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Before joining This American Life as an intern in 2010, Reed reported and produced for NPR as one of their Kroc Fellows and their first Above the Fray Fellow. Reed has received the Dart Award for Reporting on Trauma, the Overseas Press Club Award, and the Peabody Award.

Join the Curran for Sepcial Experience!
Refreshments and mingling with Brian and Julie after the show. VIP tickets are $85 and get you the best seat in the house and complimentary beverages at the VIP reception.

Doors open for general admission at 6:00 pm.


445 Geary Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States