Bill Heid, Executive Producer at Heirloom Audio Productions, is an expert on audio drama and how it can be used as both a teaching tool and as wholesome entertainment. As a radio guest, Bill speaks to the many benefits of audio theater for children and adults alike. Audio drama pushes back against the prevailing culture of spoon-fed visual learning and entertainment. It’s a way to actively involve and engage children in exciting stories that teach not only history, but also Christian values.
As an expert of Christian history, Bill was frustrated by how Christ has been consciously removed from the history books and government school curriculums. As a father of five and grandfather of 15, he was also concerned about the increasing screen time that children are exposed to today (an average of 55 hours per week) and the effects that has on their intellect and imagination.
In 2013, Bill formed Heirloom Audio Productions, LLC to address both these issues. As Executive Producer, he turned to the adventure books of G.A. Henty for rich, exciting story material. The result is a series of audio dramas, The Extraordinary Adventures of G.A. Henty, which includes three drama adaptations to date.
Stories are a fundamental tool for communicating values. A primary example would be Jesus’ telling of parables to communicate compelling moral lessons. Each of G.A. Henty’s stories was based on a true historical event and is told from the point of view of a fictional youth who was present at the event. The young adventurers in the stories demonstrate a sense of purpose while living with integrity and courage; they are role models for today’s children.
The audio format helps listeners to develop their imagination as they “see” the story in the theater of their mind. Outstanding scripts and acclaimed actors have made the audio productions popular with children and adults alike. With over 120 adventures written by G.A. Henty, Bill does not expect to run out of material for audio dramas in his lifetime.
Under Drake’s Flag was released in 2013 and was nominated for two Audie Awards from the Audio Publishers Association, including Best Audio Drama. In Freedom’s Cause was released in 2014. With Lee In Virginia just released in June of 2015. A fourth production, The Dragon And The Raven, is scheduled for release in the fall of 2015.