Twice Free: Amanda Smith, Promising First Release from Leaving A Legacy Ministries

Leaving a Legacy Ministries released their first audio drama production! Twice Free is a biographical story of how a family obtained their...

Leaving a Legacy Ministries released their first audio drama production! Twice Free is a biographical story of how a family obtained their freedom from slavery in the 1800’s. Told from the perspective of Amanda Smith telling the testimony of her family at a camp meeting, the story covers a significant period of time and tells an inspiring story of God’s work of freedom.

The ministry did not start with the goal of producing audio dramas, though story-telling has always been an integral part of the vision. It began with Executive Producer, Elizabeth Hamilton, listening to her father’s story of fighting under General MacArthur in World War II and his conversion. She started the ministry to tell that story in a way that would be useful as material for Sunday School or Bible club meetings. You can read more about that story (and how he got a bullet in the neck!) here: Since 2006, they have published a total of 9 stories in what she calls “the visualized-story genre.”

So how did Leaving a Legacy decide to venture into an audio format? Elizabeth Hamilton, who wrote the script for this story, says that the idea came to her in 2019. “We have seen the power of audio dramas to shape lives!” she wrote. Having grown up gathered around the stereo listening to many audio dramas, and seeing the effect these kinds of stories have had on her children and other family members, the family decided to join the foray. “Although there are so many wonderful audios, it seemed that we didn’t know of a lot of biographical holiness audio dramas,” she said.

Executive Producer, Elizabeth Hamilton and her husband, Todd

Twice Free is the result. Since this is their first production, they are still “feeling their way through,” and, of course, there is room for improvement. However, the Hamilton family and the hard-working people who partnered with them, (like Bobby Pickett with Nomad Studios and our very own Austin Peachey), have produced an inspiring and entertaining story that is well worth knowing.

The sound design is done very well, serving the story as an aid and not a distraction, and the audio quality is clear. One of the exceptional things about the story is the inclusion of several older gospel songs that fit well with the context of the story, particularly since it is told from the perspective of a testimony at a camp meeting. I downloaded the last track, “All My Hope”, just to listen to separately.

There were a couple of things I felt could be adjusted to improve the overall storytelling. The subject matter covered in this story has some intense themes, which prompt many moments of passion and emotion, but occasionally, the acting did not quite meet the emotional intensity of the content. Though I enjoyed the voices used, I would have appreciated hearing more feeling in several scenes. For example, when the grandmother is praying for her family’s freedom and her granddaughter asks her what is wrong, the line fell a little flat since I didn’t feel the emotion of the prayer. Or when Mary is singing at Celie’s bedside, though her voice is beautiful, and the song is produced well, for the story’s sake, it would have been more believable if her voice cracked and faltered as she sang, and we could sense the heartache she was experiencing.

From a story perspective, I really enjoyed the build-up that was happening in a particular scene in the latter half of the 32-minute production. The voices of the slave hunters were excellent, very well-suited to the part, and I could feel the suspense and tension as they formed their plan. However, the story moves on from a very exciting moment without seeming to resolve the adventure. It was not clear to me if the slave ended up being caught (though I presume he wasn't). Or why the slave hunters didn't capitalize on the knowledge that the family was helping runaway slaves, especially since it seemed they had the evidence they needed when the family walked right into their trap. It was possibly the most exciting moment of the drama, but, though I could speculate on what happened, it felt incomplete.

Those issues notwithstanding, this is a powerful story, well-worth listening to with your family. Though the environment and overall ideas were familiar, this particular story was not familiar to me. I enjoyed the part the Methodist camp meeting played in the storyline and laughed out loud during the scene depicting Celie’s parents’ consternation at her conversion. Several significant themes emerge from the story which would be good springboards for discussion. The concepts of conversion, how God works all things together for good, and the values of freedom are embedded within the story and are crucial reminders for all of us. I especially liked the line that described the things they were giving up, culminating in the phrase, “Nothing is worth losing our freedom.”

Twice Free Audio Drama Teaser

Leaving a Legacy is already working on their second story titled, The Reverend Spy. Production has already started though no release date has been announced yet. I look forward to their future releases, and add my voice to the invitation given in the summary of this story: “Join Amanda Smith as she testifies in campmeeting of her family’s journey to be free. Then as part of the underground railroad, her family witnesses the struggles of other slaves. Nothing is more important than freedom!”

Michael Schroeder has been passionate about stories and writing since he was a child. Through helping with short, audio drama skits, acting, and personal writing projects, Michael grew in his love for all things story. He attended the Lamplighter Guild for Creative Disciplines in New York several years in a row to get creative training from masters within the world of Christian audio drama. He resides in Northern Colorado and has been involved in writing, Bible studies, and teaching voice acting with Lost Marbles Theatrics.


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