Review of "A Promise Kept" from Witnesses

The Witnesses program is one that we have been following for quite some time now. This show tells biblical stories though first-person, eye...

The Witnesses program is one that we have been following for quite some time now. This show tells biblical stories though first-person, eyewitness accounts of people who encountered Jesus. Though there have not been many episodes produced in the series, they have been all been well-produced and the scripts have been excellently crafted. Show writer, Tracy Van Dolder, holds a figurative magnifying glass to a passage of Scripture and expounds on it, drawing out the personalities and relatable humanity of well-known, and some not-so-well-known, people from the pages, turning them into engaging stories. (In the interest of full disclosure, I was privileged to play a role in an episode in the past.)

And she has done it again. Just in time for Christmas, a brand new episode has just been released. Titled "A Promise Kept", this episode chronicles the story of Simeon and Anna and their encounter with the Christ child from the latter part of Chapter 2 of the Gospel of Luke. Andy Harvey (Lamplighter Theatre, Brinkman Adventures) portrays the lead character of Simeon and does so with such gravity and emotion that one can't help but to be engrossed in the narrative. He is supported by Katie Leigh (Adventures in Odyssey, Lamplighter Theatre) as Anna, Kera O'Bryon (The Encounter, The Adventum) as Mary, and Shaun Conde (Jonathan Park, The Adventum) as Joseph. This cast of top-tier talent handles their respective roles so well and each character is given their proper due in this 24-minute episode.

Andy Harvey, voice of Simeon
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Summary for "A Promise Kept":
For over 40 years, Simeon has known that he would see something very special, but he can’t help wondering how much longer he will have to wait to see the Comfort of Israel. Then, a surprise direction and a shocking sight reminds him that Yahweh has not forgotten His people, or His promise to one old man.

This is not an action-packed story, therefore the sound design is not elaborate, but it is appropriately immersive and properly sets the tone for each scene. And speaking of the tone, the dialogue and narration by our main character are also crafted in such a way as to bring the biblical characters to life with much feeling and genuineness. The script is well-researched to accurately depict the story from God's Word, but with subtle details and historical context added to flesh out the account for the listener's benefit. Van Dolder's scripts always reflect a love and respect for Scripture and a passion for telling these people's stories in a way that audiences today will love.

I have been a fan of this series since it began, and was blown away earlier this year with the release of the first four installments of the miniseries, "The Lamb", so when I heard that there was a new episode in the works for the Christmas season, I was thrilled. Tracy Van Dolder has once again delivered the goods. "A Promise Kept" is a beautifully written piece of audio drama that is expertly performed and it is a great new addition to the Witnesses series and to your holiday audio drama lineup.

You can stream the episode for free at the Witnesses website. And while you're there, be sure to check out all the previous episodes as well, if you haven't already. The remaining four episodes of "The Lamb" are expected to be produced in the early part of 2023, with a tentative release near Easter, so be on the lookout for those very soon.

J.D. Sutter is the host and producer of the Audio Theatre Central podcast and editor of the blog. A lifelong fan of audio drama, he is an industry critic who has guest lectured and spoken at conferences on the subject. J.D. is also a voiceover artist, podcast consultant, and chair of the ATC Seneca Awards, the annual awards for the family-friendly audio drama industry.


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