At one time, I simply considered listening to audio theater to be comparable to a read aloud or listening to an audio book. It is, but it is also more. Listening to For the Temple as a reviewer, I have reconsidered that conclusion. Listening to audio theater ups the game. It is more involved, requires more concentration and better listening skills. It also provides a greater audience reward with a deeper understanding of the characters and the stories. Not to discourage anyone from the joy of listening to audio theater, but the effort of setting the stage for listening without distraction and developing the required listening skill takes a little more preparation (at least at our house). It is so worth it.
I attempted to listen to For the Temple while fighting off a bout of the flu. Snuggled up, ready to rest, the voices became the background to my recovery but I didn't completely hear the story. My daughter and I listened together again while doing some hand crafts and stitching. The stitching activity allowed for enough attention to really listen and hear the story.
George Alfred Henty (1832 - 1902) was an English novelist. He is our For the Temple storyteller and begins our listening adventure by telling this story to an artist in a Viennese Cafe where they have met.
The actors bring the characters to life. Listening to the first century
story as a dramatization improved our understanding of the reality of the characters as actual historical figures. I especially enjoyed the developing relationship between John, the main character and his betrothed Mary. Hearing the voices of characters as they interact with each other makes it clear how they are real participants in history. When John meets Titus the interaction they have really drew me in with the anticipation of how that relationship will play out. (No spoiler here.) The surrounding sounds of the environment from a storm on the sea to destruction in Jerusalem engage the listener.
|Cafe Landtmann in Vienna|
Who wouldn't like to hang out and
hear a story or two?
From the attitude, life and times of the original storyteller G.A. Henty, to the times and place of the story told and the characters involved, there is historical depth and nuance available for our understanding through the Heirloom Audio productions. The use of the accompanying study guide creates a complete learning opportunity. The questions included range from listening comprehension questions to ones that encourage deeper thinking. There are also geographical prompts and vocabulary lists by section of the drama.
In her comments about the production of Beric the Briton from Heirloom audio, cast member Cathy Sara says "Yes, it can be used as an education tool, it has message, it has meaning. Anyone would find that place in these stories." I agree with Cathy whole heartily. Listening to this adventure adds value to my crafting, knitting, textile working time, whether homeschooling kids are joining me or not!
Find more reviews of For the Temple linked on the Review Crew blog, click on the banner below.