The West

Did the Soviets Really Win the Space Race?


The West presents an all-new podcast miniseries and postcard mystery with


Cold War alternate-reality-adventure The Soyuz Files is building buzz across social media and in physical mailboxes around the globe.

What if the Soviets won the Space Race? From the award-winning producers of the web-series God Particles (International Academy of Web Television Award for Best Microbudget Series, 2015) comes an interactive podcast involving real postcards, decoded messages, and planetwide collaboration to unravel a knot of international intrigue.

When the player visits, they come upon old postcards from a Soviet scientist, American radio broadcasts, and (if they are a very sharp) a code that will lead to a secret that could take down the entire Soviet Union.

The Soyuz Files captures the imagination, ignites the intellect, and breaks down the barrier between audience and narrative.

Follow intrepid journalist Jack Schecter as he bounces across the world, and drop in on his recorded conversations and radio broadcasts—an immersive story rife with clues and culture that sharpens and quickens as he gets closer to the terrible truth.

As the far-flung social media community discovers, snaps, and hashtags their found postcards, more of the story is uncovered: a story of friendship, deep pain, and the forces that tear nations apart—and bind them together.

The postcards were mailed as a reward for a fundraising campaign for The West’s 2015 play Lady Into Fox (one of Time Out Los Angeles’s 10 best plays of 2015). Recipients are encouraged to upload a picture with the hashtag #SoyuzFiles so everyone can play the game.

“People talk about multimedia, but this is true, physical multi-media—I feel like I’m discovering actual objects that have leaked in from another world.”
—Devin O’Neill, The Armageddon Club

Featured on Planetary Radio

On the August 22 episode of Planetary Radio, host Mat Kaplan spoke with space policy expert and historian John Logsdon about how the Soviet Union could have beaten the United States in the Space Race, and The Soyuz Files was featured as part of their discussion. The online audience numbers over 25,000 for each episode, and it’s syndicated to over 150 radio stations.

Bill Nye the Science Guy is CEO of The Planetary Society, the non-profit space exploration and education organization that produces the show.

Where and How to Play

The entire project is hosted at The podcast can be downloaded in iTunes, Stitcher, Soundcloud, and other podcatchers, while the postcards can be seen by searching Facebook and Instagram for #SoyuzFiles. Once you have cracked the code in the postcards, you can enter it at for top-secret goodies the KGB doesn’t want you to see.

For more information, photos, and press interviews please contact us.

About the Creative Team

Spencer Devlin Howard (podcast) Spencer is a filmmaker, theatermaker, graphic designer, and voice-over actor. Raised in Los Angeles by two parents working in entertainment, making stories is all he’s ever thought about. With The West, he’s directed and edited sketches and short films, and produced the award-winning web series God Particles. The short film he edited, Like Animals, is currently on the festival circuit.

Nathan Turner (postcards) Nathan is an artist living in Los Angeles. He likes to make art that involves books, philosophy, physics, poetry, and esoteric knowledge of every kind. He graduated from UC San Diego (where he met the fine folks at The West) and is happy to find in them a community of creators aimed at allowing audiences to learn more about themselves and the world.

THE SOYUZ FILES is produced by The West and performed by Spencer Devlin Howard, Nathan Turner, Claire Kaplan, Sam Hunter, Matt MacNelly, Thomas Miller, Cate Scott Campbell, Ross Crain, Steven Hastings, and Shannon Stockwell.

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The West makes not only sketch comedy, but live plays, web series, short and feature length films, immersive events, campfires, haunted houses, lecture series, book readings, and anything else that requires at least one person to perform for at least one other person. They seek contemporary analogues for ancient campfire rituals and tap into the power that performance has over individuals and communities.

Their show LADY INTO FOX was named one of the 10 Best Shows of 2015 by Time Out Los Angeles. The American premiere of THE SUITCASE is currently running at The Echo Theater Company in Atwater Village and was named a Top 10 Recommended Pick by Stage Raw.