Shima Oliai’s new audio series explores teenage girlhood in America

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Unique:Shima Oliai, co-creator of Hit Podcast Dolly Parton’s America And pink cardis exploring the complex nature of boyhood in America for her next audio series.

Oliai has teamed up with Audacy’s Pineapple Street Studios and Wondery Competition.

The series explores the prestigious Young Women’s Programme.

Every summer for the past seven decades, 50 high school seniors – one from each state – descend on Mobile, Alabama, to compete in one of the nation’s most lucrative scholarship competitions for teenage girls.

The series follows seven girls as they experience the ups and downs of the competition, away from home for two weeks and in the most stressful of circumstances. Some girls come for money and some for prestige. All of them are destined to be the best and the brightest, but only one of them will win the top prize. The series asks, what can two weeks with the country’s 50 most ambitious teens tell us about girls in America?

Oliai has personal experience on this topic. She was a contestant in Nevada in 2001 and after more than 20 years

Competition Takes listeners behind the scenes of the prestigious Young Women (DYW) program, and returns to Alabama as a judge. Oliai’s producers were completely connected with the girls on the other side, recording everything that happened, from the silliest to the most vulnerable moments. After the competition he traveled around the country, interviewing contestants over the next year – revealing everything that happened in those two weeks in Mobile.

The series launches on Wondery+ and Amazon Music on April 15, before becoming available everywhere on April 29.

Oliai, who founded Shirzad Productions, is coming from behind pink cardA series that follows three generations of Iranian women who risk their lives for the simple right to watch a soccer game on ESPN’s 30 for 30. Previously he co-created, produced and reported Dolly Parton’s America and he also created The disappearance of Harry Pace And Not deleted.

Before moving to audio, he worked for four seasons on the comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

listen to the trailer Here,

Shima Oliai’s time as a contestant in 2001

“Girls’ World has become inescapable over the past few years – much has been said about girls’ culture, girls’ mental health, and even the billion-dollar world tour inspired by girls’ emotions. But we have heard very little from the girls themselves. The series follows a diverse group of American working- and middle-class teens who attempt to achieve the impossible through a scholarship competition the summer before entering adulthood. It gave me a chance to reflect on my journey as a one-time participant and first-generation American—now, a ‘successful woman’—coming back as a judge. What is asked of me, of all of us, in striving to reach new heights? What can these hard-working teenage girls in the pageant tell us about being a woman in America? “And what does the ever-elusive American dream look like in their eyes?” Oliai said.

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