Helwalker is a folk opera audio drama which explores nature, decay and renewal in the context of a classic hero's journey narrative structure. The story centers around Spearwa, a Viking Shieldmaiden who is wounded in battle and separated from her companions. Spearwa is discovered by a Carrion Beetle and tricked into entering the realm of Hel, or the earth, through a door newly opened by the roots of a fallen oak tree. Realizing her predicament, Spearwa flees into an earthen labyrinth, pursued by the Carrion Beetle and a merry band of scavengers. After many adventures beneath the earth's surface, Spearwa emerges, emotionally and magically transformed by her experience.



Music - Barbara Byers
Libretto - Barbara Byers
Song Lyric contribution - Daniel Byers
Musical Co-Director - Kyle Adam Blair 
Conductor - Jonathan Stallings
Sound Recording - Douglas Osman, Nathaniel Haering
Sound Editing - Barbara Byers
Origami - Alex Taylor

Piano - Kyle Adam Blair
Double Bass - Kathryn Schulmeister
Trombone - Berk Schneider
Drumset - Joseph Bourdeau 

Spearwa - Lizze Fisher
Carrion Beetle - Barbara Byers 
Hel - Barbara Byers, Mariana Flores, Julia Yu
Leech - Alex Taylor
Companion 1 - Miguel Zazueta-cervera 
Companion 2 - Julia Yu
Scavengers - Isabella Panagiotou, Julia Yu, Mariana Flores, Miguel Zazueta-cervera, Alex Taylor, Barbara Byers
Earth Creature Voice Overs - Barbara Byers, Joseph Bourdeau, Julia Yu

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