Lily Bui posted on Monday, July 22nd, 2013 | PRX, STEM Story Project
This post is part of a series of posts featuring the stories from our STEM Story Project.
What is it like to emerge after 17 years alone underground? That’s the life of billions of periodical cicadas that emerged up and down the East Coast earlier this summer — the only place in the world where periodical cicadas live.
Producer Louisa Jonas’ Cicada Confidential expounds on the emergence of periodical cicadas. The piece is told from the perspective of the relatively quiet female cicada, often overshadowed in the press by stories of the raucous singing of the impetuous males. We get in the head of the female as she sees light for the first time, has sex after almost two decades of waiting, and meets her inevitable demise.
Lean in and listen:
We asked Louisa what it was like to work on this project:
“It was a good lesson in aiming for creativity while being expedient. My favorite thing was driving around New York and New Jersey on a cicada hunt [...] Not all of that audio ended up in the piece, but things are going well when you have too much good tape.”
In addition to wanting to educate her audience about periodical cicadas, Louisa also has a personal connection to these creatures.
“I tried to channel my thirteen-year-old self when I first encountered millions of cicadas and one got tangled in my hair [...] I kept that in mind, thinking about what my audience might first feel in hearing a story about a cascade of insects. Not everyone loves them, but I was hoping to show how admirable these creatures are.”
Louisa sent us a brood map that documents where Brood II of magicicada emerged this year along the East Coast. (Click for a more detailed, interactive version.)
Listen to all the other PRX STEM Story Project pieces.
This piece has aired on WTIP, Radio Newark, WNPR, RadioFreePalmer, WTJU and KZYX.
6 Comments to Cicada Confidential: Declassified
Leave a comment
Subscribe via Email
- Status Rejected: You Should Create A Canary Build For Your iPhone App March 15, 2013
- iOS 6.0 Causes CDN Overages November 14, 2012
- Growing the Ranks of Female Devs September 6, 2012
- An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.
- The Moth App: The Art of Listening to Stories on Mobile October 18, 2013
- Best New Entertainment Apps. iTunes Says So. October 17, 2013
- PRX and FRONTLINE: The Future Of TV Beyond Broadcast July 22, 2013
- Why Our Brains Make Us Click on Lists : The New Yorker December 4, 2013
- Pulling back the curtain on civic tech - Knight Foundation December 4, 2013
- Who Needs a Raise When You Have TV? - Bloomberg December 4, 2013
- Transom » Catherine Burns November 26, 2013
- Woods Hole 'Is a Serious Town,' Radio Producer Says - Business - Falmouth, MA Patch November 25, 2013