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For immediate release
March 16, 2000

NPR Launches Unprecedented Radio Drama
Starring Robin Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, and 75 Others

In April 2000, National Public Radio © (NPR©), will launch an unprecedented radio drama entitled "Beyond 2000". This exciting new series will consist of 26 hour-long programs showcasing a collection of speculative fiction that look beyond the present to the social and technological possibilities of the new millennium. The scale of this project has been compared to a large-scale movie production, as there has seldom been a radio drama series with so many episodes and actors.

Robin Williams, Richard Dreyfuss, and Charles Durning are among seventy-five actors who will star in the dramas. Each of the 26 episodes is hosted by the award winning author, Harlan Ellison and are based on works by well-known writers, such as Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, Jules Verne, Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, and Jack London. According to Ellison, "as we teeter precariously on the lip of a new millennium, with the stars above us and the abyss yawning beneath us, 'Beyond 2000' opens a magical door to the game of what-if."

Each episode, which takes place totally or substantially in a time after 2000 AD, is a theatrical look at the endless possibilities of life in the distant future. For example, some episodes will take a comical look at: the abolishment of menstruation; a situation that arises when a giant computer that controls civilization breaks down; and a revealing report from a group of intelligent forest animals who send an expedition to the ruins of the extinct human race.

NPR has partnered with Yuri Rasovsky's award-winning Hollywood Theater of the Ear to produce this series. Rasovsky has worked professionally in theater and broadcasting as an actor, writer, director and producer for nearly 30 years. He has created hundreds of radio productions heard on commercial and public radio outlets around the world. "Beyond 2000" is made possible by a major grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

* For broadcast times in a specific city, contact your local NPR station

Renowned for its journalistic excellence and standard-setting news, information, and cultural programming, NPR serves a growing audience of 14.6 million Americans each week via 625 public radio stations. NPR also distributes programming to listeners in Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa via NPR Worldwidesm, to military installations overseas via American Forces Network and throughout Japan via cable.