michelle by lake with sky


I’m producing stories that inspire reflection and conversation.

The Departure Train

Meet 87-year-old Audrey Doyle who dies and boards a train in the afterlife. Guided by a mysterious conductor, Audrey’s journey takes her back through time to face truths she has spent a lifetime trying to bury.

Written by Michelle Tocher, and directed by Nicole Arends, with sound and music by Phil Strong, The Departure Train is an 85-minute audio drama that offers comfort and inspires us to reflect on our lives and our most meaningful legacies.

To find out more please visit thedeparturetrain.com

AMI Radio TDT Interview with Michelle Tocher and Nicole Arends

Have a listen to Michelle’s ten-minute interview on AMI-Audio. Hosted by Kelly & Co., October, 2022.

The Tower Princess: A Fairy Tale Lived

Audiobook read by Michelle Tocher

In my memoir, The Tower Princess, I venture into the imaginal world of fairy tales to reclaim the lost princess. In the mid-1990s when I was struggling with chronic pain, I had slipped into a dangerous depression. As a storyteller, I knew that fairy tales had healing power, but I hadn’t experienced for myself. The Tower Princess records what happened as I moved into the imaginal realm of the fairy tale in a search for the lost princess and my lost self.

The audiobook presented me with the daunting challenge of becoming all the voices in the story. and I’m indebted to audiobook producer Mark Shipman at Audivita, who encouraged me to go for it. “Your book is one of the best books I’ve worked on,” he wrote. “The story is deeply personal and astoundingly universal at the same time. Your vocal modulation, characterizations, pacing, and rhythm make for a wonderful and profoundly engaging experience.”

Sir Viss

Sir Viss is a modern fable, written and told by Michelle Tocher, about a robot and his brilliant (but depraved) creator, a man named “Popeye” Irving. Popeye has designed the robot to be his servant, but when Popeye starts to tyrannize people, the robot has to make a choice about how best to serve his master. The 16 minute film has been masterfully illustrated by Richard Row, and directed, edited and produced by David Adkin.

Three Sir Viss video awards

Sir Viss Review

“Sir Viss is an unexpected modern allegory. Michelle Tocher created and tells the story of Sir Viss through the spoken word accompanied by drawn colored pictures. The interesting presentation feels like a video audio “book.” What seems a simple story weaves complex themes of artificial intelligence, social conventions, social status, service, freedom, isolation, and loneliness. The story is so rich and Ms. Tocher’s interpretation so good, that it feels as though we are watching an animated film even though the images are still. Even after the short is finished, one keeps thinking about the story and the ramifications of Popeye’s creation.”

Beth Steele Radiseck
Special Programs Director, Cleveland International Film Festival

Soul Fish

Soul Fish is an award-winning fable about a puffer fish who leaves the “fish-eat-fish world” to go and find his soul. It’s ten minutes long, and designed for all ages.

Canada shorts AWARD OF COMMENDATION laurel - 500

I Carry You

At the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, I was inspired to write this song as a tribute to the people who are in the frontlines, and also the people who have passed on and have left us with an exemplary legacy. From my heart to yours.

Read more about this piece on the  “I Carry You” blog post.

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