Lisa Tobin is the senior producer of the Dear Sugar podcast. In that role, she produces and oversees the popular podcast with hosts Cheryl Strayed and Steve Almond. This includes researching ideas for the podcast, selecting letters and guests as well as overseeing the editing of the podcast. She is also responsible for developing digital, social media and live events for the podcast.
Her background is in both radio and digital — having started her public radio career working as a news writer at WBUR before becoming the station’s first dedicated web producer. She helped in the station’s transition to a digital news operation before returning to radio as a field producer for Morning Edition. She is also the founder of Audiofiles, a site that curates the best of public radio storytelling.
She graduated from Tufts University. Originally from the Pacific Northwest, she lives in Cambridge.
The Sugars record the show in front of a live audience at First Parish Church in Harvard Square. Taped on the occasion of Cheryl’s new book of quotes, Brave Enough, the Sugars discuss the importance of quotations in their own lives. The questions come from the audience — from a Harvard grad student who just lost a loved one to suicide to a young person gripped by jealousy in romantic relationships. They are joined on stage by rock star Amanda Palmer.
The Sugars are taking this week off, to focus on answering new letters. We’ll be back next week, but in the meantime, we revisit this conversation about the traumas of our past and their role in our present.
The Sugars exploration of infidelity continues with Part 2: The Betrayers. They take letters from a desperate wife, whose husband gave her a second chance after an emotional infidelity, only for her to do it again; and from a young mother who has gotten herself tangled up with the next-door neighbor after years of unhappy marriage.
The first in a multi-part exploration of infidelity. In Part 1, the Sugars consider letters from the Betrayed; in Part 2, they’ll consider the Betrayers. They’re also joined by the writer and performer Lauren Weedman, who experienced one of the more nightmarish clichés of infidelity, and tells the story.
Dear Sugar Radio is taking off Labor Day 2015 weekend. We’ll be back next week with new episodes. In the meantime, we’re reposting this episode from March 2015, “How Do I Survive The Critics?” with special guest George Saunders. We thought, going into the new school year, it’s a good time to revisit the topic — how do we handle judgment about our work, even the harshest criticism?
The Sugars take a question from the mother of young twins. Her own mother left when she was two years old, and her stepmother was a controlling and manipulative presence in her life. The letter writer is afraid that these toxic experiences being mothered make her destined to fail as a mother.
In this episode, the Sugars take a question from a young woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her because of questions about his sexuality. The letter writer is heartbroken and confused — and trying to figure out what it means and whether to wait around while he figures it out.
The Sugars take a question from a young woman who takes great pleasure in socializing. Her fiance, on the other hand, dreads group settings and gets very agitated every time she wants to go to an event together. She wonders what is so unpleasant for him about spending time with her and her friends.
In this episode, the Sugars take questions exclusively from teenagers. They answer two letters that get at the universal themes of adolescence — the sense of being alone, the fear of being left out, the desire to please others — and one letter from a teenager for whom outside forces have marked her teenage experience as different from her peers. The Sugars are joined by Tavi Gevinson, the 19-year-old founder and editor of Rookie, a digital magazine for teenage girls.
The Sugars take a question from a young man whose mother has metastatic breast cancer. He is spending a month back home in Kentucky over the summer, then returning to graduate school in the fall. He is wracked with guilt about not being with her, but also at the thought of her dying without knowing who he really is — a gay man in a family where homosexuality has always been condemned.
Some days the frozen river looks like an abstract work of art, some nights it looks like the surface of the moon.
Baratunde Thurston says comedy and technology make for a powerful combination — and he’s bringing the two together for a Comedy Hack Day this weekend at the MIT Media Lab.