Creative Juices

After Jad Abumrad, the co-host and co-creator of the popular public-radio show Radiolab, was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2011, “I was super spun around by the question of how Radiolab came to be,” he remembers. “So originally, I was asked to give a short talk about that — how did Radiolab happen?— and I started to write it and think about it. And about three-quarters of the way through, I looked at what I’d written and thought, ‘This is total bullshit. This isn’t how it happened.’”

So Abumrad called up a friend who had been with him through the entire Radiolab journey and asked what he remembered about the show’s genesis. “He said, after a really long pause, ‘gut churn,’” Abumrad recalls. “And I thought, oh, right, not only is that the story, but it’s what I should be talking about. Because it was important for me to figure out if it’s normal, how the creative process takes you to these really high highs and low lows. Neurochemically and philosophically, are those feelings useful? Do they have a purpose?”

The result is Embracing the Gut Churn, a traveling production that explores what it means to be a creative person — all done in typical Radiolab fashion. “It should be something like a talk and a meditation and a multimedia mashup,” says Abumrad.

Embracing the Gut Churn stops at the Boulder Theater, 2032 14th Street in Boulder, at 7 p.m. tonight; tickets, $30 to $42, are available at bouldertheater.com.
Wed., Oct. 15, 7 p.m., 2014

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Amber Taufen has been writing about people, places and things in Denver since 2005. She works as an editor, writer, and production and process guru out of her home office in the foothills.
Contact: Amber Taufen