As a young working actor in Scotland, Alan Cumming worked extensively in radio, performing in radio plays for Radio 4 and BBC throughout the 80s and 90s. When he came to the U.S. for acting roles, he largely stopped taking on those kinds of projects. In recent years, however, he’s gone back to his roots through his work with audiobook and podcast company Audible.

“We live in a time of podcasts, and it’s actually been great to go back to what I think of as radio drama, and how great it is that you can tell stories that can be huge and can have such scale, but because they’re oral, they’re more manageable and able to produce,” Cumming said at the Variety Streaming Room panel presented by Audible. “I think it’s good that we’ve gone from just chatty podcasts, as great as some of them are, into narrative and drama, and going back to the storytelling that I think is actually what is at the heart of Audible and what it initially was supposed to do, which is to tell people books in an oral way and tell stories in that way. So I find it a really great thing. I’m constantly so surprised by the things I’m presented with and the new people I’m meeting. But in a way, for me, it’s harking back to a time and a genre that I’ve really missed in my working life.”

Cumming spoke at Audio Storytelling: The New Frontier panel hosted by Variety senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay. He was joined by Rachel Brosnahan, star and executive producer of the upcoming Audible Original podcast “The Miranda Obsession;” record producer, singer and songwriter Maejor whose Audible Original “Maejor Frequency” debuted on Jan. 20; Jesse Eisenberg, whose Sundance film “When You Finish Saving the World” is based on an Audible Original; and Rachel Ghizza, executive vice president of U.S. content at Audible. The panelists shared details on their current projects with Audible, and discussed what drew them to creating audio content in the first place.

“I have stories that are sitting in my drawer for years because they don’t seem to work in the traditional media that exist,” Eisenberg said. “So this has been such a relief, to find that stories can work in this medium in a way that are impossible to present in others.”

While discussing what she sees for the future of audio storytelling, Brosnahan said she feels like the space will be able to support riskier, more intimate stories that other mediums might be hesitant to explore. Brosnahan’s series is uniquely appropriate for audio storytelling, as it is inspired by the true story of Miranda Grosvenor — the mysterious woman who seduced powerful men in Hollywood in the ’70s and ’80s over the phone

“We have so much new technology that can allow us to think even more creatively about what kinds of stories might be either more intimate or have their subjects be further illuminated through this medium,” Brosnahan said. “And it kind of feels like the Wild West out there right now in terms of what’s going on with theatrical, and the streaming services, and the various platforms you can consume television on, where all the numbers are driving so many of the decisions about what kinds of stories get told. It feels like a space where there’s the possibility for a lot of risk taking that some other platforms may be more averse to. And it just feels like a space where limitless creativity is being fostered.”