Audio Drama of St. Francis Takes Audie Award

Said Paul McCusker, the audio drama’s writer and director, ‘I’m thankful to Francis for his inspiring life.’

(photo: Augustine Institute via CNA)

DENVER — A spoken-word drama about the life of St. Francis of Assisi has won an Audie Award from the Audio Publishers Association.

“It truly is an honor for us to be considered worthy to receive this award,” said Paul McCusker, the audio drama’s writer and director. “I’m deeply grateful to all the talented people who invested themselves in making Brother Francis. And I’m thankful to Francis for his inspiring life.”
 
Augustine Institute Radio Theater’s Brother Francis: The Barefoot Saint of Assisi tells the “tumultuous and astonishing” life of the 13th-century Italian saint and reformer across 10 episodes.
 
“As the son of a wealthy merchant, he knew splendor. As a young soldier, he encountered suffering. As a victim of war, he began a search for inner meaning that would tear his family apart and redirect his life. As a holy beggar, he embraced lepers, challenged a pope, debated a sultan and shook his world to its very core,” says the series’ description on the Augustine Institute Radio Theater’s website.
 
The audio drama was recorded at The Sound House in London, using a cast of award-winning actors and original music by Jared DePasquale.
 
The Audie Awards recognize distinction in audiobooks and spoken-word entertainment. The award for Brother Francis, in the category of best audio drama, was announced May 31 at the 23rd annual Audies Gala at the New York Historical Society in New York City.
 
The awards are sometimes called the “Oscars of spoken-word entertainment,” the Audio Publishers Association said.
 
“Each of the nominees and winners are to be commended for the tremendous contributions they have made to our flourishing industry, and this special event is the perfect venue for us to show appreciation to each and every one of them,” Linda Lee, the Audio Publishers Association president, said of the awards.
 
Other dramas produced by Augustine Institute Radio Theater include Ode to St. Cecilia and The Trials of St. Patrick. The radio theater is an initiative of the Denver-based Augustine Institute, a graduate theological school.
 
McCusker has previously received Audie Awards for his work on The Chronicles of Narnia and The Luke Reports, which drew from the Gospel of Luke. His audio dramatization Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom, which he wrote and directed, has won a Peabody Award.

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