Review of End Of Darkness from Bible Actors Productions

In the spring of 2020, Bible Actors Productions , a theater group based in Lansing, Michigan released their first audio drama production. Af...

In the spring of 2020, Bible Actors Productions, a theater group based in Lansing, Michigan released their first audio drama production. After many hours of tireless work on the part of writer/director Daniel Hancock and the entire cast and crew, they presented to the world the biblical epic, End Of Darkness.

Jesus of Nazareth recruits an unlikely group of disciples to join him in confronting spiritual darkness and launching the kingdom of God on earth. But hopes are shattered when he is falsely tried and executed. Will light yet shine in the darkness?
Faithful to the Biblical text and dedicated to excellence in storytelling, the Bible Actors deliver a bold rendition of the Gospel narrative. With a full cast of 50 voice actors, immersive sound effects, an original score, and unforgettable performances, END OF DARKNESS is a powerful, one-of-a-kind dramatic experience you don’t want to miss!

This is a very ambitious project. For a group of people who have never produced an audio drama before, this is much better than many other indie producers' first works. The 3-and-a-half hour long production offers the listener a good overview of the gospels. 

The way the story is framed is quite unique. It starts after Jesus’ crucifixion and then uses flashbacks to tell what happened before that time. It is definitely a more original way to present the oft retold and greatest story ever.

There are some great sound design moments that depict scenes from this familiar story in ways that I never had heard before. One is when Jesus is arrested, and Peter attacks a servant. The listener is placed inside that servant’s head and we “hear” what it might sound like with an ear cut off. It makes you feel the story more. The sound designer also takes the part in scripture where it says “Then entered Satan into Judas” literally. We hear the devil and Judas’ voice mingled together. It is another imaginative and well-executed moment.

With that said, there are a few moments where some acting and sound design is a little rough. As for the score, the music is pretty good and helps tell the story well.

Unfortunately, there is one aspect of this production that may give parents some pause. The passage in the Bible where it says Peter curses and swears while denying Jesus is heard here. In other dramatizations I have heard, Peter is only heard saying “I swear it” or something similar. In this production, Peter actually says a profanity. It is, however, a word that is found in some Bible translations (though not in this setting nor in the context of uttering a profanity). I understand the reasoning for this, and the real Peter may have actually said a lot worse. However, it is something for listeners to be aware of before letting younger ears hear this story.

Even with that, I do think that older listeners will appreciate the level of detail in this dramatization. It is not a watered down telling of Jesus’ final hours and I appreciate that. I do believe that End Of Darkness, even with its flaws, may be one of the best retellings of Easter I have ever heard.

Check out this 5-minute sample:

The audio drama is available in both digital download and CD formats. The 3-disc CD set includes a 24-page companion booklet with some absolutely gorgeous photography of the cast in full costume, which is not something seen very often with an audio drama production. You can purchase your copy via Amazon or directly from the Bible Actors Productions website.

Austin Peachey is a die-hard reader and audio drama fan. He's run the Adventures in Odyssey Blog for over 12 years and has produced a few audio dramas of his own, including FaithFilled Stories. He's also helped work on the 2nd edition of The Official Guide to Odyssey and is a member of the Audio Drama Alliance.


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