Listening to a great story is one of the oldest and most beloved human experiences, so it’s no surprise that auditory storytelling is making a comeback.
A beautifully produced combination of voices, effects, and music can create mental images in listeners’ imaginations that no film can match.
This kind of epic storytelling is the Augustine Institute Radio Theatre’s mission: to inspire listeners with stories of heroic lives.
Past audio dramas include The Legends of Robin Hood (2019), The Trials of St. Patrick (2017), Ode to Saint Cecilia (2017), and Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi (2016). You can access Augustine Institute audio dramas at AIRTheatre.org.
The Augustine Institute released its newest audio drama, The Victory of Joan of Arc, on May 30. Thrilling, rousing, and carefully researched, the audio drama brings to life the story of St. Joan of Arc like you’ve never heard it before.
One of the most compelling and mysterious figures ever to live, Joan of Arc was a young French peasant who bravely faced kings and armies to follow God’s call. Born in a small village during the long and bloody Hundred Years’ War, she rose from obscurity to serve God and lead France. Her mission was to save her people from the English invaders and restore the true king to the French throne. She died at the stake after a corrupt trial named her a witch. Her courage, boldness, and holiness led history to call her a hero and the Church to declare her a saint. Hear her unique and fascinating story in this powerful “movie of the mind” audio drama.
The audio dramas are written and directed by Paul McCusker, an award-winning storyteller with decades of experience (you may remember his Adventures in Odyssey audio dramas!). He shared a little of his extensive research process to create his newest work.
“Joan’s trial and retrial were substantially documented. I had access to all of that material, in addition to multiple biographies written about her,” he said. “I explored just about everything I could get my hands on.”
This colorful story can help listeners realize that the saints aren’t one-dimensional characters. Rather, they are flesh-and-blood people, with their own faults and temptations, who persevered in faithfulness to God.
St. Joan’s story resonates with so many people because of its universal lessons—messages our world needs today. Although she was young, she followed God faithfully.
“A person’s age should never be an obstacle when it comes to following the call of God,” McCusker said. “Joan was only 17 when she entered the fray of a violently polarized nation. She knew what she was called to do, overcame remarkable obstacles, and endured painful setbacks, even without knowing the ultimate outcome. Her obedience changed the course of history.”
McCusker shared what a joy it is to hear from listeners of all ages. “Most are pleased to have been entertained by stories that had lost their impact because of familiarity,” he said. “They thought they knew St. Joan of Arc, or St. Francis, or St. Patrick, and discovered otherwise.”
These audio dramas can beautifully inspire listeners in their spiritual lives. “Some of the younger listeners have taken on these saints as their patrons because of these dramas,” he said. “Those who didn’t really understand the power of audio drama have been surprised by how vividly they imagine the stories.”
At its heart, The Victory of Joan of Arc urges listeners to consider this question: What is God calling you to do in your own time and place?
“God calls each of us to his work in our specific times and places,” McCusker said. “Every saint heard that call and responded—with obstacles, struggles, pain, even elements of doubt—but they persevered.”
St. Joan has inspired countless people through the ages to this steadfast perseverance. The Victory of Joan of Arc brings her story to life for a new generation of listeners in a way they’ll never forget.
Start listening to The Victory of Joan of Arc today! Check it out on the Amen app.